English Touring Opera returns to Cambridge Arts Theatre with two captivating operas about love and loss– each brimming with comedic finesse and gripping tragedy: Manon Lescaut and The Rake’s Progress.

Jude Christian, fresh from a critically acclaimed Titus Andronicus at London’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, brings incisive direction and a sharp, poetic translation to her radical new production of Manon Lescaut, while English Touring Opera’s Music Director Gerry Cornelius conducts. 

The Rake’s Progress  is helmed by Polly Graham, Artistic Director of Longborough Festival Opera, and the up and coming conductor and composer Jack Sheen

Manon Lescaut is a devastating depiction of a woman wrestling with her desire for love on her own terms, and the rigid double standards imposed on her by society. The opera was a breakthrough hit for its composer, Giacomo Puccini, packed with memorable music and heartbreaking drama.

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The Rake’s Progress

Igor Stravinsky’s brilliantly inventive The Rake’s Progress charts young Tom Rakewell’s journey from an unexpected riches to ruin at the hands of his own naivety and a devilish new friend. One of Stravinsky’s crowning achievements in his pioneering career, the opera is a cynical but humanistic depiction of loss, love and how the devil finds work for idle hands.

English Touring Opera has been touring outstanding opera around the UK since 1979. Alongside operas, English Touring Opera has brought more education and community projects to towns across the country than any other companies. With a reach of over 50,000 people through their audiences, English Touring Opera put on five mainstage operas a year, two of which are specifically aimed at children and young people with special educational needs.

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