Star names and cultural hot tickets coming to Norfolk cinemas in 2017
- Credit: Marc Brenner
Live screenings of theatre has sparked a culture revolution in cinemas that now takes in everything from opera and ballet to blockbuster art exhibitions. This year offers another packed programme.
Last year audiences in small theatres and villages halls right across East Anglia caught stage performances by Dame Judi Dench, Kenneth Branagh, Ian McKellen, Domninic West, Bill Nighy, Carey Mulligan — the list goes on.
Hot tickets boasting star names, often sold out months beforehand, were enjoyed by theatre lovers who previously faced a trip to London, or further afield, to see them but now, thanks to a culture revolution, only had to book at their local cinema.
When NT Live, the National Theatre's series of live and recorded theatre screenings first came to cinemas in 2009, no one, not even those behind it, realised just how successful it would become.
Now the programmes of multiplexes, arthouse cinemas, market town theatres and even village halls are packed with cultural offerings. And not just theatre. You can now see some of the world's best opera, ballet, musicals, concerts, blockbuster art exhibitions — you name it, without ever leaving the region. And at a fraction of the price.
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In the wake of the success of NT Live nearly every other cultural institution has joined the chase for this new audience, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Ballet and the Royal Opera House and The Globe. West End shows like Billy Elliot and Kenneth Branagh's staging of The Winter's Tale have been huge successes.
It isn't confined to the UK either, with live-via-satellite screenings of productions from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Australian Opera and the Bolshoi Ballet from Moscow.
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This year's programme of cinema arts screenings is once again packed with acclaimed productions, blockbusters and star names. The NT Live line-up Gemma Arterton as Joan of Arc, Tamsin Greig in Twelfth Night and Andrew Garfield in Angels in America.
This week cinemas will be hosting the NT Live's screening of Peter Shaffer's iconic play Amadeus, and international choreographer and long-term DanceEast associate artist Wayne McGregor's new triptych inspired by Virginia Woolf from the Royal Ballet.
The Royal Shakespeare Company's 2017 programme centres on their 'Rome' season, including Julius Caesar, Coriolanus and Titus Andronicus.
Exhibition on Screen, now in its fourth season, brings documentaries based around major exhibitions of Bosch, Monet and Michelangelo. Now screened in over 1,500 cinemas in 50 countries, last year more than a million people attended their screenings.
It is also worth keeping on eye out for the yet-to-be-announced Globe On Screen season, which is sure to feature some or all of summer productions like Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, King Lear and Boudica.
WHAT'S ON & WHEN
NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a rowdy young prodigy, arrives in Vienna, the music capital of the world – determined to make a splash. Awestruck by his genius, court composer Antonio Salieri has the power to promote his talent or destroy his name. After winning multiple Olivier and Tony Awards when it had its premiere at the National in 1979, Peter Shaffer's iconic play was adapted into an Oscar-winning film. Luther and Game of Thrones actor Lucian Msamati plays Salieri in this revival with live orchestral accompaniment by Southbank Sinfonia.
Bernard Shaw's classic play follows the life and trial of a young country girl who declares a bloody mission to drive the English from France. Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton, whose stock as a serious stage actress continues to rise after her triumph last year in Nell Gwynn, is electrifying as Joan of Arc in Josie Rourke's production, which will be broadcast live from the Donmar Warehouse.
Tony Award-winning director Ivo van Hove returns to National Theatre Live screens with a modern production of Ibsen's masterpiece. Ruth Wilson, known for her screen work in Luther, The Affair and Jane Eyre, is playing the title role in a new version by Patrick Marber. Hedda and Tesman have just returned from their honeymoon and the relationship is already in trouble. Trapped but determined, Hedda tries to control those around her, only to see her own world unravel.
Tamsin Greig will play Malvolia in a new twist on Shakespeare's comedy of mistaken identity in this joyous new production, directed by Simon Godwin, who is no stranger to NT Live screenings thanks to his previous productions Man And Superman and The Beaux' Stratagem. The ensemble cast also includes Daniel Rigby, Tamara Lawrence, Doon Mackichan and Daniel Ezra.
Angels in America
Fresh from his Best Actor Oscar nomaination for Hacksaw Ridge and barnstorming performance in Silence, Andrew Garfield returns to the stage to play Prior Walter in this new staging of Tony Kushner's multi-award winning two-part play, directed by Olivier and Tony award winning director Marianne Elliott. Set in America in the mid-1980s, in the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. The all-star cast also includes Denise Gough, Nathan Lane, James McArdle and Russell Tovey. Part One: Millennium Approaches is on July 20, Part Two: Perestroika on July 27.
