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Reviews

10 Apr 2016

Three Cheers for the English Touring Opera

‘Remember me, the one who is Pia;/ Siena made me, Maremma undid me.’ The speaker is Pia de’ Tolomei. She appears in a brief episode of Dante’s Divine Comedy (Purgatorio V, 130-136) which was the source for Gaetano Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei - by way of Bartolomeo Sestini’s verse-novella of 1825.

Donizetti : Pia de'Tolomei, Mozart : Don Giovanni, Gluck : Iphigénie en Tauride. English Touring Opera. A review by Claire |Seymour

Above

 

The historical origins of this tale of the gentile donna senese of Maremma legend are murky, but the fate of this 13th-century innocent - unjustly charged with infidelity and sentenced to death by her powerful husband - perfectly fit the tragedia lirica bill. Salvadore Cammarano’s libretto is an emotionally charged affair which equals Othello for violent, jealous-fuelled vengeance, with a dash of Romeo and Juliet and Patient Griselda thrown into the mix.

After its terrific productions of The Siege of Calais and The Wild Man of the West Indies in 2015 review 2015 , English Touring Opera deserves credit for pursuing its exploration of lesser-known operas by Donizetti with this dramatic production of Pia de’ Tolomei (seen at Snape Maltings Concert Hall) in which an outstanding central quartet lift the work to the heights. The opera may be a slighter sibling of Lucia di Lammermoor but its impassioned coloratura is deeply expressive, it has soaring bel canto melodies worthy of Bellini at his best, and Donizetti’s inventive formal integration - of soloists and chorus, and of musical units within larger structures - looks ahead to Verdi.

The opera was premiered in Venice in February 1837 but after a lukewarm reception it was subsequently amended by Donizetti, resulting in the existence of several act-finales from which a director may choose. Opera Rara’s 2004 concert performance at the Royal Festival Hall (subsequently recorded: Opera Rara) incorporated all the revisions Donizetti made for later performances in Venice (1837), Senigallia (1837) and Naples (1838), including the concertato movement before the final Act 1 stretta and the censor-imposed, Neapolitan happy ending, but ETO’s staging, the first in the UK, goes back to roots and gives us the original Venetian version.

The action takes place in Florence, around 1260, during the war between two great clans: the Ghibellines and Guelphs. Pia de’ Tolomei, a Guelph, is married to a Ghibelline, Nello della Pietra. The war rages on but their love survives the hostilities; that is, until Ghino, who lusts after his sister-in-law, retaliates when she rebuffs him by telling his brother that Pia has been unfaithful. She has indeed received a nocturnal visitor but he is her brother, the fugitive Roderigo, who has been sentenced to death by the Ghibellines. Nello’s heart is poisoned by Ghino’s malicious lies; he imprisons Pia in the Maremma swamplands and commands her death. Touched by Pia’s true goodness, the fatally wounded Ghino later confesses his deception but when the distraught Nello rushes to the swampland prison where Pia is detained, he is, inevitably, too late to prevent Pia from drinking the deadly toxin. She dies, but not before she is at last able to broker peace, by bringing her husband and brother together through her sacrificial forgiveness.

Director James Conway and his designer, Loren Elstein, elect for an abstract set of towering, precipitously angled, grey panels and scaffolding - in fact the reversed set of one of the other three works on tour, Don Giovanni. But, economy proves efficient too, and the dimly lit edifices function as well as for castle ramparts as they do for battle camps. Moreover, the set does not draw attention to itself, with two positive results. First, Guy Hoare’s chiaroscuro shines lightning blades into the darkness, pinpointing the emotional hotspots; second, the raked triangle bordered by monochrome panels becomes a claustrophobic arena for a human drama which outweighs the annals of history.

There is plenty of visual interest despite the monochrome visual design, whether it’s the dramatic floodlighting of the dungeon where Roderigo languishes, the splashes of green silk provided by the costumes of Pia and Nello, the Guelphs’ medieval banner in the oath-swearing scene, Ghino’s flashy brocade, or the gilded graffiti which is revealed when Ubaldo opens Pia’s tower of imprisonment, which spells out the purgatorial declaration which lies at the heart of the opera’s conception: ‘Ricorditi di me, che son la Pia; Siena mi fé, disfecemi Maremma.’

