The 2020 Programme
After our celebratory year when we included a few legendary performances from earlier Bijou years, this time we have tried to bring you a virtually new and original programme. Although three operas are repeats, the actual productions are quite different from those originally shown, while all else has never been screened before. As always, we continue to bring you great productions from past decades, which this coming year ranging from 1975 up to 2014, and exceptionally 2019. Naturally, each performance selected had to meet our long established standards of great singing actors with proper sets and costumes, all placed within a traditional production. There is no change to our two venues and all performances will continue to take place on a Sunday afternoon, starting at 2.30pm. The option of a traditional Sunday lunch with wine and tea/coffee continues unchanged.
Note: Due to the current health situation, screenings may be subject to cancellation at short notice.
Key to venues:
- C.K. – Stanton Suite, Church Piece, Charlton Kings, Cheltenham
- R.A.U. – Royal Agricultural University, Cirencester.
Aida Busetto (Verdi), 2001
Sunday 16th February – C.K.
Sunday 23rd February – R.A.U.
La Fille du Regiment (Donizetti), 1996
Sunday 19th April – C.K.
Sunday 26th April – R.A.U.
The Tales of Hoffmann (Offenbach), 1981
Sunday 14th June – C.K.
Sunday 21st June – R.A.U.
Opera Rara: Mirelle (Gounod), 2009
Sunday 26th July – C.K. onlyIn keeping with our intentions for Opera Rara to present something rarely performed but unjustly neglected, this special performance comes from the Paris National Opera at the Palais Garner. In writing this piece, Gounod was keen to move away from the style of grand opera with its fanciful plots and was attracted to the story of rural folk in the region of Arles. It is said he used the themes of local folk music to give specific colour to his composition.
Summer Opera Festival
- Friday 21st. La Forza del Destino (Verdi) 1978. True grand opera needs great performers to match. In this production from La Scala, the cast cannot be faulted with Montserrat Caballe, Jose Carreras, Piero Cappuccilli, Sesto Bruscantini and Nicolai Ghiaurov. In addition, this is the complete version without the usual cuts.
Saturday 22nd. Eugene Onegin (Tchaichovsky) 1988. Shot in and around Prague, this feature film version makes full use of the beautiful settings and landscapes. This is our first Tchaikovsky opera and depending on the level of attendance, other operas from this composer may follow.
Sunday 23rd. Cosi fan Tutte (Mozart) 1975. A version of this opera was shown in 2016. Here is something different, a delightful Glyndebourne production, still traditional but given a quite different treatment. Look out for a young Thomas Allen!
Manon Lescaut (Puccini), 1983
Sunday 20th September – C.K.
Sunday 27th September – R.A.U.
Ballet: Don Quixote, 2014
Sunday 1st November – R.A.U. onlyThis ballet from La Scala, Milan is shown in the legendary choreography of Rudolf Nureyev where he chose to meld the worlds of commedia dell’arte and classical ballet to create an unrivalled visual spectacle. The two leads, Natalia Osipova (Kitri/Dulcinea) and Leonid Sarafanov (Basilio) are quite outstanding, with excellent support provided by the rest of the cast and chorus. Mention has to be made of Giuseppe Conte (Don Quixote) who brings an element of pathos to the role which can otherwise too readily become mere comedy. The costumes are colourful and authentic, with visually stunning sets. The enchanting music is by Ludwig Minkus, who also composed La Bayadere (shown in October ’18).
The Land of Smiles (Lehar), 2019
Sunday 29th November – C.K.
Sunday 6th December – R.A.U.