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EMPIRE Extra: BALLET, DOCUMENTARIES, SPORT, OPERA, THEATRE, MUSIK, EXHIBITIONS

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International superstars Anita Rachvelishvili, Lianna Haroutounian and Gregory Kunde lead a superb cast of world-class singers in this Verdi classic. Il trovatore is one of the great operas of the Romantic period, a story of passion and blood, love and vengeance, disaster and murder. New in the 2015/16 Season, this atmospheric and poetic staging by director David Bösch puts the story of passion against the backdrop of war. Fire and snow in the landscape echo the cruelty and love of the story: soldiers and gypsies clash, a mother reveals a terrible secret and two men are engaged in a deadly fight for one woman. The famous Anvil Chorus is just one of the highlights of Verdi’s exceptionally fine music, which captures the shifting emotions of the drama through impassioned love duets, fiery solos and stirring choruses.

Conductor:
Richard Farnes
Directed by:
David Bosch
Music:
Giuseppe Verdi
Performers
Vitaliy Bilyy; Lianna Haroutounian; Gregory Kunde; Alexander Tsymbalyuk; Anita Rachvelishvili; Francesca Chiejina; Samuel Sakker
Distributor:
Royal Opera House Enterprises Ltd
Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
Italian
Length:
180 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Opera;

Release Date:
31 January 2017

Next Performance:
31 January 2017 19:15

National Theatre Live - Amadeus

Music. Power. Jealousy.

Lucian Msamati (Luther, Game of Thrones, NT Live: The Comedy of Errors) plays Salieri in Peter Shaffer’s iconic play, broadcast live from the National Theatre, and with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna, the music capital of the world – and he’s determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy his name. Seized by obsessive jealousy he begins a war with Mozart, with music, and ultimately, with God.

After winning multiple Olivier and Tony Awards when it had its premiere at the National Theatre in 1979, Amadeus was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film.
 

Distributor:
National Theatre Live
Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Length:
210 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Theatre;

Release Date:
2 February 2017

Next Performance:
2 February 2017 19:00

The pioneering literary work of Virginia Woolf is the inspiration for multi-award-winning choreographer Wayne McGregor's brilliant triptych for The Royal Ballet. McGregor has long been at the cutting edge of ballet, working with collaborators from across the artistic world, and in this critically acclaimed work he combines themes from three of Woolf's landmark novels – Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves – with elements of her letters, essays and diaries. Acclaimed British composer Max Richter (Infra, Sum and Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons) creates a specially commissioned score incorporating electronic and live music.

Choreography:
Wayne McGregor
Conductor:
Koen Kessels
Music:
Max Richter
Distributor:
Royal Opera House Enterprises Ltd
Country:
United Kingdom
Length:
155 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Ballet;

Release Date:
8 February 2017

Next Performance:
8 February 2017 19:15

Gemma Arterton is Joan of Arc, broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse.

Bernard Shaw’s classic play follows the life and trial of a young country girl who declares a bloody mission to drive the English from France. As one of the first Protestants and nationalists, she threatens the very fabric of the feudal society and the Catholic Church across Europe.

Josie Rourke (Coriolanus, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) directs Gemma Arterton (Gemma Bovery, Nell Gwynn, Made in Dagenham) as Joan of Arc in this electrifying production.
 

Directed by:
Josie Rourke
Performers
Gemma Arterton
Distributor:
National Theatre Live
Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Length:
240 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Theatre;

Release Date:
16 February 2017

Next Performance:
16 February 2017 19:00

A perennial delight and a much-loved classic, The Royal Ballet's The Sleeping Beauty combines the best of classical ballet, with all its charms and virtuosity, splendid music and talented dancers. First choreographed to Tchaikovsky's great musical score by Marius Petipa in Russia in 1890, The Sleeping Beauty has wonderful ensembles, solos including the Rose Adage as Princess Aurora meets her suitors, and of course the concluding celebratory dances for the happy union of prince and princess. The Royal Ballet's landmark staging was revived for the Company's 75th anniversary celebrations in 2006. The designs by Oliver Messell, one of the greatest stage designers of the 20th century, were restored and updated for this production by Peter Farmer. The rich evocations of the baroque opulence of a royal court, the panoramic journey of the prince to the overgrown castle and the colourful characters in this famous fairytale make this Sleeping Beauty a spectacle like no other.

Choreography:
Marius Petipa
Conductor:
Koen Kessels
Distributor:
Royal Opera House Enterprises Ltd
Country:
United Kingdom
Length:
180 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Ballet;

Release Date:
28 February 2017

Next Performance:
28 February 2017 19:00

“I’ve no talent for life.”

Just married. Bored already. Hedda longs to be free...

Hedda and Tesman have just returned from their honeymoon and the relationship is already in trouble. Trapped but determined, Hedda tries to control those around her, only to see her own world unravel.

Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove (A View from the Bridge at the Young Vic Theatre) returns to National Theatre Live screens with a modern production of Ibsen’s masterpiece.

Ruth Wilson (Luther, The Affair, Jane Eyre) plays the title role in a new version by Patrick Marber (Notes on a Scandal, Closer).
 

Directed by:
Ivo van Hove
Performers
Ruth Wilson
Distributor:
National Theatre Live
Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Length:
210 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Theatre;

Release Date:
9 March 2017

Next Performance:
9 March 2017 19:00

"Mariìa Joseì Siri and Gregory Kunde star as the ill-fated lovers at the centre of Manon Lescaut, Puccini’s passionate adaptation of the classic novel about a free-spirited country girl who becomes the toast of Paris and nds herself torn between true love and a life of luxury. The opera had its debut in 1893 and was Puccini’s rst major triumph - a hit with critics and audiences alike. It was with this work that Puccini revealed himself 124 years ago on the very same stage of the Teatro Regio Turino as an operatic composer on a par with Verdi.

Through Manon Lescaut, Puccini reveals his fascination with the destiny of a woman whose sensuality and boundless energy is shown by her passionate search for life’s pleasures. His sumptuous and rich score is characterised by youthful vitality and lled with glorious melodies to further enrich the story. Manon is a heroine in which Puccini believed in - a provocative woman ercely attached to two incompatible entities; luxury and love. Manon dies “sola, perduta, abbandonata in landa desolata” and makes us think of another fallen woman, Violetta. Perhaps then Manon Lescaut represents a homage to Verdi."
 

Conductor:
Gianandrea Noseda
Performers
Maria Jose Siri; Gregory Kunde
Distributor:
Soda Pictures Ltd
Country:
Italy
Length:
300 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Opera;

Release Date:
14 March 2017

Next Performance:
14 March 2017 19:00

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly is one of the most popular of all operas, with ravishing music and a heartbreaking story of a loving geisha deserted by a callous American husband. Muchloved soprano Ermonela Jaho sings the title role for the first time at Covent Garden, in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier's stunningly beautiful production. The exotic imagery of the Nagasaki setting is drawn from 19th-century Western artists' romanticized views of Japan. Puccini's music brings alive the birdsong of the morning, the ritual of a wedding and the seduction by naval officer B.F. Pinkerton (sung by exciting young tenor Marcelo Puente) of his young, innocent bride. Well known moments include the impassioned aria ‘Un bel dì’ (One fine day) as the abandoned Cio-Cio-San clings vainly to her dreams. Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano, acclaimed for his interpretations of Italian opera, conducts this intense and gripping journey from light and excitement to darkness and self-sacrifice.

Conductor:
Antonio Pappano
Distributor:
Royal Opera House Enterprises Ltd
Country:
United Kingdom
Length:
165 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Opera;

Release Date:
30 March 2017

Next Performance:
30 March 2017 19:15

A ship is wrecked on the rocks. Viola is washed ashore but her twin brother Sebastian is lost. Determined to survive on her own, she steps out to explore a new land. So begins a whirlwind of mistaken identity and unrequited love.

The nearby households of Olivia and Orsino are overrun with passion. Even Olivia's upright housekeeper Malvolia is swept up in the madness. Where music is the food of love, and nobody is quite what they seem, anything proves possible.

Simon Godwin (NT Live: Man and Superman, NT Live: The Beaux’ Stratagem) directs this joyous new production with Tamsin Greig (Friday Night Dinner, Black Books, Episodes) as a transformed Malvolia. an ensemble cast that includes Daniel Rigby (Flowers, Jericho), Tamara Lawrence (Undercover), Doon Mackichan (Smack the Pony) and Daniel Ezra (The Missing, Undercover).

 

Directed by:
Simon Godwin
Starring:
Tamsin Greig; Daniel Rigby; Tamara Lawrence; Doon Mackichan; Daniel Ezra
Distributor:
National Theatre Live
Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Length:
210 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Theatre;

Release Date:
6 April 2017

Next Performance:
6 April 2017 19:00

George Balanchine’s evocation of the sparkle of emeralds, rubies and diamonds is a brilliant ballet classic. The French Romantic music of Fauré provides the impetus for the subtlety and lyricism of ‘Emeralds’, while the fire of ‘Rubies’ comes from Stravinsky and the jazz-age energy of New York. Grandeur and elegance complete the ballet with the splendour of Imperial Russia and the peerless music of Tchaikovsky in ‘Diamonds’. Jewels is a masterclass in the many luminous facets of classical ballet and indeed of The Royal Ballet itself: the virtuoso choreography of Balanchine, the intensity of the soloists and the precision of the entire Company.

