La Boheme to Bach Players: this week’s best concerts in Norfolk

Ellen Kent brings her traditional production of La Boheme to King’s Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Sub

Ellen Kent brings her traditional production of La Boheme to Kings Lynn Corn Exchange. Picture: Submitted - Credit: Archant

Ellen Kent brings one of the most romantic operas ever, Bach Players bring music for Lent and international pianist Cédric Tiberghien plays two concerts.

International pianist C�dric Tiberghien will be giving two concerts at the John Innes Centre. Pictur

International pianist C�dric Tiberghien will be giving two concerts at the John Innes Centre. Picture: JB Millot - Credit: Archant

Sivan Rotem

Assembly House, Norwich, March 2, 7.30pm, £15 (£12 cons), 01603 598688,

The only soprano who works on five continents, Argentinean-born Israeli Sivan Rotem, making just her fifth UK appearance in four years, will on this visit to Norwich be performing songs by Bellini, Rossini, Meyerbeer, Henriette, Bosmans, plus Spanish and Israeli songs and Argentinean tangos, accompanied by pianist Nigel Foster. Rotem enjoys a successful career worldwide and has sung with symphony orchestras across America and in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, South Afric and many more. She made her debut with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and appears regularly with all the leading orchestras of Israel. She also sang many leading roles with the Israeli Opera and in Germany, Finland and the USA.

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Sinfonia Viva: Flights of Fantasy

Sheringham Little Theatre, March 4, 7.30pm, £18, £12 under-16s, 01263 822347,

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Sinfonia Viva started in 1982, making 2017 their 35th anniversary year. The virtuoso ensemble, which toured to Ireland and Berlin as well as extensively in the UK, and been broadcast on Radio 3 and Classic FM, visit Sheringham under the musical direction of clarinettist Chris Swann to perform a programme Der Freischütz by Carl Maria von Weber and Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, featuring narration by Simon Hollingworth and incidental music. Both considered master classes in storytelling bravado, they are at once worlds apart and yet universally linked. Both share magical realism, as well as a highly dramatic and carnivalesque approach to very real issues such as feminism, relationships and love.

Eat, Drink, Love!

Beccles Public Hall, March 4, 7.30pm, £10 (£9 cons), 01502 770060,

Merry Opera returns with their latest production, a musical celebration of human appetites for drink, for food and even for each other, written and directed by John Ramster. Four professional opera singers perform favourite cabaret songs, operatic arias, duets, trios and quartets with notes of high passion, jealousy and love, spiced with a dash of Merry Opera's sauciness as well. Merry Opera has won fans on previous visits with productions of La Boheme, Kiss Me, Figaro!, The Barber of Seville and their critically acclaimed interpretation of Handel's Messiah. This latest is an engaging melange of musical theatre, songs from various genres, and of course, opera.

A Thousand Blended Notes

Octagon Chapel, Colegate, Norwich, March 5, 3pm, £7 by programme or on door (£6 cons), 01603 626414,

Latest in the Octagon Concert Series takes its title from a quote from Wordsworth's poem Lines Written in Early Spring. The Norfolk Composers Group will present new and established compositions performed by soprano Meg Starling, with Pat Hanchet on viola, flutist Anna Hopkins and pianists Chris Green-Armytage and David Morgan. The programme includes music by Stravinsky, Dutilleux, Berg, Schubert, Mahler, Schumann, interspersed with compositions by members of Norfolk Composers Group Colin Blundell, Tim Ambler, Martyn Craft, Pat Hanchet, Chris Green-Armytage, Geoff Cummings Knight, Andrew Lowe-Watson and Andrew Townsend. The concert finishes with 'Lo Here the Gentle Lark' by the 19th century British composer Henry Rowley Bishop.

La Boheme

King's Lynn Corn Exchange, March 5, 7.30pm, £37-£16.50, 01553 764864,

The latest touring production from award-winning opera producer and director Ellen Kent featuring international soloists, highly praised chorus and full orchestra, is this new production of one of the most romantic operas ever written, with many famous arias. It tells the tragic tale of the doomed, consumptive Mimi and her love for a penniless writer. Starring Olga Perrier, the international French soprano, as Musetta and the international critically acclaimed soprano Alyona Kistenyova as Mimi, it is traditionally staged and features beautiful new sets and costumes. The set reflects the Bohemian art of the period and will include a brass band, snow effects and Musetta's dog will also make an entrance.

The Bach Players

The Octagon Chapel, Colegate, Norwich, March 9, 7.30pm, £17.50/£12,50, £5 students, under-18s free, 01603 626414,

There is another series of concerts from the internationally renowned group The Bach Players this year at the Octagon Chapel, the first of which sees them reprising a programme built around Pergolesi's Stabat Mater. In praise of the Virgin Mary, it features Pergolesi's setting of the Stabat Mater text, the Concerto Madrigalesco by Vivaldi and one of his Sonatas al Santo Sepolcro, and a Mystery Sonata by Biber. This is their 20th anniversary year having played their first concerts in Oxford and London in 1997, and the concerts in both their Norwich and London series reflect this history. The players include Nicolette Moonen, violin, Anna Curzon, violin, Rachel Stott, viola, Kinga Gaborjani, cello, and Pavel Siwczak, organ.

Cédric Tiberghien

John Innes Centre, Colney, Norwich, March 11/12, 7.30pm, £25, 01603 628319,

International pianist Cédric Tiberghien's career spans five continents taking him to some of the world's most prestigious concert halls, including Carnegie Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, Wigmore Hall and Barbican and as far afield as Sydney Opera House and Tokyo. He recently made his debut with the London Symphony Orchestra and his recital debut at the Vienna Konzerthaus and Kumho Art Hall in Seoul. He visits Norfolk for two concerts. A solo piano recital (March 11) will see him perform Debussy and Chopin; he is joined then by the CBSO wind soloists (March 12) for a programme that includes Ibert, Mozart and three pieces from Beethoven.

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