Past shows at West Road Concert Hall
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The Marriage of FigaroFebruary 2011Below-stairs in the Almaviva household, Figaro and Susanna are blissfully happy: it's finally their wedding day. But even today there is nowhere to hide from the ringing of the servant's bell - and this time the Count is ringing for Susanna. The Countess is abandoned to her secluded garret, as the Count prowls the servants quarters, determined to add Susanna's name to the others in his little black book. Constantly aware of every creaking door, every watchful eye, Figaro and Susanna know they must rely on their wits, but can they pull off their wedding? And will they live happily ever after? Cambridge University Opera Society are delighted to present Mozart's Marriage of Figaro. Set in the back passages of 18th century England and starring some of Cambridge's finest singers, this new production celebrates both the darkness and the hilarity of this much-loved comic opera.
An Evening with Gilbert and SullivanFebruary 2011GILBERT & SULLIVAN SOCIETY 50TH ANNIVERSARY GALA 'An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan' Wed 16 February (Week 4) West Road Concert Hall Singers wanted for 'An Evening with Gilbert and Sullivan' - a grand gala concert to launch the 50th Anniversary of the Cambridge University G&S Society. The event will feature a mix of Gilbert & Sullivan's best-loved songs and scenes, works inspired by the duo, and reminiscences from the society's history. It's a fantastic opportunity to celebrate fifty years performing the works of this mighty pair. AUDITIONS Sat 22 January, 1-5pm - Trinity Hall Music Room Mon 24 January, 5-9pm, Caius Bateman Room You will be asked to sing a song and read some dialogue, so please come prepared to sing a song, preferably G&S or a similar musical style. If there's a particular solo/ensemble song you're dying to perform in the concert, we'd be more than happy to hear it, or if not just pick anything. Your chances will not be affected either way. Similarly, if there's a particular scene or monologue you want to do, please come share your ideas with us and perform it, otherwise dialogue will be provided. If you have a self-written comic sketch about Victorian light opera tucked up you sleeve, bring it along! G&S and other well-known scores will be provided. Group auditions very welcome for ensemble numbers - you can audition both for a solo and as part of a group. For some suggestions, please see the attached list, or feel free to choose your own favorite! If you need the sheet music, email our artistic director Rosie at firstname.lastname@example.org with your song choice BEFORE MIDNIGHT ON WEDNESDAY 19TH JANUARY with your name and college and we will send you a score. A comprehensive collection of music and libretti from all the operas is also available online at http://math.boisestate.edu/gas/. If you're an instrumentalist and would be interested in joining our orchestra and playing some of the most deliciously upbeat music ever written, please e-mail Sunil at email@example.com. Any other questions? Please e-mail our producer Felicity at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Rake's ProgressFebruary 2011Stravinsky's neoclassical setting of W. H. Auden's tragic masterpiece, based around the 18th century engravings of William Hogarth. Lured away from his quiet country life with sweetheart Anne Truelove, Tom Rakewell descends to the raucous delights of a dissolute London life, aided by the enigmatic Nick Shadow. A disastrous marriage to the bearded lady Baba the Turk, spiralling debts, and distaste for the debauchery that surrounds him eventually provoke the madness that consigns him to Bedlam. "For idle hands and hearts and mind, the devil finds a work to do".
Pelléas et MélisandeFebruary 2010
Pelléas et MélisandeFebruary 2010Cambridge University Opera Society presents Pelléas et Mélisande Opera by Claude Debussy Adapted from the play by Maurice Maeterlinck Performed in the original French 'all destiny appears to our eyes as if reversed' (Maeterlinck) Wednesday 17th February - Saturday 20th February, West Road Concert Hall £9 / £15. Tickets are available from the ADC theatre Box Office, at www.adcticketing.com. Pelléas et Mélisande is a gem of Symbolist opera, what Olivier Messiaen called 'the great, quite exceptional masterpieces of opera' (1979), certainly at the peak of 20th century operatic composition. Maeterlinck's characters are guided through fate's path as marionettes. Death hangs constantly over the characters with absolute inevitability. Death as it occurs is purely symbolic, as none of the characters were ever alive, in accordance with Maeterlinck's belief that 'poems die when living people get into them'. The souls which wander the stage in Pelléas et Mélisande are merely symbols of humanity. All we see is a single moment, a visible flash of an infinite cycle of life. The characters reveal infinite truths which will recur along with the continuation of mankind - lies, murder for jealousy, possession within love, innocence, and corruption. Ultimately, there is fundamental truth 'la verite', for which Golaud pleads Melisande on her deathbed; 'Tell me no more lies at the moment of death'.But the truth will never be revealed. At her death, Melisande's whispers the words 'the truth? The truth?' and Golaud cries out in agony: 'Now I shall never know. I shall die without knowing, in my blindness.'
