The 2019 Programme
In this, our celebratory tenth year, we have reviewed the screenings of the past nine years and selected what we consider to be legendary performances (we borrowed the term from Arthaus Music because it fits so well!). These are much more than just traditional productions with proper sets and costumes. They feature opera stars at the peak of their careers, who as well as being great singers are also great actors, able to bring the characters they portray convincingly to life. In addition, each production has been staged to provide a convincing backdrop for the performers.
Key to venues:
- C.K. – Stanton Suite, Church Piece, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham
- R.A.U. – Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester.
La Boheme (Puccini), Met. Opera 1982
Sunday 17th February – C.K.
Sunday 24th February – R.A.U.
The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart), Met Opera 1999
Sunday 28th April – C.K.
Sunday 12th May – R.A.U.
Un Ballo in Maschera (Verdi), Salzburg Festival 1990
Sunday 23rd June – C.K.
Sunday 30th June – R.A.U.
Opera Rara: Der Freischütz (Weber), 1968
Sunday 21st July – C.K.Here is something entirely new and never shown before. It is a remarkable film and was an early attempt to present opera as something “real” and not simply a staged performance in a theatre. This enabled the producer to create a much more dramatic result with powerful cinematic effects but also some beautiful settings. Weber’s music perfectly reflects the changing moods throughout the piece and is always tuneful. This is a unique opportunity to see this ground breaking production because it precisely fits our definition of Opera Rara.
Summer Opera Festival
Friday 6th to Sunday 8th SeptemberFull details will be issued to all members nearer the time. In summary, the three works to be presented will be:
Friday 6th. Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti) 1992, La Scala. A version was shown solely on the Opera Holiday in 2014 and without subtitles. This one not only has subtitles but is a fully traditional and dramatic performance of the highest standard from La Scala, Milan with Renato Bruson (Lord Ashton) & Mariella Devia (Lucia).
Saturday 7th. The Merry Wives of Windsor (Nikolai) 1965. We always try to find one unusual but enjoyable opera to include in our Festival. This is a British studio film version which gives plenty of opportunity for interesting settings and stage “business” in this comic opera. An additional bonus is that it is sung in English and stars the international soprano Lucia Popp in the role of the knowing Mistress Ann.
Sunday 8th. La Cenerentola (Rossini) 1981. A version was shown in June 2011. This is quite different, being a sparkling and humorous Jean-Pierre Ponnelle production, full of clever effects and starring Francisco Araiza (Don Ramiro) and Frederica von Stade (Cenerentola). They are well supported by Claudio Desderi (Dandini) and Paul Plishka (Alindoro).
In addition, we plan to include some additional elements and as last year, you will be able to attend whichever parts you like.
Romeo and Juliet (Gounod), 1994
Sunday 22nd September – C.K.
Sunday 29th September – R.A.U.
Sunday 3rd November – R.A.U.In making our ballet choice, we reviewed everything available on YouTube and one stood out above all the others. This was the 2011 production by the Bolshoi Ballet. There was a combination of energy and grace in the dancing, beautifully colourful costumes, magnificent sets and finally the performance of Natalia Osipova as Swanilda, which was faultless. Comparisons may not be appropriate but looking back, we have featured the excellent Paris Ballet for the past two years, but here we believe we have found something even better!
Operetta: The Merry Widow (Lehar), 2005
Sunday 1st December – C.K.
Sunday 8th December – R.A.U.