Subscribe to
Opera Today

Receive articles and news via RSS feeds or email subscription.


facebook-icon.png


twitter_logo[1].gif



Plumbago_9780993198359_1.png

9780521746472.png

0810888688.gif

0810882728.gif

Recently in Commentary

Unknown, Remembered: in conversation with Shiva Feshareki

It sounds like a question from a BBC Radio 4 quiz show: what links Handel’s cantata for solo contralto, La Lucrezia, Samuel Beckett’s Krapp’s Last Tape, and the post-punk band Joy Division?

Bampton Classical Opera to perform Gian Carlo Menotti's Amahl and the Night Visitors

Gian Carlo Menotti’s much-loved Christmas opera, Amahl and the Night Visitors was commissioned in America by the National Broadcasting Company and was broadcast in 1951 - the first-ever opera composed specifically for television. Menotti said that it “is an opera for children because it tries to recapture my own childhood”.

Kings College, Cambridge launches as curator on Apple Music

November 5, 2018, Los Angeles, CA: Today, King’s College Cambridge announces the launch of the College as a curator on Apple Music.

Royal Opera House’s Music Director Sir Antonio Pappano extends tenure to 2023

Sir Antonio Pappano, Music Director of the Royal Opera House, has confirmed that he will remain in position until at least the end of the 2022/23 Season.

Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Opera to Present Caccini’s Alcina

The GRAMMY-Winning Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Opera Series presents Francesca Caccini’s Alcina on Thanksgiving weekend – November 24 & 25 in Boston and November 26 & 27 in New York City

The Royal Opera House lets everyone in on the act

The Royal Opera House today opens the doors to its transformed new home, following an extensive three-year construction project.

Two of Garsington Opera's 2018 productions to reach a wider audience

Garsington Opera is delighted to announce that on Saturday 6 October, BBC Radio 3’s ‘Opera on 3’, will broadcast the production of its first festival world premiere - The Skating Rink by David Sawer set to a libretto by Rory Mullarkey based on a novel by Chilean author Roberto Bolaño.

Remembering and Representing Dido, Queen of Carthage: an interview with Thomas Guthrie

The first two instalments of the Academy of Ancient Music’s ‘Purcell trilogy’ at the Barbican Hall have posed plentiful questions - creative, cultural and political.

Bampton Classical Opera Goes to the Ball

I wonder if Cinderella realised that when she found her Prince she would also find international fame, becoming not just a Princess but also a global celebrity and icon. The glass slipper, placed loving on her shapely foot, has graced theatres, variety halls, cinema screens and opera houses - even postage stamps - and the perennial popularity of this rags-to-riches fairy-tale, in which innocence and goodness triumph over injustice and oppression, shows no signs of waning.

Glyndebourne announces new Artistic Director

Stephen Langridge has been appointed Artistic Director of Glyndebourne. Stephen is currently Director for Opera and Drama at Gothenburg Opera, Sweden, a role he has occupied for five years. He will take up his new role at Glyndebourne in spring 2019.

Beyond Gilbert and Sullivan: Edward Loder’s Raymond and Agnes and the Apotheosis of English Romantic Opera

Mention ‘nineteenth-century English opera’ to most people, and they will immediately think ‘Gilbert and Sullivan’. If they really know their Gilbert and Sullivan, they’ll probably remember that Sullivan always wanted to compose more serious operas, but that Gilbert resisted this, believing they should ‘stick to their last’: light, comic, tuneful satire.

Mascagni's Isabeau at Opera Holland Park: in conversation with David Butt Philip

Opera directors are used to thinking their way out of theatrical, dramaturgical and musico-dramatic conundrums, but one of the more unusual challenges must be how to stage the spectacle of a young princess’s naked horseback-ride through the streets of a city.

The Moderate Soprano : Q&A with Nancy Carroll and Roger Allam

Nancy Carroll and Roger Allam play Audrey Mildmay and John Christie in David Hare’s play The Moderate Soprano which is currently at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London.

Soprano Nadine Sierra Wins the 2018 Beverly Sills Artist Award

Soprano Nadine Sierra has been named the winner of the 13 th annual Beverly Sills Artist Award for young singers at the Metropolitan Opera.

The Grand Tour: A European Journey in Song

The seventeenth Oxford Lieder Festival (12-27 October 2018) will celebrate a rich tapestry of music, words and performance in European song and will showcase the pinnacles of the repertoire while exploring wider cultural influences.

An Interview with Soprano Lisette Oropesa

Lisette Oropesa sings Eurydice in Los Angeles Opera’s French version of Gluck’s Orpheus and Eurydice that can currently be seen at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Opera in Amsterdam in 2018-2019

The operatic tradition is not as old in the Netherlands as in other European countries, yet opera is a vital part of the Dutch classical landscape. Both Dutch National Opera & Ballet and the Concertgebouw are in Amsterdam, so the capital gets the lion’s share of the opera on offer.

Lyric Opera of Chicago to Premiere Fellow Travelers—A Preview

On 17 March 2018 Lyric Opera of Chicago will premiere the 2016 opera Fellow Travelers by Gregory Spears (with a libretto by Greg Pierce, based on the novel by Thomas Mallon. Mallon’s 2007 novel offered fresh perspectives on the paranoiac investigations of McCarthy-era Washington, DC, through the lens of a gay relationship.

