New Sussex Opera on the road with Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène

La Belle Helene - Hannah Pedley as Helen
La Belle Helene - Hannah Pedley as Helen

Lewes, Eastbourne, East Grinstead and Hove are the venues as New Sussex Opera take to the road on a tour which concludes with a final performance in London on December 5.

The show will be Offenbach’s La Belle Hélène, as spokesman Tim Locke explains.

“New Sussex Opera stages one of the most sparkling operettas by Offenbach the French master of comic opera. This year marks the bicentenary of the composer’s birth.”

Tim is promises French fizz and foolery set to deliciously immortal music as a talented cast bring this hilarious farce to life.

“Musically it has a lot in common with Gilbert and Sullivan and also parodies Italian opera composers like Verdi and Donizetti.

“Written in 1864 by the composer of the famous can-can, it’s a zany, crazy farce set in ancient Greece but with everything turned upside down.

“For the first time ever, New Sussex Opera are collaborating with another company, Opera della Luna, a professional outfit renowned for their brilliant designs and productions. So we’re using their production team, and we have a stellar cast of professional principals.

“There’ll be plenty of surprises in Jeff Clarke’s version of the story of the lovely Helen of Troy. Stuffy it isn’t. Fully staged and sung in English in a new translation.

The conductor is Toby Purser, director Jeff Clarke, designer Gabriella Csanyi-Wills. Cast includes Hannah Pedley, Anthony Flaum (Paris), Paul Featherstone (Menelaus), Catherine Backhouse (Orestes), Jennifer Clark (Bacchis).

Online booking is at www.newsussexopera.org/booking-details.

Performances are:

Lewes Town Hall, Wednesday November 13, 7pm. Tickets: Raked seating £34, Stalls £31, £28 (students and children 50 per cent reduction). www.ticketsource.co.uk/nso or 0333 666 3366.

Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, Sunday, November 17, 4 pm. Tickets £36, £31, £24 (students and children 50 per cent reduction). www.eastbournetheatres.co.uk or 01323 412000.

Chequer Mead, East Grinstead, Thursday November 28, 7pm. Tickets £31 including booking fee (students and children £21). www.chequermead.org.uk or 01342 302000.

The Old Market, Upper Market Street, Hove, Sunday, December 1, 4pm. Tickets £35, £28 (students and children 50 per cent reduction). www.theoldmarket.com or 01273 201801.

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