Pia de' Tolomei

Gaetano Donizetti - Spring 2016

Ghino has fallen in love with Pia, wife of his brother Nello. When she refuses his love, as revenge Ghino informs Nello that he has discovered a secret message proving that Pia has an adulterous relation.

Conductor 
John Andrews
Director 
James Conway
Designer 
Loren Elstein
Lighting Designer 
Guy Hoare

A superb evening of opera.

★★★★★ Bachtrack

An exciting production of this taut bel canto drama.

★★★★ Guardian

Donizetti’s rarely performed Pia de’ Tolomei is drawn from an episode in Dante’s Divine Comedy in which a noblewoman is locked in a tower in the Maremma by her jealous husband, whose heart has been poisoned by a friend and kinsman – whose advances the innocent wife had rejected.

The characters are drawn with extraordinary intensity, and the two men in particular are reminiscent of Iago and Othello. This production, performed by an exceptional cast, should be a very special event.

New production, sung in Italian with English surtitles
Running time: 2 hours 17 minutes (incl. interval)

Discover more

• Conductor’s notes: Pia Unpacked

Music playlist

Showing At

  1. Hackney Empire
    10th Mar 2016 - 7:30 pm
  2. Snape Maltings Concert Hall
    7th Apr 2016 - 7:30 pm
  3. Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
    12th Apr 2016 - 7:30 pm
  4. Buxton Opera House
    24th Apr 2016 - 3:00 pm
  5. Cambridge Arts Theatre
    26th Apr 2016 - 7:30 pm
  6. Exeter Northcott Theatre
    24th May 2016 - 7:30 pm
  7. York Theatre Royal
    3rd Jun 2016 - 7:30 pm
  1. Hackney Empire — 10th Mar 2016 - 7:30 pm

    291 Mare Street, Hackney, E8 1EJ

  2. Snape Maltings Concert Hall — 7th Apr 2016 - 7:30 pm

    Aldeburgh Music, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape, Suffolk, IP17 1SP

  3. Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham — 12th Apr 2016 - 7:30 pm

    Regent Street, Cheltenham, GL50 1HQ

  4. Buxton Opera House — 24th Apr 2016 - 3:00 pm

    Water Street, SK17 6XN

  5. Cambridge Arts Theatre — 26th Apr 2016 - 7:30 pm

    6 St Edward's Passage, Cambridge, CB2 3PJ

  6. Exeter Northcott Theatre — 24th May 2016 - 7:30 pm

    Exeter Northcott, Stocker Road, Exeter, EX4 4QB

  7. York Theatre Royal — 3rd Jun 2016 - 7:30 pm

    YO1 7HD

John Andrews

John Andrews

Conductor

With a special affinity for Italian bel canto and English baroque, John Andrews has conducted over 50 operas with companies including Garsington Opera, Opera Holland Park, London Handel Festival and Volkstheater Rostock. An exponent of neglected English music, he has appeared regularly at the English Music Festival. Recordings include: Arne’s The Judgement of Paris, The Light of the World and Incidental Music to Macbeth; Sullivan’s The Tempest; Gilbert and Cellier’s The Mountebanks for Dutton Vocalion with the BBC Concert Orchestra; Sherwood’s Double Concerto; Cowen’s 5th Symphony for EM Records. For ETO he has conducted Rossini’s ‘Fireworks’, Tolomeo, Don Giovanni, Anna Bolena, Elizabeth I (Elisabetta) and Pia de’ Tolomei.

James Conway

James Conway

Director

As General Director of ETO for 17 years and ETO’s Artistic Director since April 2019, James Conway has directed productions of operas by Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, Donizetti, Janácek, Puccini, Debussy, Ullmann, Britten and Tippett, as well as a world premiere by Alexander Goehr. Before coming to ETO he was General Director of Opera Theatre Company in Dublin; his productions for that company travelled to New York (Brooklyn Academy of Music), and to festivals in Melbourne, London, Buxton, Paris, Dusseldorf, Prague, Brno, Lisbon and Porto. Notable among his freelance directing is the long-running production of The Cunning Little Vixen at the Janácek Theatre, Brno.

Loren Elstein

Loren Elstein

Designer

Guy Hoare

Guy Hoare

Lighting Designer

Opera includes: The Lighthouse; Albert Herring; Gianni Schicchi; Il Tabarro; Promised End; Katya Kabanova; Don Giovanni; Eugene Onegin (ETO); Jakob Lenz (ENO); American Lulu; The Firework-Maker’s Daughter (The Opera Group).

