Rita is the name of the short opera written in 1841. Maybe because it was not performed until 12 years after the composer's death, it isn't on everyone's radar. But a production at Charing Cross Theatre gives opera fans a chance to catch this one-act comic rarity.
Before the story begins, Rita has married Gasparo, but he has been lost at sea and is presumed dead. Cue husband No 2, the timid Beppe, who finds his new wife something of a handful.
Of course, in the great dramatic tradition, Gasparo now reappears, and with a new love of his own...
Alejandro Bonatto, who has orchestrated the opera for chamber ensemble and written the new English translation, also directs this new production. It will be interesting to see how he handles the somewhat non-PC attitudes to marriage and the role of the wife that were taken for granted in the 19th century. This production has a mid-20th-century look, and we can be pretty sure that Rita stands her ground.
Soprano Laura Lolita Peresivana sings the title role, tenor Brenton Spiteri is Beppe and baritone Phil Wilcox is Gasparo.
Mark Austin conducts, design is by Nicolai Hart-Hansen and lighting by David Seldes.
The opera lasts about 1hr 15min, and sounds like an appetising serving of summer fizz.
Rita is sung in English. Click here for booking
|What||Rita, Charing Cross Theatre|
|Where||Charing Cross Theatre, The Arches, Villiers Street, London, WC2N 6NL | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
10 Aug 22 – 20 Aug 22, 7 evening performances, one matinee
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|