THE curtain has gone up on the latest series of “world class” live performances streamed by satellite direct to a Wrexham cinema from venues like London and New York.
It means audiences at the Odeon Eagles Meadow can enjoy a night at the opera or ballet or watch an electrifying theatre performance without ever having to leave the comfort of their plush cinema seats.
Eagles Meadow is one of a select number of the group’s cinemas across the UK chosen to present the Odeon Plus programme.
This uses the latest state-of-the-art sound and digital technology to bring the unique big screen experience to a range of entertainment from classical music and ballet by some of the world’s most iconic companies to on-screen exhibitions and Shakespeare plays.
Latest highlight of a packed Odeon Plus programme, which lasts from now until the summer months, comes on Thursday, January 29 at 7.15pm with a scintillating live performance of the Italian opera Andrea Chenier brought direct from the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden.
Starring Jonas Kaufmann and Eva Maria Westbroek with music conducted by Antonio Pappano, the breathtaking production is a passionate drama of liberty and love set during the French Revolution.
The opera, by Umberto Giordino, is based loosely on the life on French poet Andre Chenier who was executed during the French Revolution.
The season continues with stage masterpieces from the likes of the world-famous Metropolitan Opera in New York with its live production of Iolanta/Duke Blackbeard’s Castle on Saturday, February 14.
On the heels of her triumphant Met performances in Eugene Onegin, soprano Anna Netrebko takes on another Tchaikovsky heroine in the first opera of this double bill, consisting of an enchanting fairy tale (Iolanta) followed by an erotic psychological thriller (Duke Bluebeard’s Castle).
Then on Wednesday, March 11, English National presents La Traviata by Verdi, a stunning live production which reaches to the heart of the opera’s themes of passionate love and tragic death.
The production is recommended by experts as ideal for newcomers to opera with its contemporary staging, and a running time of less than two hours.
Kenny Kempster, general manager of Odeon Eagles Meadow, said: “I’m delighted that we have embarked on another season of Odeon Plus, which is a fantastic opportunity for our audiences in Wrexham to enjoy live theatre and opera of the kind they wouldn’t normally have to opportunity to see.
“Our last season of Odeon Plus here at Eagles Meadow was incredibly successful and attracted some really impressive audiences. The feedback we got from people who saw the performances was also very good.”
He added: “I think the beauty of this idea is that people can see really first class performances without having to travel to London, Manchester or even New York.
“The other major advantage is that they can view the productions from much better seats in our cinema at ticket prices which are often a fraction of what they would have to pay in the large theatres or opera houses where they are initially shown.
“I’m really excited about the new season of Odeon Plus and I know our audiences will be too when they take a look at the full list of performances for the next few months.”
The Odeon Plus programme at Eagles Meadow is: Thursday, January 29 at 7.15pm, Royal Opera House – Andrea Chenier (live).
Saturday, January 31 at 5.55pm, Metropolitan Opera – Les Contes d’Hoffmann (live).
Sunday, February 1 at 2pm, Royal Opera House – Andre Chenier (encore).
Wednesday, February 11 at 7pm, Royal Shakespeare Company – Love’s Labours Lost.
Saturday, February 14 at 5.30pm, Metropolitan Opera – Iolanta/Duke Bluebeard’s Castle (live).
Tuesday, February 24 at 7.15pm, Royal Opera House – Der Fliergende Hollander (live).
Thursday, March 5 at 7.30pm, Laura Mvula at the Paradiso Amsterdam.
Wednesday, March 4 at 7pm, Royal Shakespeare Company – Love’s Labours Won.
Wednesday, March 11 at 7.30pm, English National Opera – La Traviata (live).
Thursday, March 12 at 7pm, National Theatre Live – Behind the Beautiful Flowers (live);.
Saturday, March 14 at 4.55pm, Metropolitan Opera, La Donna Del Lago (live).
Monday, March 23 at 7pm, Hamlet with Maxine Peake from Manchester Royal Exchange.
Wednesday, April 1 at 6.30pm, Royal Opera House, Rise and Fall of the City Mahagonny (live).
Tuesday, April 14 at 6.30pm, Exhibition on Screen: Vincent van Gogh.
Thursday, April 16 at 7pm, National Theatre Live – The Hard Problem.
Saturday, April 25 at 5.30pm, Metropolitan Opera – Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci (live).
Tuesday, May 19 at 7.30pm, English National Opera – Pirates of Penzance (live).
Tuesday, May 26 at 6.30pm, Exhibition on Screen: The Impressionists.
Wednesday, June 10 at 7.15pm, Royal Opera House – La Boheme (live).