03 Jun 2014
Garsington Opera’s 25th anniversary unites its past with its future
Garsington Opera celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
(Boston, MA) — Odyssey Opera, a Boston-based opera company dedicated to exploring the full spectrum of adventurous repertoire, presents the Boston premiere of one of France’s great operas, Le Cid (1885), composed by Jules Massenet (1842–1912).
I’m interviewing Stefano Mastrangelo in the immediate aftermath of his conducting La Traviata for the Chofu City Opera in Tokyo on 22 November 2014; he conveys an air at once of tiredness and exhilaration.
Apotheosis Opera is proud to announce their inaugural production will be a fully-staged English translation of Richard Wagner’s early masterpiece TANNHÄUSER on Friday, July 31, 2015, at 7pm and Sunday, August 2, 2015, at 3pm at the theatre of El Museo del Barrio (1230 5th Avenue) .
‘Competitions are for horses, not artists.’ The words of Béla Bartók seemed apposite on Sunday night at the Royal Opera House, as 11 soloists walked swiftly onto the Covent Garden stage, performed their chosen aria, briefly acknowledged the applause and then returned summarily to the wings.
Twin sisters – one pensive, the other gregarious – are soon to wed their beau, whose contrasting characters – one earnestly introverted, the other a boisterous hedonist – perfectly match their respective betrotheds’.
Derrick Wang is a composer who graduated from law school and has an interest in this country’s highest court.
Sara Gartland is an emerging singer who brings an enormous talent and a delightful personality to the opera stage. Having sung lighter soprano roles such as Juliette in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette and Violetta in Verdi’s La traviata, Gartland is now taking on the title role in Leoš Janáček’s dramatic opera Jenůfa.
Madness descends upon Welsh National Opera for its autumn 2015 season, with three new productions that will explore human turmoil through some of the finest musical expressions of madness and the human condition.
American composer Jennifer Higdon has won many awards for her imaginative music. Her percussion concerto received the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
Bratislava in Slovakia might seem an unlikely place to come across the opera I gioielli della Madonna (The Jewels of the Madonna) a 1911 rarity written by the Italian/German Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, a composer best known for his one-act opera Il segreto di Susanna ( Susanna’s Secret) and his comedies based on Goldoni.
Last year’s Strauss anniversary year — 150 years since his birth — offered, at least in the United Kingdom, a typical number of opportunities and frustrations.
On 6 June, Jonathan Dove’s Flight touches down in Kensington, west London. Opera Holland Park is to stage the first London production of Dove’s operatic presentation of the real-life story of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian exile who, lacking residency rights or refugee status, was forced to live in the departure lounge of Terminal One at Charles de Gaulle Airport for 18 years.
San Diego Opera, the company that General Manager Ian Campbell had scheduled for demolition, proved that it is alive and singing as beautifully as ever. Its 2015 season was cut back slightly and management has become a bit leaner, but the company celebrated its fiftieth season in fine style with a concert that included many of the greatest arias ever written.
Kathleen Ferrier may have been one of the world’s finest contraltos but this year’s Kathleen Ferrier Awards Final, held at the Wigmore Hall, was all about lyric sopranos.
East Coast Premiere at Opera Philadelphia next season. Performances from Cold Mountain at the Guggenheim in New York this Monday, March 30.
Five Young Singers Named Winners of the 2015 Met National Council Auditions, America’s Most Prestigious Vocal Competition
Julia Noulin-Mérat is the principal designer for the Noulin-Merat Studio, an intrepid New York City production design firm that works in theater, film, and television, but emphasizes opera and immersive site-specific theatre.
A brand new opera — especially one that is groundbreaking— can really put an opera company on the map. British composer Barry Seaman’s stunning new work, Mirabai, which explores the story of the free thinking, mystic 16th century Hindu princess, Mira, is ambitious on many levels — artistically, technically and creatively.
Bampton Classical Opera has announced that applications are now open for the company’s Young Singers’ Competition 2015. This biennial competition was first launched in 2013 to celebrate Bampton Classical Opera’s 20th birthday, and is aimed at identifying the finest emerging young opera singers currently working in the UK.
Anita Rachvelishvili recently performed the title role in Carmen broadcast by The Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Here she drops by for a little chat with our Maria Nockin.
Garsington Opera celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
The iconic country house festival opera was founded by Leonard Ingrams in his home at Garsington Manor in Oxfordshire. In 2011, Mark Getty welcomed the festival to his estate at Wormsley Park in the Chiltern Hills, a larger and even more spectacular setting. This has allowed Garsington Opera to develop its potential even further. With its award-winning Pavilion and high artistic values, Garsington fills a unique niche in the British opera world.