There may be no space on stage for grand-standing action sequences but chorus and principals are choreographed effectively: shadowy movement in the upper echelons of the scaffolding can suggest secret movements in hermit caves; the casting aside of hoods and whips can turn self-flagellating refugees to war-mongering soldiers in the blink of an eye.

Tenor Luciano Botelho demonstrates strength and a fine tone as Ghino. His bright ring and vocal stamina, allied with an ability to really sing through a line, even at the top and at the quietest dynamic, make his evil swagger disconcertingly enchanting; at times it seems as if he believes his own lies - like Iago his villainy is greater because he has prodigious charm. Botelho rose to the demands of his Act 1 opener, ‘Mi volesti sventurato’, his high-lying phrases pulsing with the energy of grievance; yet, in his duets with Nello and, in Act 2, Pia he revealed a softer tone, suggesting genuine sentiment. Even Ghino’s death scene was convincingly sincere; for once, too, there were no protracted ‘resurrections’ and his demise was all the more affecting for its swiftness. This was an admirable vocal portrayal of an intensely drawn reprobate, who was certainly no cardboard villain.

As Nello della Pietra, Grant Doyle presented a convincing and sympathetic portrait of jealousy and repentance. His aria, ‘Lei perduta in core ascondo’, rocked with doubts and self-doubt. Doyle had great presence, due in no small part to his substantial, agile baritone; but he also moved commandingly around the small stage area.

As Pia, Elena Xanthoudakis had lustre and layers, and a remarkable range with no weak points - she let out a cry of anguish in Act 2 which was both marvellous and chilling. The soprano’s recent roles have included Violetta, Maria Stuarda and Lucia di Lammermoor. On this occasion she was spared illness and insanity, and endowed instead with powers of redemptive transfiguration. A former Gilda and Pamina too, she combined great sweetness with superb projection. In Act 1 Xanthoudakis had a tendency to indulge in swoop and swoon, and occasionally took a little while to reach and settle into a true pitch, but her silkiness was accompanied by greater precision in Act 2. In any case, her Act 1 cavatina ‘O tu che desti il fulmine’ exhibited a depth of feeling which only intensified with each subsequent number, culminating in a final aria - as the doors of the tower were swept back by Ubaldo to reveal the clammy interior - in which her dying words were assuaged by the production’s only thrust of warm light which picked up the red wood of the Malting’s interior and spread a glow of goodness and consolation over the prostrate Pia.

Xanthoudakis enjoyed three terrific duets too, including an exchange with Ghino of astonishing emotional range from desperation to resignation, and a legato episode in the Act 1 Finale, ‘Fra queste braccia’, with Catherine Carby’s Roderigo which was one of the highlights of the evening, as the lustrous soprano and honeyed mezzo entwined. In Carby’s own aria (a further aria for this travesti role was cut), ‘Mille volte sul campo d’onor’, her dark, suave tone was equally beguiling, in spite of rather than because of the merits of the text.

In the minor roles, John-Colyn Gyeantey demonstrated a soft-grained, warm tenor as Ubaldo, achieving musical delineation of character in the role’s short solo episodes. Gyeantey takes over as Ghino in two performances later in the run. Susanna Fairburn, as Pia’s servant Bice, was firm of voice and insistent of purpose, while Craig Smith, as the retainer of the Tolomei, Lamberto, was a bit one-dimensional but firmly focused.

Conductor John Andrews encouraged his players, and especially the Chorus, with vigorous but unshowy gestures. At times in Act 1 I would have liked a little more momentum through the longer numbers, but Andrews built to climaxes in both Acts very effectively, and picked out the more astringent harmonic moments of the score. His players were on good form; there was some fine playing from the two horns, in particular, and the strings took as much care with the repetitive pizzicato accompaniments as they did with the moments of impassioned lyricism.

The Chorus of male and female singers was in tremendous voice; unfortunately they suffered from the only ‘wrong note’ in Conway’s direction - a rather feeble episode of self-flagellation in the hermit scene which only got back on track when Piotr Lempa, stripped to the waist as the chief hermit, issued forth his visionary apotheosis in striking fashion. Elsewhere, it was not hard to imagine that Donizetti’s choruses rang in Verdi’s ears when he penned ‘Va pensiero’.

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As the bustling overture of Mozart’s dramma giocoso began, it initially appeared that we were back in the gloomy ‘somewhere’ of Pia de’ Tolomei, but as Hoare’s follow-spot roved gently across the stage, it illuminated designer Anna Fleischle’s grimy industrial burrows, picking out in turn, in a sort of ‘light-mime’, first a mezzanine adorned with Klimt-like murals, then a wall-ladder to the tunnels, and finally a huge fire-escape stage-right.

