Thursday 17 November 2016

From Hänsel und Gretel to La Gioconda: Midsummer Opera's season

David Roblou and Midsummer Opera are back at St John's Church, Waterloo this weekend (18 & 20 November 2016) for performances of Engelbert Humperdinck's perennial favourite Hänsel und Gretel. For some reason, perhaps its fairy-tale origin, the opera is regularly associated with Christmas and Midsummer Opera is being traditional in performing it in the run up to the Christmas season. Thankfully they are not following another tradition, and the Witch will be played by Lynne McAdam (rather than by a tenor as is often the case). The remainder of the cast includes Lucy Goddard and Catrine Kirkman in the title roles, Jane Streeton as mother, and John Svanholm as father. David Roblou conducts and there will be a children's chorus from St Benedict's School, Ealing.

Further ahead, Midsummer Opera returns in April 2017 for something of a rarity, Ponchielli's La Gioconda one of the few operas by one of Verdi's younger Italian contemporaries to develop a real international reputation. The work's last UK staging was in 2008 when Opera Holland Park staged it, and I caught the Opera North performances over 30 years ago with Rosalind Plowright superbly dramatic in the title role (it was the role in which Maria Callas made her Italian debut). At Midsummer Opera the role will be played by Zoe South, with a cast including John Upperton, Marie Elizabeth Seager, Sian Woodling, Trevor Alexander and Stephen Holloway.

Full details from the Midsummer Opera website.

Update: I have corrected the information about La Gioconda as a correspondent pointed out the Opera Holland Park performances.


  1. Not quite right re. La Gioconda. Opera Holland Park staged it in 2008.

  2. Oops! Shouldn't have missed that one. I have corrected the info, thanks.


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