Saturday, 6 June 2009

Die Rheinnixen

New Sussex Opera under conductor Nicholas Jenkins are planning to give us a serious treat in October, they are reviving Offenbach's grand opera Die Rheinnixen. They translate the title as The Rhine Fairies but I rather feel that The Rhine Nixies is far more fun, even if no-one nowadays probably knows what Nixies are!

The opera was first performed 10 years before The Tales of Hoffmann at the Vienna Opera but does not seem to have been a success and Offenbach withdrew it. A new critical edition was produced recently and the opera was given its first complete performance at Montpellier in 2002. Offenbach went on to re-use some of the material in The Tales of Hoffmann. It is Offenbach's only other Grand Opera and though the libretto is somewhat creaky, seems to be something of a revelation.

New Sussex Opera have assembled a strong cast including Kate Valentine, Anne-Marie Owens, David Curry, Quentin Hayes and Ganiel Grice. Performances are at Lewes Town Hall (21 October), Winter Gardens Eastbourne (25th October) and Cadogan Hall, London (27th October). Put the date in your diaries now!

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