Svrsvm CordaJanuary 2010This new and exciting opera has been written by Benjamin Cox to an original libretto by Edward Herring. The emotional and tragic story tells the life of Catherine of Alexandria. At the mere age of 17, Catherine sees a vision of herself being betrothed to Christ and so begins to preach Christianity in pagan Alexandria. In doing so, she attracts the attentions of the Roman Emperor Maxentius who tries to disgrace her faith publicly. When this fails, Maxentius resorts to more and more brutal methods to turn Catherine to his views, sacrificing his wife and his most loyal advisor in his quest for dominance over Catherine.
Eugene OneginFebruary 2009This year CUOS returns to West Road for an ambitious and exciting production of Tchaikovsky's most well-known opera, Eugene Onegin. We hope to follow up on last year's sell-out run of Don Giovanni with another equally compelling and challenging show.
Don GiovanniFebruary 2008The only rule is don't be boring..." Paris Hilton And no-one could accuse Mozart's Don Giovanni of being boring. Legendary more like, with a reputation greater than Jack Nicholson, Russell Brand and Casanova combined. This bold, exciting new production comes to life in the dazzling lights of the city, throwing the Don headlong into the paparazzi-ridden world of modern celebrity. With a thought-provoking spin on da Ponte's heady tale join us for an evening of decadence, humour, high drama - and an infamously hellish climax. From the production team that brought you the "totally compelling… totally convincing… best thing I had seen in Cambridge" (Varsity) opera that was Les Incas du Perou comes another theatrical extravaganza that promises to be CUOS' biggest, boldest and best show to date. www.dongiovanni2008.com
Atila and Lewis WrightFebruary 2008
Hansel and GretelFebruary 2007In a story-book world, young Hansel and Gretel get lost in the woods, chancing upon an enchanted cottage made of sweets, and an old woman who wants to bring them both to a very sticky end. This timeless tale of the perils of a sweet tooth is charmingly brought to life by Humperdinck's score, which is simultaneously highly Romantic and touchingly naive - an unlikely combination, perhaps, but one which has proved a perennial favourite since its premier in 1893. This production is being double cast to accommodate four performances over three days, and in order to involve as many students as possible; an ambitious education project will also involve young people in the local community. A great favourite with children and adults alike for over a century, and ideally suited to student voices, 'Hansel and Gretel' promises to be a thoroughly magical production. For tickets visit www.hanselandgretel2007.com or call 020 81445433.
The Marriage of FigaroFebruary 2006Cambridge University Opera Society marks Mozart's 250th anniversary with a grand and sparkling production of The Marriage of Figaro, one of the composer's best loved operas.
Les Incas du PerouFebruary 2006Written in 1735 as part of Rameau's opera-ballet "Les Indes Gallantes", "Les Incas du Perou" is a succint, exciting and colourful piece of musical theatre. Featuring the cream of Cambridge University's dancers, musicians and singers, and preceded by a recital of baroque sonatas by David Irving and James McVinnie, this evening was described by Varsity as "the best thing I had seen in Cambridge". More details on the production and the challenges it posed, or on the opera itself, can be obtained from email@example.com
MagSoc ConcertDecember–November 2005
The Rake's ProgressFebruary 2005Cambridge University Opera Society presents THE RAKE'S PROGRESS by Igor Stravinsky, libretto by W H Auden & Chester Kallman. The Rake’s Progress charts Tom Rakewell’s journey from the idyllic country, where he is celebrating the beauty of spring with his true love Anne, to a decadent, corrupt London where he will be seduced by whores, become bankrupt and eventually end up in Bedlam. The journey is also a psychological one for Tom, who initially shirks his responsibilities and allows himself to be led astray but finally repents and recognises his former ‘madness’, though ironically he is by this time himself in a madhouse. Our production emphasises the hostility and individualism of the city whilst maintaining a strong flavour of the tongue-in-cheek aspect of this moral fable. With such colourful personalities as the devil, a bearded lady and hoards of whores and madmen, this is sure to be a night to remember.
The Turn of the ScrewOctober 2004The opera, based on Henry James' novella, centres on a young governess who is sent to look after two children at an English estate. She soon discovers that the house is haunted by the ghosts of the former governess and the former master's valet. It becomes increasingly apparent that something unsavoury happened between these empoyees and the children, and this appears to be continuing even after their deaths...
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