University College Opera, one of the UK’s longest-running student opera companies, will perform the world’s first English translation of Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snowmaiden at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London on 24, 26, 28 and 29 March.
The university’s chorus will be joined by soloists Vanessa Bowers and Katerina Miná, sopranos, and tenor Sheridan Edward.
Christopher Cowell returns to direct the company after work with Glyndebourne and the Royal Opera House and abroad in the USA and Denmark. Cowell has produced the first complete English translation of the opera, of which this performance will be the world premiere.
The opera is, says Cowell, ‘the fruit of a mature talent rather than juvenilia or a bottom-drawer curiosity. The intensity of its Russian character has heretofore discouraged production outside Russia. The opera is boisterous, raunchy and quirky ‒ including a chorus of birds and flowers, among a myriad of Russian peasantry and nobility, wood-goblins and blind zither-players.
‘We present a pagan, pre-Christian world where nature is the real ruler.’
Since it was founded in 1951 UCO has performed three world premieres and 18 British premieres and has launched young professionals into successful operatic careers.
Tickets: £25, £17 concessions, £9 University College London members. Box office: 020 3108 1000.