Friday 8 March 2013

Much to look forward to - Opera Holland Park's 2013 season

Ruins of Holland Park House
Ruins of Holland Park House, location of Opera Holland Park
Opera Holland Park (OHP) seems set for one of its strongest seasons yet with the combination of a fine line-up of operas and terrific casts for its 2013 season, which runs from 4 June to 3 August in Holland Park. Repertoire is very much the mixture as before, a mixture of classics, verismo and lesser known operas which has proved highly successful. One of the areas which Opera Holland Park has made its own is the exploration of rarer late 19th and 20th century Italian opera and this year we have Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's I gioielli della Madonna (The Jewels of the Madonna) to look forward to. Complementing this will be Cavalleria Rusticana and I Pagliacci in their traditional double bill, Madama Butterfly, Les pecheurs de perles and L'elisir d'amore. Plus a new children's opera/family opera commissioned from Will Todd, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. In the pit for all the operas will be the City of London Sinfonia, their 10th year contributing to the success of OHP.

Cav and Pag will be directed by Lindsay Posner and conducted by Stuart Stratford. A very strong cast of singing actors includes Stephen Gadd, Peter Auty, Gweneth-Ann Jeffers (who was Leonora in OHP's La Forza del Destino and is making her role debut as Santuzza) and Julia Sporsen (as Nedda).  

Another returning favourite is Anne Sophie Duprels who will be singing the title role in Madama Butterfly with Patricia Orr as Suzuki; Orr sang the title role in last year's Mascagni rarity Zanetto. Madama Butterfly sees the return of the Christine Collins Young Artists. This scheme provides training and nurturing for young talent and the Young Artists will all be performing in Madama Butterfly on 14 June, still with Anne Sophie Duprels in the title role.

Anna Leese, who made such a striking Tatyana in last year's Eugene Onegin will be Leila in Les Pecheurs de Perles with Grant Doyle and Jung Soo Yun as the two fisherman competing for their attention. The opera is conducted by Matthew Waldren and directed by Oliver Platt. And Sarah Tynan, who has sung the role of Adina at the London Coliseum, will sing the role in L'elisir d'amore with Aldo di Toro (Edgardo in last year's Lucia di Lammermoor) and Richard Burkhard.

Then the opera we have all been waiting for Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari's 1911 opera I gioielli della Madonna.  Born in Venice, Wolf-Ferrari studied in Germany and many of his operas were premiered there. I gioielli della Madonna was premiered in 1911 in Berlin, in German, and triumphed at the Met in 1926 but didn't get its Italian premiere until 1953. Having written a sequence of comedies based on Goldoni, I gioielli della Madonna, was Wolf-Ferrari's first verismo-style opera. The story involves sacrilege, passion and madness, the love of a brother for his adopted sister, criticism of the church and was based on news accounts of real events. A real verismo shocker indeed. OHP are giving it a strong outing, with a production by Martin Lloyd-Evans, Natalya Romaniw (2012 Kathleen Ferrier Award) as the heroine plus Olafur Sigurdarson , Joel Montero and Diana Montague, conducted by Peter Robinson.

Will Todd's new opera Alice in Wonderland will be a site specific piece, performed on the Yucca Lawn. Directed by Martin Duncan with Fllur Wyn as Alice and a cast including Robert Burt, James Cleverton, John Lofthouse and Keel Watson. Children's tickets are only £3, so what better way to introduce them to opera.

Season dates:-
Cav and Pag (Mascagni/Leoncavallo): 4-28 June
Madama Butterfly (Puccini): 8 June - 4 July
Les pecheurs de perles (Bizet): 25 June - 13 July
L'elisir d'amore (Donizetti): 16 July - 3 August
I gioielli della Madonna (Wolf-Ferrari): 23 July - 2 August
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Will Todd): 20 July - 3 August

Elsewhere on this blog:

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