World Opera Chorus winners

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The Lowry in Salford is next week one of only three UK venues, and the only one in the North West, to stage Show Boat from Cape Town Opera – winners of the Best International Opera Chorus at the 2013 International Opera Awards.

It’s a rarely-performed production which reflects the situation of South Africa’s past while highlighting the possible future ahead.

The story follows the lives of the performers, stagehands, and dock workers on the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi Show Boat, over a 40-year period from 1887 to 1927.

Show Boat, which premiered on Broadway in 1927, has all the glamour and flourish of a big family musical but with a story that highlights the real life of people at that time, including the racial tensions they faced.

It is directed by multi-award winning Janice Honeyman, whose musicals include Hair, Little Shop of Horrors and an original production of Lloyd Webber’s Starlight Express in 2013.

Based on the novel by Edna Ferber, Show Boat was one of the first American musicals ever written. Created in 1927, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II, this production will feature more than 200 period costumes which span the 40 years featured in the musical from bustles and wigs to flapper dresses.

It runs from Tuesday to Saturday with Thursday and Saturday matinees.

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