Director Lloyd Wood - prompted, so the programme tells us, by a recent guided tour of ‘the underworld of Vienna’ - has reimagined Don Giovanni as a tale of social rather than sexual exploitation. Nothing unusual there, one might feel: ‘Viva la libertà!’, as flung out by the angry masqueraders, has always seemed one of the most telling lines of the opera, with more

‘revolutionary’ resonance than da Ponte’s libretto for Figaro. But, Wood goes further and asks us to imagine that Zerlina and Masetto are members of the strotten who dwelled in the subterranean passageways beneath the gilded streets of the city above (as documented by social activist Max Winter) in the early years of the twentieth century, and that Don Giovanni and the other aristos are exploitative industrialists.

This gave us the opportunity to enjoy a dash of rococo Art Nouveau via the stylish Secession frocks and hats sported by Donnas Anna and Elvira, the voluptuous shapes and decorative motifs of which celebrated the ‘beautiful life’ and alleviated the general misery.

There were some threads in this concept that didn’t tie up, though. The Secessionists believed that they could rescue society from the moral decay caused by industrialization; but that’s not why the three masked aristocrats gate-crash Giovanni’s ball. Similarly, Wood argues that it is not women but his masculine identity that concerns Giovanni: ‘his antagonism towards women stems from wanting to victimise the men around him.’ Plausible; but why, then, does this Don spend all his time among the under-class? Surely this undermines Wood’s message? And, Masetto and his gang cannot be that much of a threat?

In the event, the non sequiturs don’t matter as the music creates its own narrative, and in Michael Rosewell’s hands things swing along smoothly and swiftly (some of the recitative has been excised), with the ETO orchestra producing a grand, stylish sound. There was always something going on to catch the eye: Giovanni made a swashbuckling entrance by ladder; he and Leporello raced up and down the iron staircase in pursuit of, or fleeing from, a litany of agitated females. Zerlina presumes that the secret assignation offered by Giovanni in ‘La ci darem’ will be just that, clandestine - ‘no one need know!’ - but a courting couple stroll across the back-stage, relishing the bride’s impropriety.

The principals were uniformly strong and well-characterised. Welsh soprano Camilla Roberts began well as Donna Anna, but while she had vocal power, she didn’t quite have the stamina to sustain it through Anna’s more hysterical agitations. Roberts had a good stab at ‘Non mi dir’ but towards the end the phrasing was increasingly strained and truncated. She did, however, make Anna a credible figure - ambiguous motives and all.

As Elvira, Ania Jeruc produced a beautiful, soft-edged tone, and delivered the seria pastiche of ‘Ah! chi mi dice mai’ and ‘Ah, fuggi il traditor’ with vibrancy, accuracy but without stridency. Jeruc’s voice is velvety and supple, and she used it to act expressively; this Elvira won our hearts even if she could not win Giovanni’s. If Anna and Elvira was rather undirected, then Lucy Hall’s Zerlina was perky and vivacious. The scarlet red of her wedding-day frock and Masetto’s natty waistcoat were a welcome splash of colour amid the sub-pavement dreariness. If this Zerlina proved out of her depth with Giovanni, she fought him off feistily; and, Masetto was putty in her hands. ‘Batti, batti’ was openly flirtatious but Hall made what might seem an un-PC advertisement for sexual violence, earthily erotic and charming.

Bradley Travis’s down-at-heel, down-trodden and down-at-heart Masetto was excellent. Travis’s diction was particularly impressive and he captured Masetto’s conflicting feelings of puppyish adoration and pained resentment. Don Ottavio’s Act 2 Prague-original ‘Il mio tesoro’ was preferred over the Act 1 ‘Dalla sua pace’, which replaced it in the Viennese premiere, and Robyn Lyn Evans’s account was sensitive yet authoritative and firm of line, suggesting that he is not quite the wimp that Don Giovanni supposes.

