Sheffield group's unusual setting for opera - a city bookstore!

A Sheffield bookshop is the latest offbeat setting for a city opera company.

By Julia Armstrong
Monday, 12 August, 2019, 13:55
Rehearsals for Opera on Location's production of La Traviata

Waterstones in Orchard Square will host six performances of a fully-staged modern-day production of Verdi’s La Traviata by the city’s only professional opera company, Opera on Location.

Director Ashley Pearson said: “I’m so excited to tell this story in such an immediate way. We’re creating something where the characters really do live along side us and it’s thrilling to bring Verdi’s brilliant music crashing into the present.”

When budding novelist Alfredo meets his muse Violetta, a call girl working the launch party for his new book, their fate is written but will their love survive?

Producers Gareth Lloyd and Kathryn Gasic said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Waterstones Orchard Square and to have such a brilliant setting for this production. The themes of the opera could be easily found in any bestseller, so what better place to set it than a bookshop?

“Thanks to the unique layout of Waterstones, the opera has been tailored to make use of the shop floor and grand staircase in a way that truly makes this performance ‘on location’.

“The audience will feel more up close and personal with the action than ever before, which for such a captivating and beautiful opera, is exactly what our company is about.”

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The company has previously performed in the Winter Garden, Abbeydale Picture House and Kelham Island Museum as part of their motto to bring opera out of the theatre and into unusual places.

This year’s cast includes Chesterfield-born Rachel Abbott as leading lady Violetta, alongside Sheffield favourites Gareth Lloyd and Chloe Saywell. All are alumni of the Department of Music at The University of Sheffield.

La traviata will be performed at Waterstones, Orchard Square Shopping Centre, Sheffield on August 22 -24 and 27-29.

Ticketss: 0114 223 3777, www.sivtickets.com, or from the City Hall box office.

To find out more about Opera on Location, visit www.operaonlocation.co.uk