In a clever move adopted by other ingenious artists, the ensemble gathered by soprano Elin Pritchard has spotted a spacious, audience-secure high-street venue – the local church, in this case, St James’s.
Heading a starry cast, tenor Peter Auty sings the role of a travelling showman Canio, whose painted-on smile hides personal tragedy. Elin Pritchard herself sings his wife, Nedda, and baritone Nicholas Lester is Silvio, with whom she is having an affair.
John Andrews conducts, RSC company Christopher Luscombe directs, and the pianist is Berrak Dyer, with violinist Fenella Humphries and cellist Sophie Gledhill.
Nicholas Lester sings Nedda's lover Silvio for Opera Live. Photo: Edmond Choo
Elin Pritchard’s vision, after six months without performance, was simple – and complex: just put on a show. And in Pagliacci she has chosen a piece of verismo – real-life – opera, that has been thrilling audiences ever since its sensational première in 1892.
Thrilling from its very opening bars, it is opera at its most visceral. It is set in the heat of Calabria in the south of Italy. Listen out for Canio's heartbreaking aria, 'Vesti la giubba'.
Elin says: ‘By coming together to perform Pagliacci, we will keep our passion for opera alive whilst promoting this wonderful art form. Between us there’s a wealth of experience, dedication and creativity topped off with friendship and huge respect. ‘Let’s hope this is a recipe for a great evening out.’
Sounds like the perfect recipe to us. The audience, who should wear face coverings, will be safely spaced. In the event of a change in regulations banning live performance, ticket-holders can claim a full refund. Good luck, Let Us Make Noise! Let's hope you do.
|What||Pagliacci: Live opera in Islington|
|Where||St James's, Islington, Prebend St, Islington, London, N1 8PH | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
On 03 Oct 20, Single performance to a live audience, no interval
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|