A newly discovered song by Alma Mahler

It is well known that in addition to the fourteen songs by Alma Mahler published in her lifetime, several dozen more - perhaps as many as one hundred - were written and have been lost or destroyed.

Glyndebourne Opera Cup 2018: semi-finalists announced

The semi-finalists for the first Glyndebourne Opera Cup have been announced. Following a worldwide search that attracted nearly 200 entries, and preliminary rounds in Berlin, London and Philadelphia, 23 singers aged 21-28 have been chosen to compete in the semi-final at Glyndebourne on 22 March.

OPERA TODAY ARCHIVES »

Commentary

Bampton Classical Opera 2017
23 Dec 2016

Bampton Classical Opera 2017

In 2015, Bampton Classical Opera’s production of Salieri’s La grotta di Trofonio - a UK premiere - received well-deserved accolades: ‘a revelation ... the music is magnificent’ (Seen and Heard International), ‘giddily exciting, propelled by wit, charm and bags of joy’ (The Spectator), ‘lively, inventive ... a joy from start to finish’ (The Oxford Times), ‘They have done Salieri proud’ (The Arts Desk) and ‘an enthusiastic performance of riotously spirited music’ (Opera Britannia) were just some of the superlative compliments festooned by the critical press.

Bampton Classical Opera 2017

A preview by Claire Seymour

Nicholas Merryweather and Aoife O’Sullivan in La grotta di Trofonio, Bampton Classical Opera 2015

Photograph courtesy of Bampton Classical Opera

 

Having seen La grotta di Trofonio - at Bampton Deanery in July and St John’s Smith Square in the autumn - I concluded that ‘this trip to Trofonio’s Grotto unearthed some real magic’.

Bampton first explored Salieri’s operatic oeuvre in 2003; their production of Falstaff - also the first performance of the opera in the UK - was described by Opera magazine as ‘Thirty-one scenes of sheer joy’. So, the news that the company will return to the composer’s archive for their 2017 summer production, The School of Jealousy (La scuola de’ gelosi) - the first UK performances since the late 18th century - certainly whets the appetite. The production will be designed and directed by Jeremy Gray and conducted by Anthony Kraus, Assistant Head of Music at Opera North. The English translation will be by Gilly French.

Salieri was Imperial Court Composer and Kapellmeister in Vienna for so many years that Beethoven referred to him as the Pope of Music. Haydn staged and conducted several of Salieri’s operas at the Esterhazy court theatre including La scuola de Gelosi in 1780-81; the opera was perhaps Salieri’s greatest success.

Trofonio.jpg Matthew Stiff as Trofonio (BCO 2015). Photograph courtesy of Bampton Classical Opera.

Setting a sharply cynical libretto by Caterino Mazzolà, this opera buffa was written in Venice and first performed at the Teatro San Moisè in 1778. Later revised by the composer and with some textual adjustments by Lorenzo da Ponte, the opera made an enormous impact at the Burgtheater in Vienna in 1783.

The great success in Vienna of La scuola de’ gelosi almost certainly inspired Da Ponte and Mozart to create La scuola degli amanti which eventually became known by its alternative title Così fan tutte and there are many narrative parallels between the two. In both fidelity and honesty are tested by means of dangerous games and deceits, and the manipulative Lieutenant in Gelosi is a counterpart to Don Alfonso.

La scuola de’ gelosi was performed widely across Europe - from London to St Petersburg - for several decades, and was praised warmly by Goethe. The work was selected to inaugurate the Emperor Joseph II’s new Italian opera troupe in Vienna in 1783, with an outstanding cast including Nancy Storace (later one of Mozart’s favourite sopranos and the first Susanna) as the Countess, and Francesco Benucci (later Figaro and Guglielmo) as Blasio. It was the first of Salieri’s works to be performed in London, in 1786: The Herald judged, ‘it is the first lyric drama that may be termed strictly good, whether we advert to the poem itself, the music, or the performance’ and the Morning Post called it a ‘masterly composition’ that ‘does great honour to Salieri, whose reputation as a composer must rise infinitely in the musical world, from this very pleasing specimen of his abilities’. For the performances in 1780 at the court theatre at Esterháza, Haydn composed two insertion arias.

La scuola de’ gelosi is enjoying a current revival across Europe, including performances in 2017 in Florence and Vienna. L’arte del mondo have recently released a recording for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi Deutsche Harmonia Mundi. Bampton has also selected the work to mark the bicentenary of the death of Nancy Storace in 1817.

2017 will also see the third Bampton Young Singers’ Competition which takes place in the autumn.

The School of Jealousy will be performed at:

The Deanery Garden, Bampton, Oxfordshire: 21, 22 July
The Orangery Theatre, Westonbirt School, Glos: 28 August
St John’s Smith Square, London: date to be confirmed

Further details of Bampton Classical Opera’s production, including casting, will be announced in due course: www.bamptonopera.org

Claire Seymour

Send to a friend

Send a link to this article to a friend with an optional message.

Friend's Email Address: (required)

Your Email Address: (required)

Message (optional):