Three LIVE events at The Wellesley Cinema between now and the end of the month provide local audiences with delightful entertainment in the lead-up to Christmas.
Offenbach’s fantasy, Les Contes d’Hoffman (The Tales of Hoffman) which is screened LIVE at the Wellesley on Tuesday 15 November at 7.15pm, is based on the three fantastical tales derived from his own life by ETA Hoffmann, the Prussian-born author of The Nutcracker. The action moves from a tavern, to an inventor’s showroom, to a Venetian canal-side brothel and then to a dying woman’s boudoir before returning to the tavern.
The Royal Opera’s highly praised production is the final revival of the ‘insanely sumptuous, near-definitive’ 1980‘s production by renowned film-director John Schlesinger.
André Rieu fans will relish a screening of his Home for Christmas Concert on Sunday 19 November at 5.00pm from his home town of Maastricht. After spectacular demand last year, the concert is being screened once more – with the addition of a tour of his castle.
In his introduction Rieu says: “I would never be away from my family around Christmas – especially now since I can enjoy the glowing faces of my grandchildren and their excitement when they see the Christmas tree and the gifts waiting underneath.”
He adds: “I am looking forward to giving cinema audiences a personal tour of my castle and showing where we filmed each of the Home for Christmas concert sequences, as well as answering many questions in a live Q&A.”
The concert promises to be packed with favourites including Hallelujah, Jingle Bells and White Christmas performed by André, his Johann Strauss Orchestra, sopranos, tenors and special guests.
The Australian Ballet’s production of Cinderella set to Prokofiev’s score attracted rave notices following the company’s UK tour earlier this year. It is transmitted to The Wellesley on Wednesday 23 November at 7pm.
Prokofiev composed his ballet early in the second world war and the score expresses both grief and grotesque scrabbling as well as fantasy. Russian director Alexei Ratmansky is said to ‘honor both fear and fun in his production. Cinderella and her stepfamily are holed up in a dilapidated theatre, her father makes a brief shamefaced appearance in search of vodka and Ratmansky casts women as the stepsisters and includes their alarming, short-fuse mother.
Visually, the design refers to surrealist icons – Schiaparelli’s shoe hat, Dalí and Man Ray. ‘The fairy godmother is a practical Nanny McPhee figure in a tall bowler hat, and rather than summoning fairies to transform Cinderella, she commands a distracting squadron of planets. In a plum-marbled palace, the snooty court ladies wear chic tuxedos in chocolate and pistachio tones for their cool, slouchy moves. Cinders, however, goes to the ball in a luscious New Look frock, gleaming in gilt and pearl.’ Ratmansky’s Cinderella is a resilient heroine who actually makes her Prince nicer after he arrives dazzling in a white silk suit, spins the ladies and shoves them away. He must wander the world and resist tempters in alluring frocks until he’s ready to appreciate the real Cinderella.
Royal Opera: Les Contes D”Hoffman, Tuesday 15 November at 7.15pm
Andre Rieu: Christmas with Andre Rieu. Sunday 19 November at 5.00pm
Australian Ballet: Cinderella, 23 November at 7.00pm
Tickets and further information on www.wellesleycinema.co.uk