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Early 2011 Arts Events Previewed
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Early 2011 Arts Events Previewed

By George Fleeton

There are several potentially outstanding arts events to savour in the next six weeks or so.

Many are to be found within the pages of the Ultimate Guide, particularly in the section devoted to Performance.

In Dyad’s production, from last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, of I, Elizabeth actress Rebecca Vaughan will explore the enigmas and dichotomies of the young queen’s life using Elizabeth the First’s own words.  Unusually, I, Elizabeth can be seen on a Sunday afternoon in Newcastle.

Love & Madness, regular visitors to the district, return in early February with a double bill comprising Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist and Shakespeare’s Richard III, two dramas that cannot be ignored.

The innovative Liquid Lunches are served up for the first time in the Buck’s Head Dundrum on January 19 (The Cello Suites) and on February 16th in Denvir’s Hotel (A Lunchtime with Tom Lehrer). And Poems for a Sunday Afternoon find their way to Rathdune House on February 27.

One further important event – not included in the current Ultimate Guide also comes to town next month.

On February 24th, at 8pm, Opera Theatre Company is bringing its latest production, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, to the Great Hall in the Downshire Hospital.

Tickets at £15 are available from the Arts Centre box office, now housed in the St Patrick Centre, where the telephone number is 028 4461 2233.

This is the only performance of this opera-on-tour anywhere in Northern Ireland, and it is directed by Belfast-born Annilese Miskimmon.

Meanwhile twenty miles up the road, in Belfast, there is an equally impressive range of events taking place in the first two months of the year, which should be of interest to readers who support the arts.

There will be, for example, an introduced screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s in the QFT on January 22nd (3pm) to mark the film’s 50th anniversary. It was directed in 1961 by Blake Edwards, who died on December 15th.

Scottish Ballet’s production of Cinderella will be in the Grand Opera House from February 2-5th, while Derek Jacobi’s King Lear will be beamed, live from London, into the QFT on February 3rd, where there will also be an introduced screening of Howard Hawk’s 1946 film The Big Sleep on February 07 at 9.15pm.

The event in the Ulster Hall on February o8 will be quite exceptional: a screening of the 1922 silent German film Nosferatu to an improvised accompaniment on the Mulholland Grand Organ.

The Metropolitan Opera production of John Adams Nixon in China, conducted by the composer, will be transmitted live from New York to the Odyssey Cinemas in Belfast on February 12th at 6pm, as will Gluck’s opera Iphigénie en Tauride , with Plácido Domingo, on February 26th.

This selection should give a good idea of the diversity of arts events within reach between now and the end of next month, and all are highly recommended.