Opera Vera

'Terrifically exciting' (www.theartsdesk.com)

Opera Vera


Leighton House

Opera Vera is delighted to be premiering Danyal Dhondy's 'Shahrazad' in February 2017. The opera takes its inspiration from the tale of the 'Thousand and One Nights' and will be performed in the sumptuous rooms of Kensington's Arabian fantasy, Leighton House (above).  Nick Pitts-Tucker's libretto deals presents a dramatic re-telling of the final three tales of the Arabian Nights and the production is created by acclaimed director Nina Brazier (Royal Opera, the Bayerische Staatsoper, English National Opera, Welsh National Opera and Opera North). Opera Vera is delighted to be collaborating with Cantata Dramatica , who have commissioned the opera (www.cantatadramatica.com). Musical direction is by Philip Hesketh.

The opera will be performed at Leighton House Museum in Kensington on 10 and 11 Feb 2017.

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Shahrazad / Abbassa: Philippa Boyle

Dunyazad / Almond: Christine Buras

Zubeidah / Jamsine: Aurore Lacabe

Sharya: Alexander Anderson-Hall

Jafar: Tom Morss

Haroun: Peter Brooke

Story-teller: Martin Lamb


'Shahrazad' presents a series of stories within a story which is a recurring feature of the 'Thousand and One Nights'.  Act One begins with a  song contest arranged by Haroun al Raschid, which triggers a fatal love affair between Jaffar and Haroun's sister Abbasa.  The second act deals with the utterly light-hearted romance of Prince Jasmine and Princess Almond while Act Three is the dark dark tale of Haroun's merciless punishment of the two forbidden lovers.  All three stories are wrapped in the story of Shahrazad herself and her storytelling fight to avoid death at the hand of jealous King Sharyar.