Live from New York, the Met Opera's 2016/17 season continues with Kristine Opolais starring in this new production of the opera that first won her international acclaim, Dvo?ák's fairy tale about the tragic water nymph Rusalka. Sir Mark Elder conducts Mary Zimmerman's new staging, which also stars Brandon Jovanovich as the human prince who captures Rusalka's heart.
Sonya Yoncheva brings her acclaimed interpretation of the doomed courtesan Violetta Valéry to cinemas live in HD for the first time, opposite rising American tenor Michael Fabiano as her lover Alfredo. Thomas Hampson sings one of his most acclaimed Met roles as Giorgio Germont, Alfredo's disapproving father, in a revival of Willy Decker's staging.
James Levine conducts Jean-Pierre Ponnelle's classic production of Mozart's opera, set in the aftermath of the Trojan War, which has its first Met revival in over a decade this season. It stars Matthew Polenzani in the title role in a cast that also includes Elza van den Heever, Nadine Sierra, Alice Coote and Alan Opie.
Anna Netrebko reprises one of her most acclaimed roles as Tatiana, the naive heroine of Tchaikovsky's opera adapted from Pushkin's novel. Dmitri Hvorostovsky stars as the title character, who rejects Tatiana's love until it's too late. Swapping sides of the Atlantic, Robin Ticciati, Glyndebourne music director, is conducting this revival of Deborah Warner's staging. Alexey Dolgov sings the role of Onegin's friend turned rival Lenski.
The Met's first new production since 1969 of Strauss's rich romantic masterpiece is conducted by James Levine and directed by Robert Carsen, whose most recent Met production was the hit 2013 staging of Falstaff. Renée Fleming sings one of her signature roles as the Marschallin, opposite El?na Garan?a in her first North American performances as the impulsive young title character.
ROYAL OPERA HOUSE
International superstars Dmitri Hvorostovsky, Anita Rachvelishvili, Lianna Haroutounian and Gregory Kunde lead a superb cast of world-class singers in this Verdi classic given an atmospheric and poetic staging by director David Bösch, who puts the story of passion against the backdrop of war. Fire and snow in the landscape echo the cruelty and love of the story: soldiers and gypsies clash, a mother reveals a terrible secret and two men are engaged in a deadly fight for one woman.
The pioneering literary work of Virginia Woolf is the inspiration for international choreographer and long-term DanceEast associate artist Wayne McGregor's brilliant new triptych for The Royal Ballet, which picked up an Olivier for best new dance production. McGregor combines themes from three of Woolf's landmark novels – Mrs Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves – with elements of her letters, essays and diaries set to a specially commissioned score incorporating electronic and live music by Max Richter.
The Sleeping Beauty
An iconic production from The Royal Ballet's repertory, The Sleeping Beauty reopened the Royal Opera House after the war in February 1946 when the company first took up residence in Covent Garden with Margot Fonteyn dancing the role of Princess Aurora. This 70th anniversary revival features a number of exciting debuts with Francesca Hayward, Yasmine Nagdhi and Iana Salenko dancing the role of Princess Aurora and Alexander Campbell, Matthew Ball, Reece Clarke and James Hay debuting in the role of Prince Florimund.
Puccini's Madama Butterfly is one of the most popular of all operas, with ravishing music and a heartbreaking story of a loving geisha deserted by a callous American husband. Much loved soprano Ermonela Jaho sings the title role for the first time at Covent Garden, in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier's stunningly beautiful production. Naval officer B.F. Pinkerton is being sung by exciting young tenor Marcelo Puente.
George Balanchine's evocation of the sparkle of emeralds, rubies and diamonds is a ballet classic. The French Romantic music of Fauré provides the impetus for the subtlety and lyricism of 'Emeralds', while the fire of 'Rubies' comes from Stravinsky and the jazz-age energy of New York. The peerless music of Tchaikovsky features in 'Diamonds'.
Frederick Ashton was founder choreographer of the Royal Ballet and his legacy is celebrated on this special programme of three of his most loved – and most characteristic – works. The Dream (1964) is an enchanting adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream to music by Mendelssohn. Symphonic Variations (1946) is Ashton's first masterpiece, while Marguerite and Armand (1963) was inspired by dance partnership between Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev.
