Wednesday 29 May 2013

Pop-Up Opera Summer season

Don Pasquale, Clearwall Caves, May 2013 (courtesy of Kate Healey)
Don Pasquale, Clearwall Caves,
May 2013 (courtesy of Kate Healey)
Following on from their Spring tour (see my review of Don Pasquale) Pop-Up Opera is returning for a Summer tour combining two one act-operas, Gaetano Donizetti's Rita and Giovanni Battista Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona. In an idea worthy of Hugo von Hofmannsthal's 'richest man in Vienna', the company will be performing the two operas simultaneously, interleaving the scenes from the two operas and in fact both feature a mute servant, who will become a linking factor in both stories. Both pieces will be directed by Darren Royston.

Donizetti's Rita (originally known as Deux hommes et une femme) was written in 1841 to a French libretto whilst Donizetti was in Paris. It was rejected by the Opera Comique and though Donizetti had it translated into Italian, it was not performed in his life-time. The manuscript will still amongst his papers on his death and the work wasn't premiered by the Opera Comique until the 1880's. Pergolesi's La Serva Padrona was originally performed as an intermezzo to a larger opera seria Pergolesi's Il prigionier superbo. The two were performed in 1733 to in Naples celebrate the birthday of the Hapsburg Empress. Both operas deal with strong women tyrannising men, in Rita it is a wife and in La Serva Padrona it is a servant; it will be interesting to see how Pop-Up Opera's interleaving of the two stories develops the works' themes.

Pop-Up Opera performs operas in the original language, combining engaging productions with an innovative use of surtitles and a liking for performing in unusual venues. Their summer tour starts on 3 June and runs until 24 July 2013 with performances in London, the Isle of Wignt, Herefordshire, Guildford, Oxfordshire, Brighton and Ross on Wye.

Further information from the Pop-Up Opera website.

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