Discover: English Touring Opera, Spring 2020

Maisy Farren

Once an art form unique to the upper classes of society, opera can at times feel like an intimidating thing to get into. English Touring Opera is the leading touring opera company in the UK and brings wonderful operatic performances to around 55 venues each year. Whether you’re an opera aficionado or you don’t know your falsetto to your baritone, ETO’s UK wide performances will bring classic shows to a city near you. 
English Touring Opera tours three shows in spring and two in autumn. Check out our round-up of shows to come this spring and where they will be. 

Cosi Fan Tutte

Starting off the Spring season with a light-hearted, comical Opera, Cosi Fan Tutte is one of Mozart’s most popular (and most ridiculous) operatic productions. Having been premiered in the late 18th century, the show didn’t become popular until the mid 1900’s. Since then, however, it’s music and comedic storyline have made it as popular as Mozart originally intended. Loosely translated to ‘they’re all like that’, the show is a cynical take on relationships and the characters of women especially. ETO promise to present this classic tale with a breath of fresh air, featuring live music from the Old Street Band and talented performances throughout. This light-hearted production is a great one for opera novices and will be performed in English with English sub-titles. 
Hackney Empire – 29 February & 6 March 

Snape Maltings Concert Hall – 12 – 13 March 

Lighthouse, Poole – 20 March 

Buxton Opera House – 27 – 28 March 

York Theatre Royal – 3 April 

Storyhouse, Chester – 8 April
The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury – 15 April 

Malvern Theatres – 23 – 24 April 

Cambridge Arts Centre – 28 April – 1 May 

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick – 6 May 

Gala Theatre, Durham – 11 May 

Curve, Leicester – 15 May 

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – 19 May 

Exeter Northcott Theatre – 27 – 28 May 

Image credit: Robert Workman via
St John Passion
Touring the UK over the Easter period, ETO’s remarkable performances are an excellent chance to discover the Easter story in a brand-new light. St John Passion is Bach’s iconic German production, where music is used to tell the dramatic story of the crucifixion of Christ to a church full of worshippers. This emotive and engrossing music was originally written for an 18th century Lutheran church service and remains to be one of the most important pieces of religious music. ETO will be performing the piece in an immersive and semi-staged production, joining 30 choirs from across the country with both professional soloists and the Old Street Band choir. Originally written in German, the music will be sung in mainly German with English subtitles. However, the company have enlisted priests and theologists to contribute new English translations of these wonderous texts which will be interspersed throughout the set.  
Hackney Empire – 5 March 

Buxton Opera House – 26 March 

Storyhouse, Chester – 9 April 

Beverley Minster – 11 April 

Derngate Theatre, Northampton – 3 May 

Theatre by the Lake, Keswick – 7 May 

Lancaster Priory – 9 May 

Gala Theatre, Durham – 12 May 

Exeter Cathedral – 29 May 

Truro Cathedral – 27 June 

Image credit: English Touring Opera on Facebook
Giulio Cesare (Julius Caesar) 
Completing the line-up for the English Touring Opera’s spring season is the dramatic and well-known production of Julius Caesar. Plotting the tale of the Roman leader’s conquest in Egypt and romance with Cleopatra, Handel’s iconic early-18thcentury opera is his most frequently performed piece. ETO tackled this iconic production in 2017 and returns again in 2020 with a re-adapted revival of the tale. The show will be sung in its original Italian with English subtitles to lead you through the plot. 
Hackney Empire – 7 March 

Snape Maltings Concert Hall – 14 March 

Lighthouse, Poole – 21 March 

York Theatre Royal – 4 April 

Storyhouse, Chester – 7 April 

The Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury – 16 April  

Malvern Theatres – 25 April 

Cambridge Arts Centre – 30 April – 2 May  

Lancaster Priory - 8 May 

Curve, Leicester – 16 May 

Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield – 18 May  

Exeter Northcott Theatre – 30 May  

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