Lytham Festival set for world first

David Slattery-Christy
David Slattery-Christy

Lytham Festival is gearing up for a world first this summer.

Playwright David Slattery-Christy will present the debut of his new theatrical work at this year’s event.

Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Puccini

Elvira & I: Puccini’s Scandalous Passions is a new two-act play packed with affairs, jealousy and slanderous accusations.

It explores the stormy relationship between famed composer Giacomo Puccini and his wife Elvira.

Set in their villa at Torre Del Lago, Italy, between 1901 and 1909, the play unravels the couple’s lives and how it mirrored the tragic opera plots he composed during this period, including Madama Butterfly and The Girl of the Golden West.

The play will be performed at Lytham Methodist Church during Lytham Festival between Wednesday August 2 and Sunday August 6. Tickets are on sale now.

There is something for everyone, for all ages to enjoy

As a playwright and author, Lytham-based David has extensively featured on BBC Radio and TV. He was the Ivor Novello consultant on Robert Altman and Julian Fellowes’ OSCAR and BAFTA winning film Gosford Park.

David said: “The play will give audiences a new insight into the life of Puccini and the relationship with his wife Elvira while he was working on Madama Butterfly.

“We associate Puccini operas as being full of love, passion, deceit, betrayal and death but his real life was just as dramatic, if not more so.

“If you love Puccini’s opera you will be fascinated to learn about his private life and how it influenced his work.”

The play, which took five years to research and write, looks at the complex relationship between Puccini and Elvira and how it survived numerous affairs, irrational jealousy, and Elvira’s slanderous accusations which ended tragically.

David added: “The more I learned about him and his relationship with Elvira, the more fascinated I became and the more I realised that their story needed to be told.”

North West-based Riccardo Provenzano and Louise Steggals have been selected to play Puccini and Elvira.

David said: “There is something for everyone, something for all ages to enjoy.”

Tickets are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/christyplays-productions

Elvira & I – Puccini’s Scandalous Passions joins a line-up for Lytham Festival 2017 that includes Olly Murs, Haçienda Classical, The Human League, Midge Ure and Madness.

For the full line-up and to book tickets to other Lytham Festival events, which are on sale now, visit www.lythamfestival.com or call 0844 8154874.