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Donizetti’s operatic rarity Emilia di Liverpool will be staged by the European Opera Centre in the magnificently restored Concert Room of St. George’s Hall, Liverpool from 31 December 2007 to 5 January 2008.

This operatic rarity, rediscovered by Fritz Spiegl, was presented in 1957 for the 750th anniversary of Liverpool’s charter. (Joan Sutherland sang the title role for the subsequent BBC relay.) It will be performed in the round in a production directed by the young Spanish director Ignacio Garcia and will be conducted by Italian Giovanni Pacor, of Arena di Verona. The designer is Elisabetta Pian and the lighting designer is José Luis Canales. Talented young singers have been selected from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Italy, Romania and Spain with an orchestra of young musicians from Liverpool’s associate cities – Bremen, Gdansk and from Liverpool itself. The production will tour to Gdansk (19 and 20 January), to Bremen (24, 25 and 26 January) and to Naples later in the year.

Few UK cities can claim to be the setting for a work by a major operatic composer. Donizetti’s choice of Liverpool for his virtuosic bel canto work reflects his romantic imagination and stage directions refer to rustic scenery of deep forests, mountain glens and dizzy precipices. The city did, however, possess an exotic reputation and by the end of the nineteenth century, the influx of Italian craftsmen to Liverpool created a thriving Italian quarter which is now being rediscovered and acknowledged as part of the City’s cultural landscape.

For these performances, which open Liverpool’s year as European Capital of Culture, the European Opera Centre has commissioned a new edition of the opera from the French musicologist, Gilles Rico, who has worked from all the available manuscripts in Bergamo, Naples and Paris.

In addition to support from the European Union, the European Opera Centre gratefully acknowledges support from the Geoffrey C Hughes Charitable Trust for these performances.

Performances: Concert Room, St. George’s Hall,William Brown Street, Liverpool
31 December 7pm tickets: £55, £75 (with complimentary champagne)
1 January 3pm tickets: £8, £12
2,3,4,5 January 7pm tickets: £25, £35

Box Office: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic 0151 709 3789

4 December 2007


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