Dorset Opera Festival stages rarely performed Massenet jewel, Le Roi de Lahore

Dorset Opera Festival is presenting Massenet’s Le Roi de Lahore which the company says has not been staged in the UK since 1879.

Dorset Opera Festival Artist Director Roderick Kennedy said, “I am incredibly proud to be bringing this rare and captivating opera Le Roi de Lahore to Dorset and to the UK. Reviving a hidden gem that hasn’t graced our shores for over a century is a true privilege. The enchanting storyline, the glorious melodies, and the visual splendour of this production will transport audiences to a world of enchantment and leave an indelible mark on the opera landscape. It’s a momentous occasion for us, and we are thrilled to share this extraordinary masterpiece with opera enthusiasts and introduce it to a whole new generation of music lovers. Prepare to be captivated, as we embark on this remarkable journey together.”

Le roi de Lahore

Le Roi de Lahore takes its inspiration from Indian mythology and tells the tale of love, loyalty, and sacrifice. Set in the ancient city of Lahore, the opera revolves around a forbidden romance between the noble warrior, Alim, and the beautiful priestess, Sita. As Alim prepares for battle against invaders, their secret love blossoms. The opera’s narrative unfolds with a series of dramatic events, tests of loyalty, and ultimate sacrifice, culminating in a breathtaking finale that the company says will leave audiences in awe.

Roderick Kennedy has carefully curated a cast of singers from various corners of the globe. Director Ella Marchment is infusing the production with her own exciting vision. The chorus will be comprised of the talented students from the festival’s opera summer school. This opportunity not only allows these budding performers to showcase their skills on a professional stage but also adds an extra layer of freshness and enthusiasm to the production, under the guidance of experienced vocal coach, Stephen Harris (ENO, WNO, Opera North, LSO, Nationale Reisopera).

Roderick Kennedy

The Dorset Opera Festival 2023 runs from 25th-29th July with new productions of
Jules Massenet’s Le Roi de Lahore
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro
Both operas will be sung in their original language – Figaro in Italian, Lahore in French – both with English surtitles.

Performance diary
Tue 25th 7pm Figaro
Wed 26th 7pm Lahore
Thurs 27th 2pm matinée Figaro
Thurs 27th 7pm Lahore
Fri 28th 7pm Figaro
Sat 29th 2pm matinée Lahore
Sat 29th 7pm Figaro

Venue: Dorset Opera Festival takes place Bryanston near Blandford Forum. Performances are in the Coade Hall theatre, with formal dining in Bryanston House and picnics on the surrounding lawns.

Main image: Ella Marchment

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