Opera Alegria

Rita & L’Heure Espagnole

Directed by: Benjamin Newhouse-Smith

Written in the last days of his life, Donizetti’s Rita has been much revised over the years.  In this new production, Rita and her henpecked husband Beppe find themselves the owner/managers of a run-down bar in Benidorm. Life has settled down to a rhythm that Rita finds pleasing, but all of this is turned upside down by the arrival of a man whose knowledge of Rita’s past threatens her comfortable existence…

The Spanish Hour was composed by Ravel to please his father, who sadly passed away prior to its premiere. Concepción finds herself bored by her clockmaker husband and has thus arranged assignations with both Gonzalve, a poet, and Don Inigo, a town official.  Unfortunately, Ramiro – a particularly persistent, but surprisingly obliging, customer – throws a spanner into the works of her carefully composed afternoon.

Opera Alegría delights in creating new and modernised versions of little known one-act operas. This new double bill, centred on strong female characters, marks their third visit to the Grimeborn Opera Festival.


Live piano music by Lindsay Bramley, performed in English.