Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Found Season at Grange Park Opera

Found Season at Grange Park Opera - Susan Bickley & Matthew Brook (Photo Richard Lewisjohn / Grange Park Opera)
Found Season at Grange Park Opera - Susan Bickley & Matthew Brook
(Photo Richard Lewisjohn / Grange Park Opera)
Grange Park Opera has embraced the restrictions placed by the current crisis in an intriguing and imaginative way. Instead of replacing the planned 2020 season with on-line rebroadcasts of previous performances, artistic director Wasfi Kani has created a season of new content, available only on-line; there are fifteen performances, eight of which were recorded in the empty theatre, all respecting social distancing rules.

There are recitals from baritones Bryn Terfel and Simon Keenlyside, and tenor Joseph Calleja, all recorded from their homes (in Wales and in Malta), and baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Iain Burnside will be performing Schumann's Liederkreis, Op. 24. There will be two solo operatic works, both presenting tormented women; La Voix Humaine. Poulenc's setting of Cocteau performed by soprano Clare Booth and pianist Christopher Glynn, and Dominick Argento's 1981 opera Miss Havisham's Wedding Night, based on the character created by Charles Dickens for his novel Great Expectations, performed by soprano Sarah Minns and pianist David Eaton.

From the stage of the Grange Park Opera theatre, there will be a chance to hear pianist Pavel Kolesnikov performing Chopin and Beethoven to an empty theatre, Iain Burnside's theatre piece A View from the Villa (with mezzo-soprano Susan Bickley, baritone Matthew Brook and actress Victoria Newlyn), which explores Wagner's relationship with Mathilde Wesendonck and includes performance of the songs Wagner wrote setting her poems, which formed trial sketches for Tristan und Isolde, a pas de deux from English National Ballet dancers Erina Takahashi and James Streeter, violinist Coco Tomito and fellow students from the Yehudi Menuhin School, and a performance of Richard Strauss' Metamorphosen with 23 string players from the London Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of English National Opera, and the London Philharmonic Orchestra (Grange Park Opera’s large theatre stage offers each player 5.37 square metres of playing space, to ensure their safety and that social distancing protocols are fully met).
 
The performances take place on-line from 4 June 2020, full details from the Grange Park Opera website.

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