The Wellesley Cinema’s programme of ‘Live’ events through July offers audiences some of the best opera and theatre productions in the UK and Europe – right on their doorstep.
The month’s programme opens with English National Opera’s sensational production of Bizet’s dramatic opera ‘Carmen’, screened live on Wednesday 1 July at 7.30. A passionate tale of lust, seduction and betrayal set during the dying days of Franco’s Spain, Calixto Bieito’s production has already thrilled audiences around Europe. Mezzo-soprano Justina Gringyte leads the cast, alongside the internationally acclaimed tenor Eric Cutler as José, Eleanor Dennis as Micaëla and Leigh Melrose as toreador Escamillo. Sir Richard Armstrong returns to the Coliseum to conduct this production, described as ‘stunning’ by critics.
Rossini’s opera ‘William Tell’ will be screened on Sunday 5 July at 2.45. This new Royal Opera House production – due to open on 29th June – is directed by Damiano Michieletto making his ROH debut, with Gerald Finley in the title roll.
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy has written a new adaptation of the 15th century morality play ‘Everyman’ which comes to the Wellesley from the National Theatre on Thursday 16 July at 7pm. This production stars Chiwetel Ejiofor as Everyman – successful, popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to recruit a friend, anyone, to speak for him before God’s judgement. One of the great primal, spiritual myths, ‘Everyman’ asks whether it is only in death that we can understand our lives. Rufus Norris’s production is described as ‘audacious’, opening with Chiwetel Ejiofor descending on a wire from the Olivier’s lofty ceiling. More stunning spectacle follows.
On Saturday 18th July at 7pm Andre Rieu will star in a Maastricht concert from his home town. He will be accompanied by the famous Johann Strauss Orchestra. The concert is billed as “the biggest and most spectacular concert ever screened in cinemas.”
‘The Merchant of Venice’ from The Royal Shakespeare Theatre is transmitted live on Wednesday 22 July at 7pm. Shakespeare’s tragedy is set in Venice, the centre of world trade with its ships travelling the globe. Business and profit are at the heart of all transactions and when gold is exchanged, all is well but when a contract is broken between a Christian and a Jew, underlying religious and racial tensions are exposed. Wronged as a father and despised as an outsider, Shylock looks to exact the ultimate price for a deal sealed in blood. Polly Findlay directs Shakespeare’s uncompromising tragedy which stars Palestinian actor Makram Khoury as Shylock. Makram is based in Israel and has been a renowned actor there for 50 years. He is the first Arab to win the Israel Prize, the state’s highest civil honour.