Swansea City Opera is visiting the Palace Theatre in Paignton on Thursday 23 February 2017 with Lakmé following their highly acclaimed 2016 tour of La bohème.

Following the sad news of the closure of the Theatres in North Devon, the team at the Palace Theatre sprang into action to offer a space to any performers who were in need of a venue, and importantly to keep live theatre, and in this case, Opera, in Devon.

Executive lead for Tourism, Culture and Harbours, Cllr Nicole Amil, said: “Swansea City Opera was due to perform Lakmé in Barnstaple on 23 February 2017, but the closure of the theatres meant that they did not have a venue to start their national tour.

“As the Palace Theatre was dark at this time, the team there stepped in and offered the space, as we know how important it is to support and nurture live theatre and we did not want Devon to lose the opportunity to showcase this fantastic opera.”

This jewel of an opera is best known for the famous ‘Flower Duet’, which has become one of the most familiar numbers any composer, in any genre, has ever written, even used by our national airline on TV ads as the peaceful accompaniment to a jetliner floating through wispy clouds!

As so often with operas that become famous for a particular tune however, Lakmé contains many other hidden musical gems including the stratospheric and challenging ‘Bell Song’.

The soprano singing the title role of Lakme in Paignton is Hannah Sawle from Newton Abbot and who attended Torquay Girls’ Grammar School.

Like other French operas of the period, it captures the ambience of the Orient seen through Western eyes and, topically for today, tells of religious tensions and conflict leading to personal sacrifice, heartbreak and death.

Swansea City Opera is setting their production of Lakmé in India during the Raj of the 1880s, it is sung in English and accompanied by the Chamber Orchestra. Like Delibes’ music for his famous ballet Coppelia, the orchestral scoring for Lakmé is delicious and as the opera remains a relative rarity this is a golden opportunity to hear and see this ravishing piece.

Whether a seasoned opera-goer or completely new to the genre, Lakmé has much to offer – especially in the current climate of cultural boundaries and religious tension.

Lakmé will be performed at the Palace Theatre on 23 February, and the theatre team is urging everyone from Torbay and South Devon to book to see this performance, and also to support great theatre in the area.

Book your tickets by calling 01803 665800 or online at www.palacetheatrepaignton.co.uk.

For a media pack call Adam Lea on 02920 397341 or email Adam@richard-newton.co.uk.

News archive