NEW! Bampton Classical Opera in 2017 features Salieri’s The School of Jealousy

20/03/2017

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BAMPTON CLASSICAL OPERA 2017 – ANTONIO SALIERI’S THE SCHOOL OF JEALOUSY (La scuola de’ gelosi)

Performances:

The Deanery Garden, Bampton, Oxfordshire: Friday, Saturday 21, 22 July

The Orangery Theatre, Westonbirt School, Gloucestershire: Monday 28 August

St John’s Smith Square, London: Tuesday 12 September

Libretto: Caterino Mazzolà
New English translation: Gilly French and Jeremy Gray
Director: Jeremy Gray
Conductor: Anthony Kraus
Orchestra of Bampton Classical Opera (Bampton, Westonbirt)
CHROMA (St John’s Smith Square)

Following highly successful UK premières of Salieri’s Falstaff (in 2003) and Trofonio’s Cave (2015), this summer Bampton Classical Opera will present the first UK performances since the late 18th century of arguably his most popular success: the bitter comedy of marital feuding, The School of Jealousy (La scuola de’ gelosi).  The production will be designed and directed by Jeremy Gray and conducted by Anthony Kraus from Opera North.  The English translation will be by Gilly French and Jeremy Gray.

Setting a sharply cynical libretto by Caterino Mazzolà, this opera buffa was written in Venice and first performed at the Teatro San Moisè in 1778.  It was selected to inaugurate the Emperor Joseph II’s new Italian opera troupe at the Burgtheater in Vienna in 1783, with an outstanding cast including the star English soprano Nancy Storace (later one of Mozart’s favourite sopranos and the first Susanna) as the Countess, and Francesco Benucci (later Figaro and Guglielmo) as Blasio.  Salieri revised the score for these performances including new arias specially for Nancy Storace, and the librettist Lorenzo da Ponte added some textual adjustments.  The opera made a huge impact and became one of the highlights of Storace’s career.

La scuola de’ gelosi was performed widely across Europe – from London to St Petersburg – for several decades, and was praised warmly by Goethe.  The opera’s great success in Vienna almost certainly inspired Da Ponte and Mozart to create La scuola degli amanti which eventually became known by its alternative title Così fan tutte and there are many narrative parallels between the two.  In both fidelity and honesty are tested by means of dangerous games and deceits, and the manipulative Lieutenant in Gelosi is a counterpart to Don Alfonso.

It was the first of Salieri’s works to be performed in London, in 1786: The Herald judged “it is the first lyric drama that may be termed strictly good, whether we advert to the poem itself, the music, or the performance” and the Morning Post called it a “masterly composition” that “does great honour to Salieri, whose reputation as a composer must rise infinitely in the musical world, from this very pleasing specimen of his abilities”.  For performances in 1780 at the court theatre at Esterháza, Haydn composed two insertion arias.

La scuola de’ gelosi is enjoying a current revival across Europe, including performances this year in Florence and Vienna and a recording by L’arte del mondo on Deutsche Harmonia Mundi.  Bampton has also selected the work to mark the bicentenary of the death of Nancy Storace in 1817.

The cast includes Nathalie Chalkley (soprano), Thomas Herford (tenor) and five singers making their Bampton débuts: Rhiannon Llewellyn (soprano), Kate Howden (mezzo-soprano), Alessandro Fisher (tenor), Matthew Sprange (baritone) and Samuel Pantcheff (baritone). Alessandro was the joint winner of the Kathleen Ferrier Competition 2016.

Plot outline

The Count Bandiera is a skilful philanderer, but takes a big risk when he invites Ernestina, wife of a pathologically jealous businessman, out on a shopping trip.  A decidedly non-PC visit to a madhouse, fortune-telling gypsies and the lessons taught by paintings are just some of the bizarre situations encountered in this scintillating comedy of marital dis-harmony.

Cast

Countess – Rhiannon Llewellyn (soprano)
Ernestina – Nathalie Chalkley (soprano)
Carlotta – Kate Howden (mezzo-soprano)
Count – Alessandro Fisher (tenor)
Tenente – Thomas Herford (tenor)
Blasio – Matthew Sprange (baritone)
Lumaca – Samuel Pantcheff (baritone)

Bampton Classical Opera was founded in 1993 by its artistic directors, Gilly French and Jeremy Gray, and stages less familiar works from the late Classical period, many of which might not otherwise be heard.  The performances are of the highest musical quality, yet are relaxed and welcoming with fresh and accessible English translations, and can be enjoyed even by those with little opera experience.  The company also provides valuable performance opportunities for the country’s finest young professional singers, and hosts a Young Singers’ Competition every two years.

Bampton Classical Opera stages productions in rural venues in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire as well as regularly in London at St John’s Smith Square.  Other significant venues and festivals have included Wigmore Hall and Purcell Room, Buxton Festival, Cheltenham Festival and Theatre Royal Bath.  Amongst their many performances have been UK premières of Bertoni Orfeo, Marcos Portugal The Marriage of Figaro, Paer Leonora, Benda Romeo and Juliet, Gluck Il Parnaso confuso, Philemon and Baucis, Salieri Falstaff and La grotta di Trofonio.

