Updated 26 February 2018: Preparations are well underway for the UK premiere of a double bill of two new one-act operas showcasing women in lead roles, Ruth and The Dark Lady of the Sonnets. Sneak a peek into the rehearsal room with Pegasus Opera Company, new artistic director Alison Buchanan and American composer Philip Hagemann ahead of this week’s run, for four performances only, at the Actors Church (St Paul’s) in Covent Garden. And then get booking!
The double bill’s first opera, Ruth, is based on the biblical story, one of only two books in the Bible named after a woman. This adaptation is a tale of acceptance, sacrifice and loyalty with Ruth, a Moabite marrying the Israeli, Boaz. It’s performed by soprano, and Pegasus’ new artistic director, Alison Buchanan, with Byron Jackson as Boaz and Kamilla Dunstan as Naomi.
The second opera, The Dark Lady of the Sonnets, is based on the 1910 short comedy by George Bernard Shaw which reimagines the first meeting between William Shakespeare and Queen Elizabeth. Shakespeare is in a secret relationship with a lady of the royal court, but he’s enamoured with the Queen. As the Bard juggles both women’s tempers and desires, he finds himself inspired to write new material. Sarah Champion plays Queen Elizabeth, with Annabelle Williams as The Dark Lady and Oliver Brignal as William Shakespeare.
Philip Hagemann is only the second composer to transform a Shaw play into an opera. Both operas are directed by Eduardo Barreto, marking his operatic debut.
Ruth and The Dark Lady of the Sonnets run for four performances only at The Actors Church Covent Garden, Bedford Street, London WC2E 9ED. Performances are Wednesday 28 February, Thursday 1 March and Friday 2 March 2018 at 7.30pm and Sunday 4 March 2018 at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced £15-£35. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!
Photographer Sharron Wallace had a photoshoot with Pegasus’ new artistic director Alison Buchanan as she prepares for the title role in Ruth. Fulfilling the dying wish of founder Lloyd Newton, who founded Pegasus in 1992, Alison took over running the company in January 2017 after Newton passed away.
Here’s a video of the photoshoot – and a sample of Alison’s renowned soprano in full throttle.
— Pegasus Opera (@PegasusOpera) February 25, 2018
From the rehearsal room to the sitzprobe at the Actors’ Church.