Down the shaft of a tunnel under the Thames, in a pub, a church, a museum, and under a station, Pop-Up Opera, which made its debut in the spring with Bellini's Romeo and Juliet opera I Capuleti e I Montecchi, breaks free of the conventions of a traditional theatre or opera house.
That liberation is exhilarating for audience and performers alike. "The opera is so well known, and this will be a wholly different way of approaching it," says company director Clementine Lovell. "We can never rely on a set or fancy props and costumes to carry our productions, so it forces us to be creative and to really pay attention to the drama and conveying the story in a totally engaging way."
Il Barbiere di Siviglia - the barber of Seville - tells the story of Almaviva, a count disguised as a poor student, who manages to rescue his beloved Rosina from under the nose of her jealous elderly guardian, with the help of the resourceful servant Figaro.
Four performances will be given in the Thames Tunnel Shaft under the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe, in keeping with the flamboyant history of the tunnel over which is presides, a feat of Victorian engineering that now takes the Overground Ginger Line from Wapping to Rotherhithe: during its construction a great candlelit dinner was held underground. Catch the opera here, in Italian with English surtitles, on 7, 8, 21, 22 June.
il Barbiere di Siviglia opens at St Mary's church, Upper Street, Islington on 1 June, and also drops in to the Bull, 3 North Street, Highgate on 14 June, rushes into the London Museum of Water and Steam, Kew, on 12 July, and dives into the Vaults at London Waterloo on 1 September. In between times the company goes out of town.
|What||Il Barbiere di Siviglia, Pop-Up Opera|
|Where||Various Locations | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Acton Town (underground)|
01 Jun 16 – 01 Sep 16, Show times vary; run time 2 hours, 10 minutes
|Website||Click here to book tickets|