Thursday 2 July 2015

West Green House Opera

Auditorium at West Green House Opera
The auditorium at West Green House Opera
Started by Marylyn Abbott, who lives at West Green House, West Green House Opera performs an annual season in the stunning garden's of the house with performances of an interesting range of operas but always with Mozart at the core. This year they will be performing Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro and Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos along with a programme of music which includes a recital from soprano Joan Rodgers, and a visit from the Garsington Opera Alvarez Emerging Artists Programme.

The company launched the season at a soiree at Leighton House on Tuesday 30 June 2015, when we were able to hear an introduction to the season from Artistic Director William Relton, along with a group of four Richard Strauss songs from soprano Rebecca Nash, accompanied by Kelvin Lim. Rebecca will be performing the title role in Ariadne auf Naxos this year and all I can say is that if her performance on Tuesday is anything to go by, we are in for a great treat.

West Green House gardens at night
West Green House gardens at night
There are not one but two theatres in the garden, the larger seats 400 people in a temporary pavilion, erected annual. The season opens with Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro on 25 and 26 July 2015, which is directed by Richard Studer and conducted by Jonathan Lyness with Ben McAteer as Figaro, Caroline MacPhie as Susanna, George von Bergen and Helena Dix as Count and Countess Almaviva, and Anna Harvey as Cherubino.

Richard Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos is the following weekend on 1 and 2 August 2015, directed by Richard Studer, conducted by Jonathan Lyness with Rebecca Nash as Ariadne, Jonathan Stoughton as Bacchus, Nicola Said as Zerbinetta and Rosie Aldridge as the Composer.

In between there is Mozart's Phoenix with the Garsington young artists and William Relton as Lorenzo da Ponte, Joan Rodgers, Simon Rowland-Jones and Gary Matthewman perform Simon Rowland-Jones's A Turn Outside based on the poems of Steve Smith, plus a selection of lunchtime events.

William Relton, who joined as Artistic Director two months ago, is busy planning next season but this one is already a strong combination. He is an actor and director, and we last saw him as the Major-Domo in Ariadne auf Naxos at Glyndebourne (see my review).

Australian Marylyn Abbott rescued West Green House after the devastation of the bombing there and the gardens are entirely her creation. At all events, the garden opens early enough so that you can explore before the performance, and many events have long dinner intervals so you can picnic in the gardens. Tickets are available from the box office,
01252 848676

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