Donna and her mobile


Mischief and mayhem abound in traditional opera and Sheffield City Opera’s latest production was no different.  Except that here in a new twist, the mischief-makers were internet trolls. Their weapon of choice: the mobile phone.

The opera’s light-hearted title LA DONNA È MOBILE OR DONNA AND HER MOBILE’ reflects the comedy of errors that fills the piece.  However the opera had its darker side too: ‘Online bullying can ruin people’s lives’, says SCO Director Matthew Palfreyman.

The lovers in this opera are almost destroyed by malicious postings and thoughtless sharings on social media. It’s a problem for our times powerfully explored here through the energy of opera.

Taking their cue from some of the major opera houses, SCO created something ground-breaking and new last November. Under the guidance of Musical Director, Robert Webb, whose initial concept came to life in this production, SCO created an original story, then took traditional operatic arias and choruses and breathed new life into them. Some of them well-known and loved, others rare treasures.  Audiences were treated to muscular music by Verdi, Bizet, Puccini, Donizetti, Mascagni, Mozart and others.  The opera was sung in English with the traditional libretto re-worked in a contemporary idiom.  Favourite arias sparked in startling new ways – it was a truly an innovative production.