UK premiere by Opera North

The Portrait by Opera NORTH
The Portrait by Opera NORTH

NOTTINGHAM’S Theatre Royal is to play host to a British premiere during Opera North’s forthcoming visit later this month.

The Portrait, by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, can be seen from February 22 to 26 and is a co-production with Opéra National de Lorraine, Nancy.

Opera North’s strong spirit of adventure clearly manifests itself in the first British staging of Polish composer, Mieczysław Weinberg’s little known opera, The Portrait.

Portraying the harmful influence of money and fame, it is based on the short story by Russian author Nikolai Gogol. Talented but unsuccessful painter, Chartkov, acquires a portrait that grants him wealth and success but in turn causes him to betray his own art.

Weinberg was a close friend and follower of Shostakovich and there is a major revival of interest in his work in Europe. One of the prime movers in this revival is esteemed director David Pountney, who directs Opera North’s production with a strong cast of talent familiar to the company.

The lead role of Chartkov is performed by Paul Nilon, who has worked closely with Opera North over many years, singing major roles such as Idomeneo (2003), Orfeo (2007) and Werther (2009). The major role of Nikita, Chartkov’s servant, is sung by Richard Burkhard, seen most recently in 2010 as Sir Despard in Ruddigore. Helen Field, who sang many lead roles for the Company early on in her career, returns to sing Female Seller/Lady in Waiting.

Tickets to see The Portrait are available from the box office on 0115 9895555.