Opera masterpiece is a highlight of festival


Power, obsession , love and death – all in a day’s work for an opera group.

Heritage Opera is performing Puccini’s masterpiece Tosca as part of the Northumberland Music Festival.

Set in Rome in 1800, it tells how war and political espionage destroy the charmed lives of opera diva Floria Tosca and her lover Mario Cavaradossi.

Sung in English and accompanied by piano, Tosca is being performed on Sunday, November 16, at Doxford Hall Hotel, preceded by a reception and gourmet dinner.

Festival organiser Jeremy Peaker said: “Tosca has always been a popular opera, and this performance will be no different.

“As it will be sung in English, the audience will be able to enjoy the melodies and the words in equal amounts.”

Rossini’s comic masterpiece, The Barber of Seville, a wacky comedy of love, kidnapping and disguise is the other full-length opera being performed at the fourth annual festival.

Other highlights include a Gilbert and Sullivan concert. A Grand Operatic Tour of Italy and the return of the Northumbrian Ranters with their blend of dances and traditional tunes.

Orchestral music makes its debut in the form of the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra.

Also debuting will be the Three English Tenors, who will perform some of the best tenor arias from opera, operetta and musicals.

Recognising the musical talents and ambitions of North Easterners is also a key feature this year, with a new vocal and instrumental competition, the Northumberland Music Festival Awards, and a workshop/masterclass session given by bass Graeme Danby.

The festival runs over three weekends from Friday, November 14, to Sunday, November 30, at Doxford, Guyzance and Eshott halls.

A proportion of all ticket sales will be donated to HospiceCare North Northumberland and St Oswald’s Hospice, Newcastle.

For details, visit www.nmfestival.co.uk or call the festival office on 01668 283100.