Matthew Stiff, as Leporello, gave a more nuanced role than is often the case, both vocally and in terms of his relationship with his abusive master. The catalogue aria’s laughs came mainly from Sams’s text but Stiff knew how to deliver it: ‘it doesn’t matter if they’re fatter’ reflects Leporello nonchalantly, ruefully dangling an out-size pair of lacy crimson briefs. I admired Stiff’s vocal expressivity and dramatic perceptiveness when I heard him at St John’s Smith Square last autumn (as the eponymous magician in Bampton Classical Opera’s production of Salieri’s La grotta di Trofonio: review), and here his beautifully smooth bass once again made an impact - and contrasted markedly with his master’s less appealing bluster.

In the title role, George van Bergen was forceful of voice and handsome of physique, but Bergen had a tendency to huff and puff, seldom settling directly on pitch; a more sure and suave vocal line might have convinced us of Giovanni’s seductive allure. Wood’s reading seemed clear: this Don Giovanni had little to redeem him. A bully, sadist and egoist rolled in one, he starved Leporello, intimidated Masetto and showed nothing but contempt for all the women.

Rosewell launched into a precipitously fast Champagne aria, and Bergen struggled to get through the notes in the brief window available, let alone do anything musical with them; this was a shame as, apart from the fruitless serenade, this is the Don’s only aria, but we had scarcely had a blink of an eye in which to catch a glimpse of the ‘real man’. Perhaps that’s Wood’s point: Giovanni is an empty vessel, lacking self-knowledge and identity. Certainly in this production he was increasingly alone and alienated. Abandoned by his servant, he suffered humiliation as his seductive serenade went unheeded, and he slumped in despondent incomprehension against the grotty fire-escape.

Giovanni hosted his banquet in a sewage tunnel, and it was a lonely, dreary, damp squib of a feast; the gramophone which Leporello transported down to the culverts to provide some gaiety - a symbol of the democratisation of musical life, perhaps? - was as important as the Don’s defiance would prove. Robbed of a victim to persecute, Giovanni resorted to flinging chicken bones around the catacombs with growing petulance and pessimism.

Matthew Stiff, as Leporello, gave a more nuanced role than is often the case, both vocally and in terms of his relationship with his abusive master. The catalogue aria’s laughs came mainly from Sams’s text but Stiff knew how to deliver it: ‘it doesn’t matter if they’re fatter’ reflects Leporello nonchalantly, ruefully dangling an out-size pair of lacy crimson briefs. I admired Stiff’s vocal expressivity and dramatic perceptiveness when I heard him at St John’s Smith Square last autumn (as the eponymous magician in Bampton Classical Opera’s production of Salieri’s La grotta di Trofonio: review), and here his beautifully smooth bass once again made an impact - and contrasted markedly with his master’s less appealing bluster.

Rosewell launched into a precipitously fast Champagne aria, and Bergen struggled to get through the notes in the brief window available, let alone do anything musical with them; this was a shame as, apart from the fruitless serenade, this is the Don’s only aria, but we had scarcely had a blink of an eye in which to catch a glimpse of the ‘real man’. Perhaps that’s Wood’s point: Giovanni is an empty vessel, lacking self-knowledge and identity. Certainly in this production he was increasingly alone and alienated. Abandoned by his servant, he suffered humiliation as his seductive serenade went unheeded, and he slumped in despondent incomprehension against the grotty fire-escape.

Don Giovanni hosted his banquet in a sewage tunnel, and it was a lonely, dreary, damp squib of a feast; the gramophone which Leporello transported down to the culverts to provide some gaiety - a symbol of the democratisation of musical life, perhaps? - was as important as the Don’s defiance would prove. Robbed of a victim to persecute, Giovanni resorted to flinging chicken bones around the catacombs with growing petulance and pessimism.

When the Commendatore emerged from the shrine erected in his memory by Anna and Ottavio - an abstract sculpture recalling the shimmering canvases, parallel linear motifs and gold leaf of Klimt’s The Kiss - sporting debonair top hat and tails, I wondered if Giovanni was to be a candidate for the Freudian couch. Piotr Lempa was characteristically stentorian of voice but unfortunately just a millisecond ahead of Rosewell’s beat which unsettled this climactic scene, and Bergen’s own entries. Through the obscurity of the smoky stage, flames sprung through a man-hole cover (I thought we were already underground?), but in the event the unrepentant Don was carried off aloft. This was a moment when a pause for breath might have been welcome but Rosewell whipped things straight on; the final moralistic sextet, delivered from the balcony above, seemed jovially trite and jarring distant from the action that we had witnessed in the below.

That said, this was one of the most enjoyable productions of Don Giovanni that I’ve seen in a long time. It told the reprobate’s tale without undue conceptual reorientation, and through fine vocal and instrumental performances.

