Thrilling 2015 and 2016 for Garsington Opera at Wormsley, showing how it's maturing, and developing a unique niche in the British opera world. As the curtain goes up on Garsington Opera’s 25th anniversary season, Douglas Boyd, artistic director, has announced two major developments - partnerships with The Royal Shakespeare Company Theatre, Stratford, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, London.:.
For the first time Garsington Opera is working on a joint project with the RSC with performances at both Wormsley and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford. It will be a rare opportunity to see an abridged version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream performed by members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, under the creative guidance of Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, illuminated with Mendelssohn’s enchanting incidental music, played and sung by the Garsington Opera Company and Orchestra, conducted by Douglas Boyd. RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran said "A Midsummer Night's Dream is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays, so I am delighted to be able to stage this bespoke version incorporating speeches from the play along with Mendelssohn's gorgeous score. It was one of the first pieces of music I heard in childhood and inspired my lifelong love of Shakespeare. This is a very exciting new collaboration with Garsington Opera, and I hope will appeal to lovers of theatre and music alike."
Garsington Opera will also form a partnership with one of the world’s great symphony orchestras, the Philharmonia Orchestra, initially for five years, which will enhance the artistic quality and reputation of the company. Garsington Opera is also committed to the Garsington Opera Orchestra, which will focus on baroque, classical, Italian and chamber works, whilst the Philharmonia Orchestra will enable larger-scale works to be performed. David Whelton, Philharmonia Orchestra Managing Director said: “Creative partnership is at the beating heart of the Philharmonia's artistic approach, and the opportunity for us to collaborate with one of the most forward-thinking opera festivals in the UK is tremendously exciting. We are absolutely delighted to be a part of Garsington Opera's future, and look forward immensely to working together with Douglas Boyd and the Garsington creative team to bring extraordinary new productions of the larger scale 19th and early 20th century repertoire to audiences at Wormsley."
This year's season starts with Fidelio on 6/6, Offenbach Vert-Vert on 7/6 and Janáček Cunning Little Vixen on 22/6. Almost sold out! So look ahead :
In 2015 Mozart’s Così fan tutti conducted by Douglas Boyd and directed by John Fulljames, Britten’s Death in Venice conducted by Steuart Bedford, who conducted the world premiere in 1973, directed by Paul Curran, and Strauss’ Intermezzo conductor Jac van Steen, director Bruno Ravella.
In 2016, Douglas Boyd will conduct a new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin directed by Sir Michael Boyd, David Parry conducts Rossini’s L’Italiana in Algeri directed by William Tuckett, and Tobias Ringborn conducts Mozart’s Idomeneo with Tim Albery directing.
Garsington Opera at Wormsley fills an important niche. It's Britain's foremost Rossini house, having presented 12 Rossini opera since 1995. Read about the ground-breaking new Rossini Maometto Secondo commemorative CD (new edition) here. It's also an elegant Mozart house. The new developments suggest thrilling new possibilities. The season at Wormsley, includes a weekend commemorating the First World War with a celebrity recital by Steven Isserlis, masterclass with Ann Murray, tours of the world-famous Getty Library and a symposium Peace in our Time? led by James Naughtie with Oxford historian Professor Margaret MacMillan, writer Miranda Carter and Jeremy Paxman .
photo: Mike Hoban