Tuesday 26 August 2014

Donizetti to the fore - Gyndebourne 2015

Michael Fabiano who starts in the title role in Donizetti's Polyeucte at Glyndebourne in 2015 - photo Arielle Doneson
Michael Fabiano who stars in the title role on Donizetti's
Polyeucte at Glyndebourne -  - photo Arielle Doneson

There is going to be a fine selection of rare Donizetti opera in the UK next year, thanks to the Peter Moores Foundation. Not only is English Touring Opera performing L'assedio di Calais and Il furioso all'isola di San Domingo, but it has now been announced that Glyndebourne will be starting their 2015 season with Donizetti's Poliuto with Michael Fabiano and Ana-Maria Martinez in the lead roles. The Glyndebourne season will be also include new productions of Handel's Saul and Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail, plus revivals of Ravel's L'Heure Espagnole and L'Enfant et les Sortileges, Bizet's Carmen and Britten's Rape of Lucretia, plus a new opera from composer-in-residence Luke Styles.

Glyndebourne's production of Poliuto will be directed by Mariame Clement (who directed Don Pasquale at Glyndebourne in 2011) and conducted by Enrique Mazzola, with Michael Fabiano (who sang Alfredo in this year's La Traviata) and Ana-Maria Martinez (who made her debut as Rusalka in 2009). It will be the first professional staging of the opera in the UK The opera is based on Corneille's drama Polyeucte which looks at the early Christian martyr Saint Polyeuctus, a Roman army officer who converted to Christianity and was martyred. Donizetti wrote the opera in 1838 for the San Carlo in Naples, but it was rejected because the subject matter dealt with the death of a Christian martyr on stage. Instead he revised the work in French, expanding it into four acts as Les Martyrs, for the Paris Opera. Only in 1848 was the original Italian three-act version given. Whilst not common, the opera has a distinguished 20th century history with performances including those in Milan in 1960 with Callas.

Glyndebourne's other new productions include Barrie Kosky directing Handel's oratorio Saul with Christopher Purves in the title role and a cast including Iestyn Davies and Lucy Crowe with Ivor Bolton conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and David McVicar directing Mozart's Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail with Sally Matthews, Edgaras Montvidas and Mari Eriksmoen, and Robin Ticciati conducting.

Laurent Pelly's double bill of Ravel operas will be revived, with Danielle de Niese and conductor Robin Ticciati, as will David McVicar's 2002 production of Bizet's Carmen which will star Stephanie D'Oustruc, Paulo Szot and Lucy Crowe, with conductor Jakub Hrusa. And Fiona Shaw's 2013 touring production of Britten's Rape of Lucretia receives its first main festival performances with Kate Royal, Allan Clayton, Duncan Rock and Matthew Rose, with Leo Hussain conducting.

The festival will also be premiering a new opera based on Shakespeare's Macbeth by composer-in-residence Luke Styles. Directed by Ted Huffmann, the opera will be performed in the Jerwood Studio with soloists from the Glyndebourne Chorus and Glyndebourne’s Jerwood Young Artists programme.

The festival runs from 21 May to 30 August 2015. Further information from the Glyndebourne website.

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