A PASSIONATE short story written by a hugely popular writer is being brought to the stage as an opera.
Letters Of A Love Betrayed certainly offers one of the most intriguing events at the Lawrence Batley Theatre this season.
This brand new opera will be staged at the theatre on Bonfire Night and there ought to be fireworks.
Certainly the elements are all there. Isabel Allende was born in Peru and her Latin American short stories and novels have a big following.
Jamaican-born composer Eleanor Alberga and librettist Donald Sturrock have taken one of her stories and transformed it into an intimate – and yet potentially powerful – chamber opera.
The date at the LBT is the only chance you will have to see it in Yorkshire.
The piece is presented by singers from Music Theatre Wales in a co-production with the Royal Opera House.
At its heart is a tenderly imagined tale of a young woman who follows her heart in an attempt to unravel the truth behind the brutal deception of her marriage.
Mary Plazas, one of the UK’s leading singing actresses, creates the role of the opera’s central character, Analía Torres, whose spirit, defiance and hunger for life promise a heroine of operatic proportions.
Analía Torres is a young woman whose solitary life is transformed by a series of love letters – letters that bewitch her with their beauty and unlock her vulnerable heart.
But her dreams of happiness are lost in a brutal, loveless marriage and Analía feels cheated by the letters that had so seduced her.
With her spirit almost broken, she’s given the chance to unravel the cruel deception that has been played upon her.
Isabel Allende’s story, which appears in her 1989 volume of short stories, The Stories of Eva Luna, is set against the scorched landscape of South America. This is composer Eleanor Alberga’s first opera and in it she has drawn inspiration from the vivid sounds and rhythms of her own Jamaican upbringing.
In Donald Sturrock, Eleanor found an ideal collaborator. He shares with her an understanding of the South American landscape, having grown up in Columbia.
The opera is scored for fourteen players, including the tiplé – the Columbian guitar.
Richard Edgar Wilson, Paul Keohone, Jonathan May, Christopher Steele and two 11-year-olds, Ewan Hughes and Joshua Jackson, complete the cast. The two youngsters play alternate performances.
Music Theatre Wales is the UK’s leading touring contemporary opera company.
Its aim is to perform ground-breaking and stimulating contemporary chamber opera – works that are commissioned from the very best composers and writers as well as acknowledged masterpieces of the recent past.
Letters Of A Love Betrayed is directed by Michael McCarthy, the company’s joint artistic director, designed by Colin Richmond with Holly McCarthy and with lighting by Ace McCarron.
The Music Theatre Wales Ensemble is conducted by Michael Rafferty, the company’s joint artistic director.
The opera will be sung in English. Beforehand there will be a chance for people to get more of an insight into the work as Michael McCarthy gives a pre-performance talk.
This is the company’s second visit to the Lawrence Batley Theatre this year, having performed For You in June.
Call 01484 430528 for tickets. The performance on November 5 begins at 7.30pm.