Monday 3 July 2023

Norfolk Into Opera Festival returns to Little Plumstead with Carmen, new opera by and for children, Lynne Plowman's Captain Blood's Revenge and much more

Norfolk Into Opera Festival at the Octagon Barn, Little Plumstead
Norfolk Into Opera Festival at the Octagon Barn, Little Plumstead

Norfolk Into Opera Festival returns for its second year, transforming the beautiful Octagon Barn in Little Plumstead into what they describe as 'their own mini- Glyndebourne' and presenting an array of events from 6 to 16 July 2023 including a production of Bizet's Carmen.

Carmen will be performed in English (in David Parry's translation), directed by Genevieve Raghu and conducted by Olivia Clarke with Georgia Mae Bishop as Carmen, Alexander Robin Baker as Don Jose, Kieran Rayner as Escamillo and Katherine Crompton as Micaela.

Into Opera is a Norfolk-based charity whose aim is to get more people into opera, founded by artistic director Genevieve Raghu. As well as Bizet's popular, the festival is presenting three fun, new operas written especially with and for children. Three local primary schools have collaborated on the project: The Bawburgh School, Sprowston Junior School and St Francis of Assisi Catholic Primary School. The schools have spent five months developing these operas, There’s a Dinosaur in the Playground!, The School for Explorers and The Books that Disappeared with composer Michael Betteridge and librettist Genevieve Raghu. Still on the theme of young people, to launch the the festival on Thursday 6 July, primary schools are invited to a Finding Your Voice: Big Sing on the field of the Octagon Park. 

And for family audiences there is also a mischievous pirate opera called Captain Blood’s Revenge by the composer Lynne Plowman. This opera, originally commissioned by Glyndebourne, is a brilliant introduction to opera in a staging which will playfully immerse the audience in the story. Other family events include Party in the Park, an opportunity to get involved in dance workshops, craft making activities, and to sit in the grounds and enjoy live music over a picnic.

The closing gala concert Opera Unwrapped features conductor John Andrews, the National Symphony Orchestra, mezzo soprano Katie Bray and baritone Grant Doyle in a wide range of music from classic operas, plus a preview of music by Norfolk-based composer Patrick Hawes from his new family opera, Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat, commissioned by Into Opera and based on the story by Ursula Moray Williams. 

Full details from the Into Opera website.

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