Choreography:
George Balanchine
Conductor:
Pavel Sorokin
Distributor:
Royal Opera House Enterprises Ltd
Country:
United Kingdom
Length:
150 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Ballet;

Release Date:
11 April 2017

Next Performance:
11 April 2017 19:15

"200 years after the success of Rossini’s La Gazza Ladra, where one spectator during the Premiere at La Scala in 1817 described that the opera “aroused such furore that at every moment the audiences stood up en masse to cover Rossini in acclaim,” Riccardo Chailly now brings this celebrated tragicomic opera back to the stage where it was rst performed.

A masterpiece of grace and brilliance, La Gazza Ladra is adept at describing the excesses of power without prevaricating. In this production, the director and co-founder of the Teatro dell’Elfo and Oscar winner for Mediterraneo makes his debut at La Scala to elegantly relate the story of the servant Ninetta who is wrongly accused of theft. The cast brings together the cream of the new generation of Rossinian bel canto with Rosa Feola debuting, tenor Edgardo Rocha,basses Alex Esposito and Paolo Bordogna, as well as Teresa Lervolino and the expert bel canto of Michele Pertusi."
 

Conductor:
Riccardo Chailly
Performers
Rosa Feola; Serena Malfi; Teresa Iervolino; Paolo Bordogna; Edgardo Rocha; Alex Esposito; Michele Pertusi; Marko Mimica
Themselves:
La Scala Chorus and Orchestra
Distributor:
Soda Pictures Ltd
Country:
Italy
Length:
220 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Opera;

Release Date:
18 April 2017

Next Performance:
18 April 2017 19:00

A sparkling tale of magic and mischief, Coppelia has everything a good story ballet should: a touch of enchantment, a dash of romance and masses of sumptuous costumes.

Swanilda and her merry boyfriend Franz live in a village with Dr Coppelius, a sinister magician and inventor who has created a beautiful doll that he sits on his balcony. One day Franz sees the doll, Coppelia, and becomes infatuated with her. Swanilda and her friends decide to explore Dr Coppelius' house while he is out to see who the mysterious woman is, but he returns suddenly and Swanilda hides – pretending to be Coppelia. At the same time, the love struck Franz finds a ladder and climbs into Dr Coppelius' house, who plans to steal his life force to animate his doll, pours Frank a drink with a sleeping draught in it. When Franz passes out, Coppelius brings out Coppelia so Swanilda pretends to be a doll coming to life. Coppelius is delighted – until Swanilda manages to wake Franz and they escape from the house and are married, sealing their love with a tender pas de deux. Sorcery and masquerade, romance and high jinks – this is the funniest, sunniest ballet you'll see all year.

See this film at:

Newcastle upon Tyne 
Distributor:
CinemaLive
Country:
Australia
Length:
150 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Ballet;

Release Date:
19 April 2017

Next Performance:
19 April 2017 19:00

Angus Jackson directs Shakespeare’s epic political tragedy, as the race to claim the empire spirals out of control.

Caesar returns from war, all-conquering, but mutiny is rumbling through the corridors of power.

The Rome season in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre opens with the politics of spin and betrayal turning to violence. Following his sell-out productions of Tom Morton-Smith’s Oppenheimer (2014) and James Fenton’s adaptation of Don Quixote (2016), Season Director Angus Jackson steers the thrilling action.
 

Distributor:
Picturehouse Entertainment
Country:
United Kingdom
Length:
180 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Theatre;

Release Date:
26 April 2017

Next Performance:
26 April 2017 19:00

"Zubin Mehta conducts a cast led by Fabio Sartori and Julianna Di Giacomo in the acclaimed Don Carlo, Verdi’s opera about love, ambition and intrigue in 16th-century Spain, based upon the life of Carlos, Prince of Asturias (1545-1568). Carlos was betrothed to Elizabeth of Valois (1545-1568), the daughter of France’s King Henry II but for political reasons, Elizabeth was ultimately married to Carlos’ father Philip II of Spain.

Based on the 1787 dramatic poem by Friedrich Schiller, Don Carlo was rst performed at the Paris Opeìra in 1867 where politics and religion were dangerously entwined. Verdi made extensive revisions to the opera over the following 20 years, and this production follows the four-act 1886 version performed at one of the newest Opera Houses in the world, the Opera di Firenze. The Opera di Firenze has pioneeredtheperceptionofoperaworldwide, demonstratingitcan be both traditional and innovative. Their blend of the classic and contemporary puts Opera di Firenze at the centre of opera, guiding its future for years to come."
 

Conductor:
Zubin Mehta
Performers
Fabio Sartori; Julianna Di Giacomo
Themselves:
Orchestra and Choir of the Annual Music Festival in Florence
Distributor:
Soda Pictures Ltd
Country:
Italy
Length:
220 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Opera;

Release Date:
5 May 2017

Next Performance:
5 May 2017 19:00

Iqbal Khan directs Shakespeare’s tragedy of love and duty, picking up the story where Julius Caesar ends.

