Sheffield opera company put audience at heart of action

Chloe Saywell (Larina) separating  Gareth Lloyd (Lensky) and Aidan Edwards (Eugene Onegin), who are arguing at her party in the opera Eugene Onegin
Chloe Saywell (Larina) separating Gareth Lloyd (Lensky) and Aidan Edwards (Eugene Onegin), who are arguing at her party in the opera Eugene Onegin
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An ambitious Sheffield opera company are taking over the City Hall in their latest show, which puts the audience right at the heart of the action.

Opera on Location are presenting Tchaikovsky’s operatic masterpiece Eugene Onegin this week.

The epic drama follows Eugene, who moves to the country and befriends Lensky, a poet. He becomes the subject of the young socialite Tatyana’s infatuation.

He rejects her and flirts with her sister Olga, who is Lensky’s fiancée, with disastrous consequences.

Soprano Chloe Saywell, who lives in Broomhill, plays the girls’ mother, Larina.

She said: “Obviously it’s a magnificent space, it’s enormous. Lots of scenes are set in a ballroom and in that sense it’s perfect.

“There’s lots of dancing. I’m not a dancer myself, so it’s something I’ve had to get to grips with. We had a dance teacher on standby to help.”

Chloe said: “It’s very much immersing the audience in what’s going on. They are all guests at the ball and the seating is going to be cabaret style so it’ll be very much like they’re in on the action.

“The performance base is in the middle and around the outside of the audience.”

Opera on Location was set up by ex-University of Sheffield music students to present opera in a new way. Other shows have been at the Winter Garden and Graves Gallery.

The show runs until Saturday. Box office: 0114 2789789 or www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk