Wednesday 30 October 2019

Gothic indeed: new opera company launches with production of Marschner's Der Vampyr

Gothic Opera - Marschner: Der Vampyr
The German Romantic composer Heinrich Marschner is still rather under appreciated, his operas rarely performed in the UK. Marschner's best known opera, Der Vampyr, is receiving a rare outing this week, rather suitably coinciding with Halloween. A new company, Gothic Opera, is presenting Der Vampyr at the Old Church, Stoke Newington (31/10/2019, 1/11/2019, both evidently sold out) and at the Asylum Chapel, Peckham (3/11/2019).

Gothic Opera's production will be directed by Julia Mintzer and conducted by Kelly Lovelady, with Ian Beadle as Lord Ruthven, the Vampire of the title, half Count-Dracula and half Don Giovanni. The opera will be sung in German with new English dialogue created by Julia Mintzer.

Marschner is a somewhat forgotten composer, overshadowed by Weber and by Wagner, his operas are an important link between the two and you can see all sorts of pre-echoes of Wagner's opera in Marschner's [see my review of Marschner's Heinrich Heiling from Essen], though in fact Marschner became depressed and felt that his career had failed. Der Vampyr was written in 1828, and based on a play which was in turn based on John William Polidori's short story The Vampyre, which had initially been sketched by Byron himself!

Gothic Opera is a new company, Béatrice de Larragoïti, Charlotte Osborn and Alice Usher, three sopranos who met at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London, who have assembled an exciting team of soloists and instrumentalists to perform alongside themselves.

Full details from the Gothic Opera website.

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