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'The Light in the Piazza' London premiere announced

The Orchestra of Opera North will perform in the London premiere of The Light in the Piazza, starring Renée Fleming.

With a book by Craig Lucas and music and lyrics by Adam Guettel, The Light in the Piazza is a touching and heartwrenching love story set in Florence during the summer of 1953, based on a novella by Elizabeth Spencer. It has been described by the New York Times as having “the most intensely romantic score of any musical since West Side Story”.

Produced by Scenario Two in collaboration with Opera North, this dazzling musical will be performed on the stage of the Royal Festival Hall for twenty performances only in the summer of 2019, with a 40-piece symphony orchestra and an all-star cast.

This new production will be directed by multiple Olivier Award-winner Daniel Evans and performed by opera superstar Renée Fleming and film and television star Dove Cameron – both making their London stage debuts in a once-in-a-lifetime theatrical event with the Orchestra of Opera North performing on-stage conducted by Kimberley Grigsby.

Renée Fleming © Andrew Eccles

Four-time Grammy winner and Tony nominee Renée Fleming makes her long awaited London music theatre debut as American Margaret Johnson. Dove Cameron makes her UK debut as Margaret’s troubled daughter Clara.

Director Daniel Evans, Artistic Director of Chichester Festival Theatre, is a star of British theatre with recently acclaimed productions of Showboat and Fiddler on the Roof. His award-winning creative team includes set designer Rob Jones (RSC, Royal Opera House, Metropolitan Opera New York), costume designer Brigitte Reiffenstuel (Royal Opera House, The Metropolitan Opera New York), and multi Olivier Award winning lighting designer Mark Henderson (Gypsy). Together they will transform the Royal Festival Hall’s stage into a breathtaking sun-drenched Italian piazza.

The Light in the Piazza’s rich emotional score sets it apart from recent Broadway musicals. Unapologetically lyrical and romantic, it transports us into the world of Margaret Johnson and her daughter Clara. As they take in the wonders of Florence, a fateful gust of wind whisks Clara’s hat into the hands of local dreamer Fabrizio Nacarelli. It’s love at first sight, but Clara isn’t quite what she appears and soon they must all confront a secret that’s been kept in the shadows for far too long.

Scenario Two director John Berry said:

“The score of The Light in the Piazza is sensational and we are thrilled that audiences will hear this London premiere in a new expanded version for full symphony orchestra. By bringing together a cast from different genres we hope to appeal to a wide audience and make this limited run of performances a ‘must see event’ before it travels to the USA.”

Renée Fleming said:

“I’m delighted to be a part of the London premiere of The Light in the Piazza. Adam Guettel’s score is ravishing, reaching beyond the boundaries of how we think of musical theatre. For my London theatre debut, to play Margaret Johnson – a fascinating, deeply human character whose predicament I find incredibly moving – this was an opportunity I couldn’t resist.”

The Light in the Piazza will play for 20 performances 14 June – 5 July 2019. Tickets will be on sale from 16 November 2018, via southbankcentre.co.uk

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