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Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel Voted best musical of the 20th century... the reviews are in!
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'full of moments of grace'
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'Throughout, the ensemble’s vocal performance is outstanding but never better than Yvonne Howard’s beatific rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone'
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Michael Rouse as Jigger (centre) and Michael Todd Simpson as Billy Bigelow (right) with the Chorus of Opera North and dancers. Photo credit: Robert Workman
Opera North’s hit production of the classic American musical, Carousel, returns to UK and Ireland stages for a new tour following a sell-out run at the Théâtre du Châtelet, Paris.
One of the greatest musical works of the 20th century, Carousel was composed by one of Broadway’s most successful and enduring partnerships, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, whose much-loved stage and screen legacy includes The Sound of Music, Oklahoma! and The King and I.
Asked if he had ever been tempted to write an opera, Richard Rodgers replied that he had, and that Carousel was the closest he had come to doing so. His score is studded with some of the most powerful, uplifting and moving music ever written for the stage, including 'If I Loved You,' 'June is Bustin' Out All Over,' and, of course, 'You'll Never Walk Alone.' James Holmes, arguably today’s most expert interpreter of Rodgers’ score, returns to conduct.
This fresh and vibrant production received 5 star reviews for its first performances in Leeds, Salford and at the Barbican, London in 2012. Directed by Jo Davies, it brings the New England community to life with joyous choreography, a full orchestra and chorus, and a classically-trained cast, including Keith Higham as Billy Bigelow, Gillene Butterfield as Julie Jordan, and Yvonne Howard as Nettie.
UK venues for the tour of Carousel in 2015 include Leeds Grand Theatre, Theatre Royal Norwich and Edinburgh Festival Theatre, before this beautifully staged production travels to the Republic of Ireland for further performances in Dublin.
An instant hit with audiences and critics alike, it has been praised as an “exhilarating” show which “does great honour to a rich piece of musical theatre” (Daily Telegraph); “a real masterpiece […] totally charming” (Mail on Sunday); “got me hook, line and sinker” (The Times); “tremendously uplifting” (Financial Times) and “easily the best Carousel since Nicholas Hytner’s National Theatre revival nearly 20 years ago” (The Guardian).
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New Carousel photography
Highlighters at the ready: Gillene Herbert marks her first steps on the road towards Carousel
Since joining Opera North, I have appeared on stage as a puppet, a can-can dancer, a Japanese geisha, a witch, a maid (twice) and a crazy bridesmaid. But this May brings the most exciting challenge I've had at Opera North so far: the role of Julie Jordan in Carousel.
Since seeing my name appear in print at www.carouseltheshow.com alongside the other cast members, I am getting both very excited and very nervous in equal measure!