Following Caesar’s assassination, Mark Antony has reached the heights of power. Now he has neglected his empire for a life of decadent seduction with his mistress, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt. Torn between love and duty, Antony’s military brilliance deserts him, and his passion leads the lovers to their tragic end.

Iqbal Khan returns to the RSC to direct, following his critically acclaimed productions of Othello (2015) and Much Ado About Nothing (2012).
 

Distributor:
Picturehouse Entertainment
Country:
United Kingdom
Length:
180 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Theatre;

Release Date:
24 May 2017

Next Performance:
24 May 2017 19:00

This gorgeous mixed programme demonstrates the great creative vision of Frederick Ashton, Founder Choreographer of The Royal Ballet. The Dream is Ashton's adaptation of Shakespeare's riotous comedy in which a forest sprite plays havoc, armed with a love potion. Symphonic Variations was Ashton's first work after World War II, and one of the Company's first to be performed on the huge main stage of the Royal Opera House, in 1946. With six dancers performing a series of quartets, duets, sextets and solos to Franck’s brooding Variations symphoniques, this seminal masterpiece celebrates the pure beauty of movement. Marguerite and Armand is Ashton's beautiful and emotional retelling of a well-known story, familiar to us through Verdi's opera La traviata. Ashton famously created this poignant ballet on Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev in 1963.

Choreography:
Frederick Ashton
Conductor:
Emmanuel Plasson
Distributor:
Royal Opera House Enterprises Ltd
Country:
United Kingdom
Length:
170 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Ballet;

Release Date:
7 June 2017

Next Performance:
7 June 2017 19:15

"Die Entführung aus dem Serail was written at the order of the Austrian Emperor Joseph II. For source material, Mozart turned to a popular farce of his day about two pairs of European lovers, one noble and the other their servants, who are trying to escape from the harem of a Turkish pasha and his amusingly sleazy overseer. The work uses spoken dialogue and separate musical numbers in the form of a Singspiel, or “sung play.”

Twenty years on since the death of the great director, who from 1951 staged legendary operas at La Scala, such as Macbeth, Le nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni, to name but a few, Teatro alla Scala is proposing new staging, yet calling to the podium the man who conducted it the rst time round - the great Zubin Mehta. The dizzying role of Konstanze is sung by Lenneke Ruiten, much applauded in Lucio Silla in 2015, with the emerging Mozart tenor Mauro Peter in the role of Belmonte."
 

Conductor:
Zubin Mehta
Performers
Lenneke Ruiten; Sabine Devieilhe; Mauro Peter; Maximilian Schmitt; Tobias Kehrer; Cornelius Obonya
Themselves:
La Scala Chorus and Orchestra
Distributor:
Soda Pictures Ltd
Country:
Italy
Length:
160 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Opera;

Release Date:
19 June 2017

Next Performance:
19 June 2017 19:00

World-famous tenor Jonas Kaufmann makes his role debut as Otello in Verdi's passionate retelling of Shakespeare's great tragedy of jealousy, deception and murder. Soprano Maria Agresta will be his Desdemona and baritone Ludovic Tézier his nemesis Iago in a new production by Olivier Awardwinning director Keith Warner. A major work of the opera repertory, Verdi's Otello draws on the full forces of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, the Royal Opera Chorus and this stellar line-up of principal singers, with exquisite duets, emotionally potent solo numbers and thrilling choruses. Particular highlights include Otello and Desdemona's rapturous love duet and Desdemona's poignant 'Willow Song'. Royal Opera Music Director Antonio Pappano conducts this Italian masterpiece.

Directed by:
Keith Warner
Conductor:
Antonio Pappano
Music:
Giuseppe Verdi
Distributor:
Royal Opera House Enterprises Ltd
Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
Italian
Length:
165 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Opera;

Release Date:
28 June 2017

Next Performance:
28 June 2017 19:15

The decay of Rome reaches violent depths in Shakespeare’s most bloody play.

Titus is a ruler exhausted by war and loss, who relinquishes power but leaves Rome in disorder. Rape, cannibalism and severed body parts fill the moral void at the heart of this corrupt society.

Shakespeare’s gory revenge tragedy presents us with murder as entertainment, and, as the body count piles up, poses questions about the nature of sexuality, family, class and society.

Blanche McIntyre returns to the RSC to direct Shakespeare’s brutal revenge tragedy after her debut directing The Two Noble Kinsmen (2016).
 

Distributor:
Picturehouse Entertainment
Country:
United Kingdom
Length:
180 mins (excl Trailers, Advertisements)
Genre:
Theatre;

Release Date:
9 August 2017

Next Performance:
9 August 2017 19:00