In their 65th anniversary year UCOpera is continuing its popular tradition of staging rarely performed operas with its production of La Favorite, one of the most successful operas of the 19th century and among the first to be captured on gramophone record. Performing for the first time at the Theatre Royal Stratford East, the superb cast and orchestra, composed of both professional singers and members of the student body, will be led by musical director Charles Peebles.
Set in 1930s Spain, La Favorite tells the tale of Fernand who abandons monastic life on falling in love with Léonor. However, it is only after their wedding that he discovers that she was once the mistress or ‘la favorite’ of King Alphonse of Castille who, forbidden by the Pope to divorce his wife, had agreed to release her to marry as a prize for Fernand’s recent military victories. What will happen to the newlyweds now Léonor’s shameful secret has been uncovered?