“Things are going well,” says Douglas Boyd, Music Director, of the 2014 season. “It’s a question of balance,” he adds. Beethoven’s Fidelio sets out high ideals, Offenbach’s Vert-Vert provides humour Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen mixes wit with warmth. Fidelio has special significance for Boyd, who conducted it in his first season as Guest Conductor, in 2009. #8220;Beethoven’s language means a lot to me,” he says, “and it’s so refreshing working with the director, John Cox. He has great craftsmanship, and cares about how the text is described in the music. Don Pizzaro gets pleasure from torturing Florestan, singing 'Triomphe, Triomphe' right into his ear, and only tries to kill him when he realizes that Don Fernando is on his way.”
Garsington Opera’s formidable reputation was built on pioneering on rarely heard operas. It’s releasing a deluxe three-CD recording through Avie Records of Rossini’s Maometto Secondo. It’s the first commercially available recording of a new edition of the “Naples” version with its dramatic finale. Rossini specialist David Parry conducted the first UK performance last year. This year’s rarity is Jules Offenbach’s Vert-Vert, a hilarious comedy about a talking parrot. “When I’ve gone into rehearsals,” says Boyd, “everyone seems to be rolling around laughing. It’s going to be incredibly good fun.”
Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen will be directed by Daniel Slater, so it will be edgy, exploring the crossover between animal and human behaviour. “Not all cuddly, fluffy little foxes,” grins Boyd, “the fly will have fly swatters for wings.”
Many performances in this year’s season are sold out (though it’s always worth trying for returns) but there are other thrilling new ventures to come. In July Garsington will commemorate the centenary of the beginning of the First World War, with “Peace in Our Time”?, a weekend of events engaging with the issues of war and idealism. Ironically, this connects Garsington Opera at Wormsley with its first home, Garsington Manor. ;"Before Leonard Ingrams bought it", says Boyd, "Garsington Manor belonged at one time to Lady Ottoline Morell." She was an influential patron, who created a milieu where free-thinking artists could meet. She was a pacifist at a time when such ideas were radical. “So Garsington Manor was a hive of anti-war ntiment”, says Boyd. “Siegfried Sassoon spent part of his convalescence from the Somme at Garsington Manor.”
The spirit of Beethoven inspired plans for the whole weekend. He is a composer whose music addresses things like war, totalitarianism, self-sacrifice, justice and love.” Garsington Opera’s Peace in Our Time ? commemoration will include a concert performance of Fidelio, and Beethoven’s Symphony no 9, with its message of brotherhood and hope. Steven Isserlis will play Beethoven sonatas. Backstage facilities have been considerably improved,to accomodate a larger orchestra. Garsington’s own orchestra will continue its expertise in specialist repertoire, but a new partnership with the Philharmonia Orchestra, London, from 2017 will mean larger-scale works can be produced. Garsington Opera’s Peace in Our Time ? will include Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw, narrated by Samuel West. This will be the first time a large orchestra has performed on this stage.
There will be a symposium featuring such authors as James Naughtie, Oxford historian Professor Margaret Macmillan, Jeremy Paxman and Miranda Carter, followed by masterclasses and readings. Some patrons may be able to visit the Getty Library, which houses treasures such as the Bible Mary Queen of Scots carried when she was executed, and a first edition printed by Caxton of The Canterbury Tales. There will also be cricket. “There’s a photograph of Sassoon in cricket whites in the Garsington Opera programme book,” Boyd adds.
Ironically, the greatest coup might be two previously unpublished poems, written by Siegfried Sassoon, which a friend of John Cox, who is directing Fidelio, found in an auction. “One of these poems,” says Boyd, “is called Atrocities, and the other is an ode to Beethoven. What an incredible coincidence! Imagine, an unknown poem by Sassoon about Beethoven being heard first at Garsington Opera!”
Details of Garsington Opera at Wormsley’s next two seasons have also been announced. In 2015, Mozart’s Così fan tutte will be conducted by Douglas Boyd and directed by John Fulljames, Britten’s Death in Venice will be conducted by Steuart Bedford, who conducted the world premiere in Britten’s presence in 1973. The director will be Paul Curran. The season will conclude with Strauss’s Intermezzo, conducted by Jac van Steen, and directed by Bruno Ravella. In 2016, Douglas Boyd will conduct a new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin directed by Sir Michael Boyd. David Parry will conduct Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri directed by William Tuckett, and Tobias Ringborg will conduct Mozart’s Idomeneo with Tim Albery as director.