The Wellesley Cinema’s acclaimed season of events screened live from leading venues around the world continues this month with 3 productions – the Royal Ballet’s production of ‘Manon’, the Bolshoi’s ‘Legends of Love’ and ‘I Due Foscari’ from The Royal Opera House.
‘Manon’ will be screened live on Thursday 16 October at 7.15. The “sex and death blockbuster” staring Marianela Nunez in the title role is based on an 18th century novel by Abbe Prevost. It tells the tragic story of a young, convent-educated innocent whose life is gradually destroyed by her taste for luxury. Rejecting the love of the impoverished Des Grieux, she allows herself to become an object of erotic desire, pimped by her mercenary brother, Lescaut. Degradation and death follow.
Originally choreographed by Kenneth MacMillan 40 years ago, the ballet is regarded as a modern masterpiece. This revival has been acclaimed by critics as “brilliantly rich”, “a towering piece of work, infernally sexy, desperately moving and blessed with a Jules Massenet score.”
The Bolshoi’s ‘Legends of Love’ comes to the Wellesley on Sunday 26th October at 3pm. The narrative, based on an Oriental fable, takes place in the Middle East. Queen Mekhmene Banu’s sister, Princess Shireen, is dying. A stranger arrives at the palace and tells the Queen that her sister will be saved if she sacrifices her own beauty. Shireen recovers but falls in love with the now disfigured Queen’s lover, the painter Ferkhad.
‘Legends of Love’ has been referred to as “a stunning ballet” and is making a return to the Bolshoi’s repertoire after a 10 year absence.
Verdi’s opera, ‘I Due Foscari’, has the inimitable Placido Domingo in the lead role. Based on a play by Byron it tells the story of a father torn between love for his family and his duty. Francesco Foscari, the Doge of Venice, is morally and legally unable to intercede in the trial of his son, Jacopo, who is accused of murder. Despite pleas from Jacopo’s wife, Lucrezia, and his love for his son, Foscari cannot prevent Jacopo’s conviction by the corrupt Council of Ten and his banishment from Venice. Jacopo’s enemy, Loredano, then uses his power as Councillor to have Foscari replaced as Doge. Foscari learns of his son’s innocence and death as he is giving up the trappings of office. Grief-stricken, he dies.
The opera will be transmitted live on Monday 27th October at 7.15pm.
More live performances of drama, opera and ballet are scheduled for November and December. Details of shows and booking can be found on www.wellesleycinema.co.uk.