Perth Festival

17th - 26th May 2018
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English Touring Opera - The Siege of Calais

Tickets now on sale

Thursday 16th May 2013

Perth Theatre, 19:30

This event was part of the 2013 Festival Programme.

The Siege of Calais (L'assedio di Calais)

Gaetano Donizetti 

A vocally brilliant, stirring and patriotic telling of the story of the burghers of Calais by ‘bel canto’ opera composer Gaetano Donizetti.

Conductor - Jeremy Silver
Director - James Conway
Designer - Samal Blak
Lighting Designer - Ace McCarron

What does it mean to be a citizen? What is it that a citizen owes to his city, or country? This is the question posed by Donizetti’s rarely performed epic The Siege of Calais (L’assedio di Calais) – a ‘serious’ opera, sung in Italian, constructed of bel canto arias and ensembles of extraordinary quality.

It is the story of the burghers of Calais (depicted by Rodin in his famous sculpture outside the Houses of Parliament), citizens who offer up their lives to save their city from a besieging army. Their sacrifice is quiet, ordinary, sublime – and it culminates in one of the most moving ensembles in all of opera, the momentous O sacra polve, o suol natio (O Sacred Earth).

The opera also includes poignant, intimate scenes between the young couple at the heart of the drama (played by soprano Paula Sides and by mezzo Helen Sherman in a role originally written for a musico), and between the leader of the city (baritone Eddie Wade) and his anguished followers. Meanwhile, at the gates, the triumphant Edward III (played by extraordinary young baritone Cozmin Sime) shouts for blood.

ETO’s new production features designs by Faroese artist Samal Blak, inspired by the siege of Stalingrad.

New production
Sung in Italian with English surtitles
Running time: 2 hours (incl. one 20 minute interval).

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