Zoe Dunne, from the Shelley Theatre in Bournemouth, talks about the pleasures of seeing live opera. Following the great success of Rogue Opera’s debut appearance in Bournemouth in 2019 (with its production of Carmen), Zoe has invited the company for a return season, showcasing its new production of Don Giovanni.

Posted on 21 January 2020 on The Official Shelley Theatre Facebook page

One of my most memorable live performances was seeing my very first opera (it was Mozart’s, Marriage of Figaro). I was very fortunate and was taken by my Aunt and Uncle. I remember sitting in the auditorium just before the show, unsure if I was going to understand and enjoy the performance. I had been told that it was in a foreign language and there were surtitles. I wasn’t convinced I was going to be able to keep up with the surtitles and watch the show and appreciate the staging.

The show started, the first notes were sung and WOW! The voices, the costumes, the set! It was so powerful. I was entranced in what happening before me! I could keep up the surtitles and they were funny which was something that I was surprised with, the performance was enthralling. When the interval came, I was disappointed! I didn’t want it to stop! Since then I have loved watching Opera!

Opera isn’t reserved for the elite or have a highbrow air about it. I honestly believe that opera is for everyone. You feel it in your chest when the first few notes are sung! It is hard to convince people to come when they haven’t experienced it before and where they think that it might not be for them. I do get it.

– It can be inaccessible due to the cost.
– Operas are for the most part in a foreign language
– Its long!
– Classic FM is a radio station you’ll never likely to listen to

I promise you; it is not always like that.

We are showing a modern adaptation of Mozart’s Don Giovanni this weekend (Friday 24th and Saturday 25th) live on the Shelley Theatre stage performed by opera company, Rogue Opera. They are such a talented team of operatic singers who perform around the world and we have them a lot closer to home. (They performed here in 2019). Don Giovanni mixes comedy, tragedy and drama with the supernatural.

So, what about you? All you have to do is take in Don Giovanni and just listen to the sheer power of the human voice. It’s going to draw you in, pin you to your chair and reach out to your heart and soul. I promise you.

Zoe Dunne

Audience comments on the 2019 production of Carmen

“I saw my first opera at the Shelley, loved it ever since.

 I saw my first ever opera at the Shelley Theatre last year which was Rogue Opera’s version of Carmen. They made it accessible, enjoyable and definitely inspired me to see another one. So I would highly recommend this to anyone who is thinking ‘Is opera for me?’ Give it a try.

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