classical preview: Winter season operas

SINISTER: Mozart's Don Giovanni is part of Opera North's winter season.
SINISTER: Mozart's Don Giovanni is part of Opera North's winter season.
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Once banned for political reasons, Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera, relates the true story of King Gustavus of Sweden in 1792, who had fallen in love with the wife of his most loyal friend, who then joins the conspiracy to murder him.

In today’s world that story can be manipulated to fill many scenarios, and be assured that the producer, Tim Albery, will offer a mind-provoking version for Opera North in a new production that forms one of three operas in the winter season.

It opens with a reprise of Albery’s deeply disturbing staging of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Anne Sophie-Duprels is so utterly perfect for the title role, you will shed a tear at her plight. Marunas Vitulskis sings Pinkerton, with Peter Savage returning to sing the American Consul, Sharpless.

Raising a few eyebrows on its first outing, Alessandro Talevi’s new slant on Mozart’s Don Giovanni as a time-travelling Don who has bedded a thousand and three women – and that is in Spain alone. A mix of fun and sinister darkness of female retribution, 
the cast includes William Dazeley, as the Duke and Elizabeth Atherton as Donna Elvira. Certainly don’t miss the quite remarkable young conductor, Christoph Altstaedt.

The company’s former music sirector, Richard Farnes, conducts The Masked Ball, with Rafael Rojas, as the King, and the Hungarian soprano, Adrienn Miksch, as Amelia.

At Leeds Grand Theatre, January 19-March 3, tickets from the box office on 0844 8482720 or online via