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Following the tragedia lirica and myth of the previous two evenings, English Touring Opera’s third offering at Snape Maltings combined both genres and added a dose of ‘reform’. Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride presents Euripedes’ saga of that prototype dysfunctional family, the Agamemnons, in a form freely adapted by librettist Nicolas-Francois Guillard from a French play.

The Agamemnons siblings’ unstable home-life is the opera’s backstory. On the way to attack Troy the Greek forces are told by the goddess Diane that the wind will only be revived to spur them on their way if the twelve-year-old Iphigénie is sacrificed by her father. Just as Agamemnon wields the knife, Diane suddenly descends and whisks the girl to the safety of her own temple on the island of Tauris. But, Iphigénie’s supposed death provides Clytemnestra and her lover with an excuse to murder Agamemnon, her husband; and for Orestes to exact retribution by killing his mother. Pursued by the Furies, Orestes then sets out with his friend, Pylades, to steal Diane’s statue from the temple and end the heresy of human sacrifice.

At the start of the opera, two strangers are swept onto the shores of Tauride following a vicious storm. Iphigénie is ordered by the Scythian King, Thoas, to sacrifice them. She is unaware that one of the strangers is her brother, Orestes, but instinctive sympathy moves her to spare him. Pylades and Orestes each plead to be the sacrificial victim in order to save the other. Things go badly and Iphigénie is ordered to kill her brother but Diana intervenes and the Greeks are allowed to return home.

Anna Fleischle gives us another murky, grey set and grungy costumes. The design is all slate-grey flats, right-angles, platforms, ramps and stairways, making for a pretty static acting space; but a floor-to-‘flies’ aperture behind the raised central platform provides a gash of colour, as Guy Hoare’s complementary aquamarines and apricots shimmer through. In the centre of the orifice hangs a huge triangular pendant of white, sword-like shards which, though occasionally shrouded in mist, signal the fragility of existence. Fleische’s design is a ‘back-drop’ rather a set through which the action is deliver, but it creates a satisfactory ambience for the blood-shedding and guilt-mongering which ensues.

And the blood-curdling violence starts straight away, with just the slightest of simple minuets preceding a ferocious storm which lashes both the temple and Iphigénie’s mind, invoking a nightmare which raises spectres from her as-yet-unknown family history.

Director James Conway spares no time in boldly leaping into the mayhem and massacre. The captive Priestesses of the Temple, under Thoas’s orders, butcher a man for human sacrifice with vicious hatchet-strokes, and within minutes both the stage and they are gorily blood-splattered. Catherine Carby’s Iphigénie then launches into her dream narration, deepening the oppressive weight. The arioso line seemed to lie a little too high for Carby, though (the role was written for a soprano, but it seldom ventures beyond high A, and has been performed by several mezzos), and she pushed rather hard.

The ambience was over-wrought and, indeed, Act 1 was unrelenting. The confused and terrified Thoas’s arrival tightened the screw further. With the blustering, fragmented arioso of Craig Smith, it seemed as if the pressure cooker might explode; the throbbing string and sostenuto wind accompaniment was entirely over-shadowed. I admired Smith’s performances in ETO’s Donizetti productions last year but on this occasion less would most definitely have been more. The tessitura produced strain and the French was almost entirely lost in the bluster - although idiomatic French was not a characteristic of any of the cast. Thoas’s road-kill body-warmer did not help to create dramatic sincerity. Then, the strangers were subjected to some knife-gang violence during one of Gluck’s poised instrumental numbers.

Fortunately, things got markedly better from here onwards. A more measured pace was adopted, and this was particularly effective at moments of collective expression, as in the lamenting chorus of the Priestesses at the end of Act 2. And, there several telling moments of ritualistic sobriety to appease the gods and Furies, often coinciding with passages of great musical impact, such as the preparation of the burial, in which a twisted white sheet was raised like an embodied form which then slumped fatalistically to the ground.

With the opening narration behind her, Catherine Carby settled into the role and presented us with a proud and arresting Iphigénie whose loathing of the tasks that duty compels her to fulfil was palpable. Carby’s dynamic level may have been unwaveringly forceful and the vibrato and colour uniform, but the expressive phrasing and pulsing throb in the voice were deeply affecting. Gluck’s trademark lament, ‘O malheureuse Iphigénie’, ached with pathos.

