A songbird from South Shields is coming home to hit the high nights in a major opera.
Anne-Marie Owens is set to star in Puccini’s Il Tabarro at Newcastle’s Theatre Royal as part of the Opera North season.
The noir thriller is set in working class Paris, where Giorgetta takes a lover and drives her husband Michele to murderous despair.
Anne-Marie, 61, stars as La Frugola.
She said: “The Theatre Royal is a very special venue to me.
“I’ve performed there many times over the years and it’s always lovely to come back.
“I’ve lived in London for years now but I always come home because my family is here and it’s great when they can come to see me in a show.”
Il Tabarro is part of an opera double bill, that will be performed alongside Puccini’s Suor Angelica at the Grey Street theatre on Friday, November 4.
Anne-Marie added: “There aren’t many one-act operas around and these are the perfect kind to introduce people to opera.
“It’s sung in Italian but with English surtitles and the music is beautiful – it’s written by Puccini who wrote La Boheme and Madama Butterfly.
“It’s very intense, dramatic and beautiful.
“My character is a bit of a bag lady, almost like the comic turn. It’s set on a barge on the river and my character is a bit of a scavenger who picks up things to sell on and she carries lots of bags around with her, that she lives out of.
“But of course she dreams like everyone does about having a better life, she dreams of living in a little cottage with her cat sitting on her knee, and to get away from where she is now.”
Anne-Marie came home to South Shields last year to star in the Customs House pantomime Alice in Wonderland as the Queen of Hearts.
She said: “I’ve been singing opera since I was 23 and it all began at school in South Shields, when my teacher noticed I could sing and encouraged me to have lessons.
“Opera is for everyone and we get such a cross-section of people in the audiences now.
“Some people are a bit put off by it being in another language, but there are surtitles and you don’t need to understand every word to follow the story.
“This show has such powerful music and it’s beautiful too.”
The show starts at 7pm. Tickets cost from £18.50. To book, go to www.theatreroyal.co.uk or call the box office on 08448 112 121.
Opera North is at the Theatre Royal from November 2 to 4.