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RNCM Opera Double Bill: Ariadne + The Medium

Ariadne auf Naxos (Prologue) by Richard Strauss and The Medium by Gian Carlo Menotti

Wednesday 15 December 2021, 7.30pm

RNCM Theatre

Opera Double Bill

After two years in the dark, the lights on the RNCM Opera stage have been switched back on.  To mark the occasion, we are performing two fully staged operas in an exciting double bill programme.

Students from across the College are joined by one of the UK’s most experienced and versatile conductors, Peter Robinson, and British Youth Opera’s Director of Training and Programmes, Stuart Barker. Together they are bringing to life two of opera’s most intriguing and innovative works.

Set backstage in a theatre, the Prologue from Richard Strauss’s Ariadne auf Naxos unveils the struggle between two theatrical groups who, due to time constraints, have been ordered to perform their different shows simultaneously.  It is comedy versus tragedy against Strauss’s ingenious musical backdrop of opera buffa and opera seria resulting in flirtatious encounters, hot-headed arguments, and general chaos from all involved.

Written in 1946, the rarely performed American opera, Menotti’s The Medium, tells the story of a fraudulent psychic who finds herself embroiled in the spiritual world when, during one of her fake seances, encounters a genuine ghostly presence.  Her inability to understand or explain this unnerving situation drives her to madness and, eventually, murder.  This chamber opera is full of vocal lyricism and rich orchestral harmonies which underpins this unusual operatic melodrama.

It is a double bill like no other and we are thrilled to raise the curtain once again and welcome back audiences to the RNCM Opera.

Running time – 2 hours 10 mins (including 30 minute interval)

Both operas will have English surtitles.


Peter Robinson Conductor
Stuart Barker Director
Raphae Memon Set Designer
Elaine Needham Costume Designer
Paul Botham Lighting Designer

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Wednesday 15 December 2021, 7.30pm - Tickets £20