ON April 17, 1906, Italian tenor Enrico Caruso – friend to presidents and a favourite of the Crown – launched a new season at San Francisco Opera, bringing the house down with his performance of Don Jose in Carmen.

The next morning the city suffered a catastrophic earthquake, leaving nothing but smoke which reddened the sky and darkened the days.

In order to return home to the family he loves, Caruso must escape his collapsing hotel room, cross a city swept by fire and fight his way past the military to board the only ferry out of town. Beautiful storytelling and live opera from Puccini and Rossini combine to reveal the heart behind a legend in a performance brimming over with emotion, humanity, character and glorious singing.

Tickets to Caruso and the Quake, at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury on Thursday, May 6, cost £14, £13 concessions, students and under-16s, £7, from 01684 295074.