The Merry Widow

Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre, De La Warr Road, East Grinstead

Thursday September 20, 7pm

Tickets £16.50/pensioners and students £15.50

The Merry Widow is recorded live for cinemas on the Australian Ballet tour. The tiny principality of Pontevedro is on the verge of bankruptcy, and the dashing Count Danilo must rescue his country by marrying the newly widowed and fabulously wealthy Hanna Glawari. Only when they meet does he realise that she’s his childhood sweetheart – and that she hasn’t forgiven him for jilting her years ago. Created especially for the Australian Ballet, The Merry Widow is based on the beloved operetta and is set in the ballrooms and salons of Belle Époque Paris, dressed magnificently in velvets, silks, spangles and feathers.

Phone 01342 302000 or visit chequermead.org.uk.

Shipley Arts Festival: Opera Holloway

Sullington Barn, Sullington Manor Farm, Storrington

Sunday September 23, 4pm

Tickets £21.50

Opera Holloway present a thrilling and passionate interpretation of the classic love story Romeo and Juliet, as depicted by Bellini in I Capuleti e i Montecchi. Following a sell-out tour of its 1940s-inspired Cosi Fan Tutte, Opera Holloway present a fresh contemporary take on one of the most famous love stories of all times. Performing alongside piano and string ensemble, this show will star some of the nation’s best emerging singing talent.

Phone 01403 750220 or visit thecapitolhorsham.com.

Die Walküre (12A)

Connaught Theatre, Union Place, Worthing

Sunday October 28, 5pm

Tickets £17.50 and £16.50/seniors, students and child 14 & under £15.50 and £16.50

This opera with music by Wagner is broadcast live from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden, London. Wagner’s Ring cycle is one of the greatest works of all opera. Keith Warner’s production is conducted by Antonio Pappano, music director of The Royal Opera, and this final revival is cast with an outstanding international array of Wagnerian specialist singers. The full cycle’s four operas journey from the beginning of a world to its destruction, with gods, heroes and monsters. This epic myth portrays every type of human emotion in music and ideas of extraordinary power. The Ring is always a special event in the operatic calendar: once experienced, never forgotten. Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) is the second opera in the cycle, and features several of the Ring’s musical highlights – the sparkling Magic Fire Music and the electrifying Ride of the Valkyries. But among the musical fireworks and Norse mythology, at the centre of this opera, are the unforgettable characters and the complex entanglements between them, including twins Siegmund and Sieglinde, and Wotan and his Valkyrie daughter, Brünnhilde. Cast members include Stuart Skelton and Emily Magee.

Phone 01903 206206 or visit worthingtheatres.co.uk.

Beauty, Love and Death

The Old Market, 11a Upper Market Street, Hove

Tuesday-Thursday November 6-8, 7.30pm

Tickets £18, £24 and £28/ u25s half price/u12s free

17th century English and Italian music theatre meets hip hop in this new production by director Thomas Guthrie and choreographer JP Omari of Streetfunk, Brighton, for the Brighton Early Music Festival. Both works feature the infamous mother and son team Venus and Cupid, and their playful interactions with the hearts and destinies of human lovers. A cast of some of the best young vocal talent emerging on the scene are joined by dancers Streetfunk, combining the exquisite original music with the energy and contemporary gestures of street dance. A mini opera double bill: Claudio Monteverdi Il ballo delle ingrate (1608) and John Blow Venus and Adonis (1683).

Phone 01273 201801 or visit theoldmarket.com.

An Evening of Gilbert & Sullivan

Ropetackle Arts Centre, Little High Street, Shoreham-by-Sea

Sunday November 25, 7.30pm

Tickets £16

Love, betrayal, comic relatives and marital disputes: all add up to an entertaining evening of Gilbert & Sullivan. The programme includes a shortened version of HMS Pinafore, as well as numbers from many favourite G&S operas. The soloists, all former members of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, include soprano Yvonne Patrick, mezzo soprano Louise Crane, tenor Oliver White, baritone Ian Belsey and the pianist Lesley-Anne Sammons. They will be supported by a local chorus of 20+ voices.

Phone 01273 464440 or visit ropetacklecentre.co.uk.

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