Gaetano Donizetti: Les Martyrs - opera in 4 acts
.: (concert performance in French with English surtitles)

Experience the power of Donizetti’s rarely performed grand opera Les Martyrs.

An unusual mix of Italian and French operatic styles, and a work of high drama, Les Martyrs started life as a very different opera – Poliuto – that was originally composed for performances in Naples, Italy.

After falling foul of the Italian censors on account of its religious content, Les Martyrs was refashioned for Paris, adding ballet music, an elaborate overture, new arias and innovative ensemble pieces.

Conducted by Sir Mark Elder, Opera Rara’s artistic director and OAE principal artist, this performance is realised by a cast including Michael Spyres, Joyce El-Khoury and David Kempster.

This concert performance is sung in French with English surtitles.

Les Martyrs continues the highly successful partnership between Opera Rara and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment following last December’s critically acclaimed performance of Offenbach’s Fantasio.

Bryan Hymel is replaced by Michael Spyres.

Concert finishes at approximately 10.30pm, including interval.

5.45pm at Royal Festival Hall - OAE Extras. Professor Roger Parker, Dr Flora Willson and Jonathan Keates introduce Donizetti's Les Martyrs. Free


Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Sir Mark Elder conductor
Michael Spyres tenor, Polyeucte
Joyce El-Khoury soprano, Pauline
David Kempster baritone, Sévère
Brindley Sherratt bass, Félix
Clive Bayley bass, Callisthènes
Wynne Evans tenor, Néarque
Opera Rara Chorus

Watch & Listen