Theatre includes: Strange Interlude (National); Roots; Serenading Louie; Be Near Me (Donmar); A Doll’s House (Young Vic); NSFW; In Basildon (Royal Court); A Delicate Balance; Waste (Almeida); Peter Pan (NTS); The Little Mermaid, Faith Healer (BOV); Rutherford & Son; Othello (Northern Broadsides).

Dance includes: The Metamorphosis (Royal Ballet); The Land of Yes, The Land of No (Sydney Dance Company); Frontline (Aterbaletto); Dream (NDCWales); Pavlova’s Dogs (Scottish Dance Theatre); Dracula (Mark Bruce Company); Mischief (Theatre Rites).

Cast

Elena Xanthoudakis

Elena Xanthoudakis

Pia

Luciano Botelho

Luciano Botelho

Ghino

Born in Brazil, he studied at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Welsh International Academy of Voice. He was finalist in both the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and the Francisco Viñas Competitions, leading to appearances with international companies such as ROH Covent Garden, Grand Théâtre de Genève, Oper Frankfurt, Malmö Opera, Scottish Opera and Hamburgische Staatsoper. His roles include Comte Ory, Orfeo, Edgardo Lucia, Tamino Zauberflöte, Elvino Sonnambula, Ferrando Così Fan Tutte, Don Ottavio Don Giovanni, Tonio La Fille du Régiment, Percy Anna Bolena and Ernesto Don Pasquale. Recently for ETO he appeared as Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi.

Grant Doyle

Grant Doyle

Nello

Born in Australia, he studied in Adelaide and the RCM. A former Royal Opera Young Artist, his roles there have included Čekunov House of the Dead, Ping Turandot, Le Dancaïre Carmen, Billy Anna Nicole, Schaunard and Harlequin Ariadne auf Naxos. Other appearances include Prince Yeletsky (Opera Holland Park), Forester Cunning Little Vixen, Don Giovanni (Garsington), Robin Oakapple Ruddigore (Opera North), Abraham Clemency (Scottish Opera), Sir Thomas in Dove’s Mansfield Park (Grange Festival), Oreste (Sydney), Zurga Les pêcheurs de perles (Opera Queensland), Starbuck in Jake Heggie’s Moby-Dick (Adelaide), Ned Keene Peter Grimes (Gran Canaria), Mike in Adams’s I Was Looking at the Ceiling (Rome) and Demetrius (Madrid, Berlin). ETO roles include Figaro (Barber of Seville), Paolo (Simon Boccanegra), Hector (King Priam), Emireno (Ottone), Eduardo (L’assedio di Calais), Marcello (La boheme), Oreste (Iphigénie en Tauride), Nello (Pia de’ Tolomei), Teucer (Dardanus) and Tiridate (Radamisto).

Catherine Carby

Catherine Carby

Rodrigo

In her native Australia, Catherine Carby has performed with the major opera companies and her wider engagements have included performances with Buxton Festival Opera, Chelsea Opera Group, ENO, Longborough Festival Opera and Scottish Opera, as well as at the Teatro Sao Carlos, Lisbon, and with orchestras including the CBSO, the OAE, the RPO and the Ulster Orchestra. Current highlights include include Penelope Il ritorno d’Ulisse for Pinchgut Opera, Annina La traviata and Siegrune Die Walküre for the Royal Opera, London, Girls’ Night Out (A Celebration of the Music of Richard Strauss) for the State Opera of South Australia and Katharina Schratt Mayerling for the Royal Ballet, London.

For ETO: Diana La Calisto, Aurelio L’Assiedo di Calais, Rodrigo Pia de’Tolomei, Cornelia Giulio Cesare, Iphigénie Iphigénie en Tauride and Rossini Fireworks!

John-Colyn Gyeantey

John-Colyn Gyeantey

Ubaldo

John-Colyn Gyeantey studied at the RCM, NOS and Accademia Rossiniana, Pesaro. Rossini roles include Ramiro La Cenerentola (Oper Schloss Hallwyl, Glyndebourne on Tour); Comte Ory Le comte Ory, Almaviva Il barbiere di Siviglia (WNO, Diva Opera and Festival Musique Cordiale); Zefirino Il viaggio a Reims (Rossini Opera Festival, Pesaro); Gernando/Ubaldo Armida. He has sung Nemorino L’elisir d’amore (Anghiari Festival); Pylade Iphigénie en Tauride, Ubaldo/Ghino Pia de’ Tolomei, Arnalta and Egeus Jason by Cavalli all for ETO; and Luke in Tippett’s The Ice Break (Birmingham Opera). Other roles include Romeo (Riverside Opera); Don Ottavio (Mid-Wales Opera); Camille de Rosillon (Scottish Opera); Tamino (Iford Arts).

Simon Gfeller

Simon Gfeller

Ubaldo

Swiss-Canadian tenor Simon Gfeller studied with Gail Desmarais in Montréal, with Adrian Thompson at the GSMD and attended the Franz-Schubert Institut (Vienna).

