Opera-ballet in 1 Act - 60'
Libretto by Stephen Plaice
A Cultural Olympiad commission from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
devised by Gareth Malone
The theatre that preceded the Royal Opera House on the same site was burnt down about two hundred years ago. The rebuilding within a year was so costly that the prices were hiked up, in part also to pay the exorbitant fees of costly foreign opera performers. The people protested against this, and the increasingly exclusive repertoire of foreign operas, and disrupted performances, demanding things returned to the old ways.
Mr Kemble, actor-manager responded by calling in magistrates to read the Riot Act, a royal decree used to break up protests. This failed, so he enlisted boxers to frighten the crowds, but when this didn't work he was forced to compromise.
Hot House stages these events, combining them with a new opera-ballet 'Il vanto della ruffiana', set in Venice, that is continually interrupted.
Premiere: 22 July 2012, Royal Opera House, London WC2
Director: Thomas Guthrie
Conductor: Geoffrey Paterson
Designer: Rhys Jarman (sets) Lesley Ford (costumes)
Choreography: Sarah Dowling
Lighting: Lucy Carter
Gwyneth-Ann Jeffers, Heather Shipp, Andrew Rees, Richard Burkhard, Gareth Malone (singers)
Gary Avis, Sander Blommaert, Camille Bracher, Thomas Whitehead, Dixie Webb-Heller (dancers)
Royal Opera House Youth Opera Company, Dancers from the Royal Ballet
The Hallé Youth Orchestra, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
Madame Catalani/La Zaffetta - soprano
Henry Clifford/ Emilia- mezzo-soprano
Mr Kemble/Alfredo- tenor
The Chorus Master- tenor
Three Little Magistrates -singers
Daniel Mendoza- dancer
Fire Daemon- dancer
Venetian Gentleman- dancer
Chorus of Venetians, Rioters, Audience in the 19th century theatre
Corps de Ballet: Fire Daemons, Venetians, London Prizefighters
Orchestra: 3+23+2/4331/timp/3 perc/harp/piano/strings