Big screen dates for opera favourites

Madame Butterfly.
Madame Butterfly.

THE Royal Opera House has announced that this year’s free BP Summer Big Screen performances are The Royal Opera’s Madam Butterfly and Cinderella will be screened in Derby.

These world-class productions of opera will be beamed live from Covent Garden to locations up and down the country as part of the highly anticipated programme.

Madam Butterfly will be screened on the giant screen in the Market Place on Monday, July 4, at 7.30pm and Cinderella will be on Wednesday, July 13, at 7.30pm.

The BP Summer Big Screen relays offer an exciting opportunity to enjoy the very best from the Royal Opera House. The screenings will include exclusive backstage footage, live audience interaction and the chance to win tickets to The Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker with a night for two at The May Fair Hotel, London.

New for 2011 will be the biggest ‘hum-along’ ever heard across the UK at the Madam Butterfly screening. The Royal Opera House will lead the BP Summer Big Screen audiences in the famous Humming Chorus to get everyone in the mood for the main feature. In the build up to Cinderella there will be a multimedia trail starting on Twitter, filled with puzzles and tasks for the public to complete in order to help get Cinderella to the ball. To be part of the fairytale follow @mynameiscinders.

Madam Butterfly will be presented by Deborah Bull, Creative Director of the Royal Opera House and BBC Presenter Zeb Soanes.

The story of a Japanese Geisha’s love for an American naval officer moved Puccini to compose music of rare and sensual beauty, but also of heartrending power as the tragedy unfolds to its devastating conclusion. The score will be conducted by Andris Nelsons, Patricia Racette appears as the Butterfly of the title, and James Valenti will make a dashing Pinkerton, whose toying with love is the catalyst for this classic tragic story.

Cinderella is also being presented by Deborah Bull.

This production is filled with wit and elegance to match Massenet’s delightfully tuneful score, featuring sets and costumes of fairytale charm. Musical highlights include the fairy godmother’s airy coloratura, the orchestral dances at the ball and rapturous duets between the Prince and Cinderella. This charming opera will be conducted by French music specialist Bertrand de Billy. Joyce DiDonato takes the title role, with Alice Coote as her Prince Charming. The fairy godmother will be played by Eglise Gutiérrez.

Tony Hall, Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House, said: “These screenings are a wonderful opportunity for people to get outdoors and experience world-class performances in the open air – and it’s all for free. Even if you’ve never watched an opera or ballet before, why not invite family and friends along and give it a chance – you could even bring a picnic!”