A dazzling new production of Cole Porter’s classic musical comedy, Kiss Me, Kate, is set to heat up stages across England from September.
The co-production from Opera North and Welsh National Opera is set to feature a cast of both opera and West End stars. It opens at Leeds Grand Theatre before touring to Theatre Royal Newcastle, The Lowry Salford, and Theatre Royal Nottingham.
Set both on and off-stage during the production of a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew, Kiss Me, Kate revolves around the tempestuous love lives of actor-manager Fred Graham and his leading lady and ex-wife, Lilli Vanessi.
Throw in Fred’s current paramour Lois Lane, her gambler boyfriend Bill – and a couple of gangsters who somehow get caught up in the show – and the stage is set for a funny and farcical battle of the sexes.
Kiss Me, Kate is a homage to the sparkling wit of Shakespeare and an irresistible celebration of the joy and madness of working in theatre.
Cole Porter’s witty, jazz-inflected score features hit after hit, with show-stopping numbers including Another Op’nin Another Show, So in Love, Always True to You in My Fashion and Too Darn Hot.
It will be performed by a cast of outstanding opera and West End singers, with the full scale Orchestra of Opera North bringing the magical sound of Broadway and the golden age of MGM musicals to life.
The cast is headed by Jeni Bern as Lilli Vanessi/Katherine and Quirijn de Lang as Fred Graham/Petruchio.
Jeni’s roles at Opera North have included Tytania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, while Quirijn has most recently played Count Almaviva in The Marriage of Figaro.
They are joined by Tiffany Graves as Lois Lane/Bianca, who has recently wowed audiences playing the sexy Ulla in The Producers 2015 UK tour; with previous West End roles including both Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart in Chicago; Sweet Charity at the Theatre Royal Haymarket; and Killer Queen in We Will Rock You.
Bill Calhoun/Lucentio is played by fast-rising musical theatre star Ashley Day, who recently played the lead role of Curly in Oklahoma! to critical acclaim (Royal and Derngate and UK Tour) and has previously appeared as Elder Price in The Book of Mormon in the West End.
The cast also includes Wayne Robinson, Katie Kerr, Callum Train, Emmanuel Kojo and James Hayes.
This new production is conducted by David Charles Abell(Sweeney Todd, ENO, Fiddler on the Roof, Grange Park Opera) and directed by Jo Davies, who is responsible for a string of recent five-star successes for Opera North, including Ruddigore, Carousel and The Marriage of Figaro.
New choreography is by Will Tuckett (Royal Ballet, English National Ballet) whose recent shows include West Side Story (Sage Gateshead).
2015 Tour Dates
September 21, 23-25, October 3, 21, 30-31, Leeds Grand Theatre November 6-7, Theatre Royal, Newcastle November 13-14, The Lowry, Salford Quays November 20-21, Theatre Royal, Nottingham.