English Touring Opera at Buxton Opera House

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
English Touring Opera at Buxton Opera House
Image courtesy of English Touring Opera.

English Touring Opera present Manon Lescaut and The Rake's Progress at Buxton Opera House, Buxton 4 — 6 April 2024 Tickets from £28.00 — Book now

This spring, we’re delighted that the English Touring Opera return to Buxton Opera House with another bold and fresh take on two landmark operas. Be transported to two of Europe’s great cities – Paris and London – for this thrilling performance double bill. Director Jude Christian brings a sharp, poetic version of Puccini’s breakthrough hit, Manon Lescaut and Polly Graham presents Igor Stravinsky’s tragi-comic triumph, The Rake’s Progress.

Production image showing cast members in colourful costumes circle round a women in a white dress and blue hair with her arms held out in front of her.
English Touring Opera by Richard Hubert.

Manon Lescaut is based on Abbé Provost’s controversial novel, originally banned in France due to its scandalous content. It tells the devastating story of a young woman as she battles with her desire to love on her own terms, and the unmoveable expectations and double standards imposed on her by society. Exploring themes around misogyny and the treatment of women, migration and consumerist manipulation, Manon Lescaut is an intoxicating and timely performance, certain to resonate with a contemporary audience.

Red Artwork with Man peering through a cut out with what looks like two horns.
Image courtesy of English Touring Opera.

Based on Rake’s Progress, a series of eight paintings by 18th-century artist William Hogarth, Stravinsky’s vibrant and imaginative The Rake’s Progress follows young spendthrift Tom Rakewell’s journey of decline and fall; from inheriting a fortune to a life of complete ruin, at the hands of his own stupidity and a mysterious stranger. Most strikingly, Stravinsky makes playful reference to the 18th century through his music too, with neo-classical detail that includes a prominent harpsichord in the orchestration.

Production image of a man in white pyjamas sat cross-legged on the floor. He is holding a green paper crown to his head.
English Touring Opera by Frederick Jones.

Brimming with humanity and hidden depth, both operas speak strongly to a modern-day audience. Leading with passionate and impulsive young characters who, drawn by the bright lights of the city, dream of living a better life. Beautiful and accessible, both works explore the importance of love and freedom – a message we can all relate to in our increasingly urbanised and materialist world.

Both shows will be performed in English with English surtitles. An audio described performance of Manon Lescaut will take place on Saturday 6 April at 7.30pm.

English Touring Opera present Manon Lescaut and The Rake's Progress at Buxton Opera House, Buxton 4 — 6 April 2024 Tickets from £28.00 Book now

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