Recent engagements include Pete Peterson Paul Bunyan, 2nd Priest (and cover Tamino) Die Zauberflöte for ETO and Die Schumann Sonate in Zurich and Luzern
. He also sang the title role of Glück’s Antigon_o with Ensemble Serse and 6th Servant in Strauss’ _Capriccio for ROH, Covent Garden.

Other operatic credits include St-Brioche The Merry Widow, Billy Mahagonny-_Songspiel_, Ringmaster The Bartered Bride, 4 servants Les Contes d’Hoffmann, Pastore Orfeo, Armed Man Die Zauberflöte, Alfred Die Fledermaus, El Remendado Carmen, for companies such as London Phlharmonic Orchestra, Opéra de Montréal, Ryedale Festival, Opera Project and British Youth Opera.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

Lamberto

Mr Craig Smith will sing the role of Scarpia on 4 & 9 March (London), 18 March (Poole), 21 March (Sheffield), 25 March (Bromley), 1 April (Snape), 8 April (York), 11 April (Wolverhampton), 13 April (Leicester), 19 & 22 April (Cheltenham), 28 & 29 April (Cambridge), 2 May (Guildford), 5 May (Buxton), 9 May (Coventry), 13 May (Canterbury), 18 May (Perth), 26 & 27 May (Exeter), 1 & 2 June (Norwich). 5 June (Stoke), 7 June (Ulverston) and 10 June (Blackpool).

Born Bolton
Training Manchester University, RNCM
Awards Ricordi Prize for Opera
Opera Ford Falstaff (ETO), Michele/Tonio Tabarro/Pagliacci (ON), Nabucco (ENO & Bucharest), Rigoletto (Tokyo), Les Dialogues des Carmelites (Theater an der Wien & Covent Garden), Germont La Traviata (ENO & St. Margarethen Festival)
Concert Handel Messiah (Liverpool Philharmonic), Cilea Adriana Lecouvreur (Queen Elizabeth Hall), Tchaikovsky Maid of Orleans (BBC Philharmonic)
Recordings Martin In Terra Pax (Swiss Radio), Les Dialogues des Carmelites (Oehms Classics)

Piotr Lempa

Piotr Lempa

Piero

Piotr Lempa is a native of Poland and graduate of RAM, Cardiff International Academy of Voice and the Vocal and Acting Faculty at the Music Academy in Gdansk, Poland. He made his opera debut singing Oroveso Norma for ETO. He has since appeared in productions of La bohème, Die Zauberflöte, Ariadne auf Naxos, Kátya Kabanová, Halka, Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, Le nozze di Figaro, Bastien und Bastienne, and Salome, in Wales, England, Germany and Poland. Future plans include Sarastro (Die Zauberflöte), Patroclus (King Priam) and Publius (La Clemenza di Tito). www.piotrlempa.com

Susanna Fairbairn

Susanna Fairbairn

Bice

A ferociously dramatic, exquisitely beautiful work, and a superb evening of opera. […] This opera is dramatically compelling, historically fascinating and profoundly moving, and above all, worth seeing for its astonishing central performances.

★★★★★ Bachtrack

An exciting production of this taut bel cant drama… It is in its four central performances that ETO’s touring production scores most highly. Elena Xanthoudakis takes on a sequence of substantial vocal challenges in the title role, in a performance that is invariably bold and accomplished. Luciano Botelho’s soft-grained tenor helps him create a credibly three-dimensional portrait of the conflicted Ghino. Grant Doyle’s furious Nello and Catherine Carby’s proudly lyrical Rodrigo are big assets, too.

★★★★ Guardian

Showing At

  1. Hackney Empire
    10th Mar 2016 - 7:30 pm
  2. Snape Maltings Concert Hall
    7th Apr 2016 - 7:30 pm
  3. Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
    12th Apr 2016 - 7:30 pm
  4. Buxton Opera House
    24th Apr 2016 - 3:00 pm
  5. Cambridge Arts Theatre
    26th Apr 2016 - 7:30 pm
  6. Exeter Northcott Theatre
    24th May 2016 - 7:30 pm
  7. York Theatre Royal
    3rd Jun 2016 - 7:30 pm

Your Comments

  1. Pia de Tolomei at York...wonderful in every way and oh! So heart-breaking! There were tears at the end. Big thanks to everyone for a memorable evening - made the journey from Ireland more than worthwhile!

    Said Annie Stanyon Ley at 09:40am on 4th Jun 2016

  2. please revive this wonderful opera Pia de Tolomei
    jch

    Said John Harris at 21:14pm on 29th Mar 2019

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