The delightful Deanery Garden at Bampton provides a charming and picturesque venue for open-air opera, with an excellent natural acoustic.  Westonbirt School is a spectacular Victorian mansion, with extensive Grade I listed gardens: the performances take place in the Orangery Theatre.  Audiences are encouraged to bring their own garden chairs and enjoy a pre-performance or interval picnic.

St John’s Smith Square is the most historic of London’s concert halls and provides an outstanding and appropriately eighteenth-century setting for this performance.

The School of Jealousy performances, with free pre-performance talks:

The Deanery Garden, Bampton, Oxfordshire OX18 2LL

7.00 pm Friday 21 and Saturday 22 July

The Orangery Theatre, Westonbirt School, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QG

5.00 pm Monday 28 August

St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA

7.00 pm Tuesday 12 September

www.bamptonopera.org

Booking Information, Bampton and Westonbirt

Tickets: £35 (under 18: half-price)

By Telephone: 01993 851142

Online: www.bamptonopera.org

By Post: Bampton Classical Opera, 1 Deanery Court, Broad Street, Bampton, OX18 2LY

Booking information, St John’s Smith Square

PLEASE NOTE BOOKING OPENS IN JULYTickets: £18, £28, £38

By Telephone: 020 7222 1061

Online: www.sjss.org.uk

By Post: St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA

NEW! Leeds Lieder Announces Seventh Festival of Song for April

11/03/2017

Leeds Lieder Announces Seventh Festival of Song

Friday 21st – Sunday 23rd April 2017: “Songs of Travel”

LLSupported by Arts Council England, Leeds Lieder – ‘one of the most exuberant and far-reaching festivals of art-song in the UK The Times is delighted to announce details of its seventh Festival, under the Artistic Directorship of pianist Joseph Middleton. Read more

NEW! Zurich Opera Announces its 2017/2018 Season

09/03/2017

Zurich Opera in 2017/2018

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Read more

NEW! English National Ballet’s 2017 – 2018 Autumn/Winter Season

09/03/2017

English National Ballet announces its 2017 – 2018 Autumn/Winter Season

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English National Ballet performs Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth and Frank Andersen’s La Sylphide for the first time, with performances on tour and at the London Coliseum.

Roland Petit’s Le Jeune Homme et la Mort returns with performances at the London Coliseum.

Akram Khan’s Giselle returns to London and tours to Liverpool for the first time.

Rudolf Nureyev’s Romeo & Juliet returns to Bristol in its 40th anniversary year. Read more

NEW! Opera Integra Bring Die Fledermaus to Notting Hill in March

09/03/2017

Opera Integra’s Die Fledermaus

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Opera Integra present a new production of Die Fledermaus by Fiona Williams, choreographed by former Lead Principal ballerina at English National Ballet, Elena Glurdjidze, accompanied by Opera Integra’s chamber orchestra and conducted by Sonia Ben-Santamaria.

24 & 25 MARCH, 2017 at 7.30pm 

VENUE: St John’s Notting Hill, Lansdowne Crescent, W11 2NN Read more

NEW! General Booking is Now Open for Longborough Festival Opera 2017

06/03/2017

BOOKING OPEN FOR LONGBOROUGH FESTIVAL OPERA 2017

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General booking is now open for Longborough Festival Opera 2017: from 10am on Monday 6 March keen opera fans can purchase sought-after tickets to this hidden gem of the Cotswolds.

For its 2017 season, Longborough presents a revival of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, plus three new productions. Director Orpha Phelan and designer Madeleine Boyd, winners of the 2016 Best Opera Production award at the Royal Danish Opera, make their Longborough debuts with Beethoven’s Fidelio; Thomas Guthrie returns to direct Mozart’s The Magic Flute in the 300th anniversary of the founding of the Freemasons; and Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice is Longborough’s Young Artist production for 2017, uniting emerging singers and players. Read more

NEW! Robert Farr reports on the 26th Annual Singing Competition Final – Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Award for Singers

05/03/2017

The 26th Annual Singing Competition Final – Elizabeth Harwood Memorial Award for Singers at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester on 28th February 2017
Read more

NEW! Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra at Barbican Hall on 8 March

02/03/2017

Outstanding Russian conductor Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra in a special concert “From Haydn to Piazzolla” at London’s Barbican Hall.

Vladimir Spivakov and Moscow Virtuosi orchestra

8 March at 8pm at Barbican Hall, London

Tickets available at http://www.barbican.org.uk.

VS Eminent violinist Vladimir Spivakov is renowned throughout Russia as the founder and director of the Moscow Virtuosi chamber orchestra and the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia. He is also recognized worldwide for his brilliant performances as a recitalist, guest soloist and guest conductor of leading orchestras, and for his humanitarian activities. He has played with numerous orchestras under great conductors such as Bernstein, Solti, Ozawa, Maazel, Abbado, Guilini and others. Read more

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