As her mentally unstable and distraught sibling, Grant Doyle sang with power and, at times, nuance. The baritone had warmth and power, with steady weight complemented by varied colour, and if he tried too hard occasionally then episodes such as when Orestes awaits death, in Act 2, were sensitively delivered.

We had an engaging Pylades from John-Colyn Gyeantey, ardent and richly expressive, with a real feel for Gluck’s lyricism. But, as on previous occasions, I found Gyeantey’s voice lacking in sufficient fullness, and pressured when the tenor tried to project at moments of intensity, especially at the top. At the final cadence of his Act 2 aria, Pylades and Orestes shared a passionate kiss; a not inapt dash of Greek homo-eroticism, but one which was (fortunately) not excessively milked - leading one to wonder if it was necessary at all?

As on the previous evenings, the minor roles were confidently and more than competently filled. Simon Gfeller was engaging as a Scythian guard and as a Minister of the Sanctuary Bradley Travis was characterful - Travis certainly knows how to work the drama.

The direction of the male chorus was not ideal, however; confined to a restrictive platform stage-left, they were not served well by Bernadette Iglich’s choreography. In contrast, the female Priestesses were one of the highlights of the production, joining with Iphigénie to comment and advise during her tortured reflections. Such was the poise and beauty of their singing, that they retained our sympathy even when encouraging her to fulfil her duty and sacrifice her brother in Act 4. The Priestesses’ prayers also had a formality which made for a striking contrast with Iphigénie’s introspection.

Gluck relates the story in sweeping musical units, in which dramatic recitative, elegant arioso and grandiose or pathetic arias fuse to create urgent dramatic discourse. Conductor Martin André kept things thrusting along, but was not particularly sensitive to the shadows and nuances which underlie Gluck’s simplicity. Moreover, there were times when he pressed on regardless of his singers’ evident which for space and breadth. I admired the unsentimental nature of André’s reading but regretted the loss of vivid contrast and shades.

But, my principal bugbear was the replacement of a dea ex machina, or human or disembodied equivalent, with a prepubescent in white wellies as the goddess, Diane, who descends from Olympus, proclaims peace and ends the fatalistic cycle. The young Tabitha Tizzard may have sung accurately and looked a picture of innocence - a refreshing relief after the angst and terror we had witnessed - but Olympus needs a more compelling voice and presence. Here bathos upstaged pathos.

It seems a pity to end on this note, though. For this was a terrific trio from English Touring Opera. In combining ambition, adventurousness, invention, accomplishment and vision, the company seems unrivalled at present.

Claire Seymour

Donzietti: Pia de’ Tolomei
Ghino degli Armieri - Luciano Botelho, Nello della Pietra - Grant Doyle, Pia - Elena Xanthoudakis, Roderigo de’ Tolomei, Ubaldo - John-Colyn Gyeantey, Bice - Susanna Fairburn, Lamberto - Craig Smith, Piero - Piotr Lempa; Director - James Conway, Conductor - John Andrews, Designer - Loren Elstein, Lighting Designer - Guy Hoare, Orchestra and Chorus of English Touring Opera.
Thursday 7th April 2016

Mozart: Don Giovanni
Don Giovanni - George von Bergen, Leporello - Matthew Stiff, Donna Anna - Camilla Roberts, Don Ottavio - Robyn Lyn Evans, Donna Elvira - Ania Jeruc, Zerlina - Lucy Hall, Masetto - Bradley Travis; Director - Lloyd Wood, Conductor - Michael Rosewell, Designer - Anna Fleischle , Lighting Designer - Guy Hoare, Assistant Director - Laura Attridge, Dramaturg Gretl Satorius, Movement Director - Jo Meredith, Orchestra and Chorus of English Touring Opera.
Friday 8th April 2016

Gluck: Iphigénie en Tauride
Iphigenia - Catherine Carby, Orestes - Grant Doyle, Pylades - John-Colyn Gyeantey, Thoas King of the Scythians - Craig Smith, Scythian Guard - Simon Gfeller, Ministers of the Sanctuary - Ashley Mercer and Bradley Travis, Priestess of Diana - Susanna Fairbairn and Samantha Hay; Director - James Conway, Conductor - Martin André, Designer - Anna Fleischle, Lighting Designer - Guy Hoare, Choreographer - Bernadette Iglich; Chorus and Orchestra of English Touring Opera.
Saturday 9th April 2016


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