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The Truth About Love (2008)

A concert by the Classical Opera Company, performed at the Barbican Hall, London: 31 July 2008.

Performance length: 2 hours and 5 minutes (including interval)

Performers: Ian Page (conductor), Rebecca Evans (soprano), Klara Ek (soprano), Katija Dragojevic (mezzo-soprano), Andrew Kennedy (tenor), Garry Magee (baritone), ZoŽ Wanamaker (reader), Simon Russell Beale (reader)


As the penultimate performance in the Barbican's Mostly Mozart 08 festival, The Truth About Love was billed as 'a romantic journey through Mozart's operas'. 

Members of the Classical Opera Company sang arias and duets from operas by the great composer, such as The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, and The Magic Flute.  They were interspersed with well known romantic poems read by Zoe Wanamaker and Simon Russell Beale. 

ZoŽ read the following poems: W.H. Auden's 'Tell Me the Truth About Love', Carol Ann Duffy's 'Words, Wide Night', Wendy Cope's 'Flowers', A.E. Housman's 'When I Was One-and-Twenty', John Clare's 'First Love', Dorothy Parker's 'Unfortunate Coincidence', and e.e. cummings's 'i carry your heart with me', followed by cummings's 'being to timelessness as itís to time' during the encore. 

Together the works at the concert suggested the enormous range of feelings inspired by love.


Shortly before appearing in The Truth About Love, ZoŽ told Classic FM why a well produced opera can be 'the best theatre ever'.  The power of opera, she explained, is connected to 'language, and it's to do with heart, emotion being put into singing, into expression'. 

Clearly a great fan of the medium, she also spoke warmly of her 'fantastic experience' touring with the Welsh National Opera in the play After Aida (1985), which is about the composer Verdi (see Classic FM's 'The Guest List' interview).

Zoe and Simon Russell Beale took part in The Truth About Love shortly after starring as Shakespeare's famous sparring lovers, Beatrice and Benedick, in Much Ado About Nothing.

Press coverage

'Wanamaker's warmth' when reading the poems impressed Dominic McHugh, writing for MusicalCriticism.com.  He described The Truth About Love as 'a truly satisfying experience'.  J Penny, in Se7en Magazine, enjoyed Zoe's 'absolutely classic' performance.  Another positive review came from Kevin Rogers at The Classical Source.

Related links

The Truth About Love photos - Peraperaopera blog

The Truth About Love production information - Barbican

The Truth About Love production information - Classical Opera Company

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