World-famous tenor Jonas Kaufmann makes his role debut as Otello in Verdi's passionate retelling of Shakespeare's great tragedy of jealousy, deception and murder. Soprano Maria Agresta will be his Desdemona and baritone Ludovic Tézier his nemesis Iago in a new production by Olivier Award winning director Keith Warner. This is a major work of the opera repertory, drawing on the full orchestra, chorus and a stellar line-up of principal singers and choruses.
ROYAL SHAKESPEARE COMPANY
This summer the RSC is staging four of Shakespeare's most political and bloody thrillers as part of a season inspired by ancient Rome. Angus Jackson, who directed their recent sell-out productions Oppenheimer and Don Quixote, is the season director and also takes charge of this opener coming to cinemas live from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford. Caesar returns from war, all-conquering, but mutiny is rumbling through the corridors of power. The cast includes Andrew Woodall as Julius Caesar and Alex Waldmann as Brutus.
Antony and Cleopatra
Having previously taken cgrage of Othello and Much Ado About Nothing, Iqbal Khan returns to the RSC to direct Shakespeare's tragedy, which follows on from Julius Caesar. After Caesar's assassination, Mark Antony, being played by Anthony Byrn, reaches the heights of power but is neglecting his empire for a life of decadent seduction with his mistress, Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, being played by Josette Simon.
The decay of Rome reaches violent depths in Shakespeare's bloodiest play. Exhausted by war and loss, Titus relinquishes power, but leaves Rome in disorder. Rape, cannibalism and mutilation fill the moral void at the heart of this corrupt society. Blanche McIntyre returns to the RSC to direct Shakespeare's brutal revenge tragedy.
Ballet doesn't come more famous or classical and Swan Lake, and its score of unparalleled perfection from Tchaikovsky, was born at the Bolshoi in 1877 and it is the first New Year showing of Bolshoi in cinemas 2016/17 season with screenings of a performance captured in 2015. In the dual role of the white swan Odette and her rival black swan Odile, prima ballerina Svetlana Zakharova exudes both vulnerability and cunning through superb technical mastery, alongside Denis Rodkin as a powerful and emotional Siegfried.
A Contemporary Evening
Though they are best known for their classical repertoire, here the Bolshoi take on a bold new challenge in Hans Van Manen's Frank Bridge's Variations, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot's Short Time Together and Alexei Ratmansky's Russian Seasons. The performance features music from compoers as diverse as Benjamin Britten, Max Richter, Beethoven and Leonid Desyatnikov.
A Hero Of Our Time
This story based on the larger-than-life hero Pechorin is adapted from Mikhail Lermontov's literary masterpiece, features three separate tales recounting Pechorin's heartbreaking betrayals. Is he a real hero? Or is he just a man like any other? This brand new production by choreographer Yuri Possokhov is a tragic poetic journey that can only be seen at the Bolshoi.
I, Claude Monet
Award-winning director Phil Grabsky, who has previously made a strong of films about artists including Renior, Van Gogh and Matisse, offers a fresh new look at Claude Monet, using the painter's own words, including: 'My head is bursting – I want to paint it all.' Based on letters and other private writings, it tells the gripping tale of a man who, behind his sun-dazzled canvases, suffered from bouts of depression, loneliness and suicidal thoughts. But as his art developed and his love of nature led to his garden at Giverny, his letters reveal a new love of life.
The World Art in Cinema series offers a fascinating documentary focusing on an undisputed master of the Renaissance - Sandro Botticelli. Filmed in historic locations such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Vatican, it explores the mysteries behind the artist's 102 meticulous drawings of Dante's Divine Commedia including the intriguing 'Map of Hell' centrepiece, as featured in Ron Howard's Inferno starring Tom Hanks.
The Artist's Garden - American Impressionism
Film is based on the exhibition The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism And The Garden Movement from the Florence Griswold Museum in Connecticut, widely considered a home of American impressionism. It is a movement closely tied to a love of gardens and a desire to preserve nature in the midst of rapid urbanisation. The film looks at studios, gardens and famous locations.
Michelangelo Love And Death
To coincide with the National Gallery exhibition, this film will offer a new look at Michelangelo who, with Leonardo, is considered one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance – and perhaps of all time. It will explores his relationship with his contemporaries and his immense artistic practice which included painting, sculpture and architecture. Hopefully it will get to the heart of this tempestuous, passionate giant.
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