A few weeks ago I attended a performance of the English National Opera's Tosca at the Coliseum as part of their series of Opera Undressed events. It's a great inclusive initiative to encourage those curious about opera to give it a go - the seats are only £20 for good seats with a pre-performance talk explaining the context of the production and post-show drinks with the cast.
I love classical music and attending ballets and operas ever since I was little; I'm always surprised to hear someone say that they've never been, it's not their cup of tea or that they feel it's intimidatingly fancy, too expensive, or worse yet, boring. There's a massive variety of stories and styles, there are great ticket offers and Tosca is definitely not boring. Full of drama, Puccini's opera centres around three main characters: the diva singer Tosca (played by American soprano Keri Alkema), her lover, the painter and all-round good guy (Welsh tenor Gwyn Hughes Jones), and the evil police chief Scarpia (American bass baritone Craig Colclough). It's a gripping story of passion and politics, love, lust, torture and murder with intense music led by Italian conductor Oleg Caetani and a tragic ending. We joined CEO Cressida Pollock for interval drinks and a post-performance reception, where we chatted with the charismatic Gwyn Hugh Jones over Sipsmith and Fever Tree G&Ts to finish a fantastic evening.