‘Il Tabarro/Suor Angelica – Opera North illuminate Puccini’s dark visions of loss and pain’ – Guardian

Guardian | ****

‘Michael Barker-Caven skilfully presents this dark double-bill as dual reflections on a single theme, as the outstanding Anne Sophie Duprels leads a strong cast… Jac van Steen’s conducting implies the sour undertow beneath the shimmer of pious flutes and seraphic strings; even the depiction of golden light playing in the cloister fountain has no sooner been established than it appears to curdle. The sense of loss is palpable… Soraya Mafi sings Sister Genoveva’s sad recollection of her favourite lamb in terms that suggest that all of these women may have had their babies taken away from them. Patricia Bardon’s throatily sung, power-dressed Princess takes sadistic pleasure in informing her cloistered niece that she will never see her illegitimate son again – although the psychedelic video design that accompanies Angelica’s dying vision suggests otherwise. Anne Sophie Duprels is outstanding in the title role, despite delivering her big moment, Senza Mamma, face down on the floor. Among an impressive ensemble cast, there is simply nun finer.’ Guardian

In rep at the Grand theatre, Leeds, until 26 October.

Then touring the UK until 2 December.

Leeds – Grand Theatre 1-26 Oct

Newcastle – Theatre Royal 4 Nov

Salford Quays – The Lowry 11 Nov

Nottingham – Theatre Royal 18 Nov

Edinburgh – Festival Theatre 30 Nov-2 Dec