Two outstanding operas come together to create one extraordinary evening, in a double bill of La vida breve and Gianni Schicchi.
Director Christopher Alden's ferocious take on Manuel de Falla's short exuberant opera, La vida breve is an intense, unforgettable experience. An all or nothing tragedy of a woman who loves a worthless man, the atmosphere is heightened by the influence of Andalusian folk song and Spanish dance rhythms.
Originally staged as one of Opera North's groundbreaking 'Eight Little Greats' season of one-act operas in 2004, Alden's production received extravagant audience and critical praise. It is revived with a new cast including French soprano Anne Sophie Duprels (Cio-Cio San, Madama Butterfly) in the devastating lead role of Salud.
A perfect, light-hearted companion to La vida breve, Gianni Schicchi is Puccini's only outright comedy, based on an episode in Dante's Inferno. Puccini's exquisite music delightfully illustrates the greed and absurdity driving the actions of a dying man's scheming relatives.