RNCM Opera Double Bill: Ariadne + The Medium
Royal Northern College of Music
12th December 2021 – 19th December 2021
Students from across the RNCM are joined by one of the UK’s most experienced and versatile conductors, Peter Robinson, and British Youth Opera’s Director of Training and Programmes, Stuart Barker. Together they are bringing to life two of opera’s most intriguing and innovative works.
Set backstage in a theatre, the Prologue from Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos unveils the struggle between two theatrical groups who, due to time constraints, have been ordered to perform their different shows simultaneously. It is comedy versus tragedy against Strauss’s ingenious musical backdrop of opera buffa and opera seria resulting in flirtatious encounters, hot-headed arguments, and general chaos from all involved.
Written in 1946, the rarely performed American opera, Menotti’s The Medium, tells the story of a fraudulent psychic who finds herself embroiled in the spiritual world when, during one of her fake seances, encounters a genuine ghostly presence. Her inability to understand or explain this unnerving situation drives her to madness and, eventually, murder. This chamber opera is full of vocal lyricism and rich orchestral harmonies which underpins this unusual operatic melodrama.
It is a double bill like no other and The RNCM are thrilled to raise the curtain once again and welcome back audiences to the RNCM Opera.
Running time – 2 hours 10 mins (including 30-minute interval)
Both operas will have English subtitles.
Peter Robinson Conductor
Stuart Barker Director
Raphae Memon Set Designer
Elaine Needham Costume Designer
Paul Botham Lighting Designer