Following an extremely successful 40th anniversary year, the Dorset Opera Festival is presenting two new productions for its 2015 season. The first is Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera (A Masked Ball) which will be directed by Paul Carr whose 2014 production of Aïda was highly acclaimed.
Donizetti’s comic love story L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love) is the second new production and will be directed by the uniquely experienced David Phipps-Davis. Ballo will be conducted by Dorset Opera’s music director, Jeremy Carnall, who is Kapellmeister with the renowned Gewandhaus Orchestra at the Leipzig Opera.
As always the performances will be preceded by a two week residential Summer School for chorus participants and technical theatre students. The majority of those taking part are young people, who come to Dorset from the four corners of the globe. They work alongside professionals on all aspects of the production – singers, stage crew, stage management, wardrobe, props makers etc.
Dorset Opera is famed for the ‘wall of sound’ produced by its large chorus. The responsibility for that lies with the remarkable chorus director Nicolas Mansfield, who is also General and Artistic Director of the Nederlandse Reisopera (The Dutch Touring Opera). He takes on a second role this year, in that he also conducts L’elisir d’amore.
During the Summer School, participants are given the opportunity to experience Alexander Technique, Voice-Release Massage, ‘Fight Club’ (stage fighting techniques), masterclasses, and solo auditions for the artistic team.
There are three performances of each opera from 21 to 25 July. They take place in the 600-seat Coade Theatre at Bryanston located in a ‘country house’ setting amid 400 acres of glorious Dorset parkland near Blandford Forum.
The box office opens on 10 March on 01202 499199 or online at www. dorsetopera.com
Photo: Acclaimed production of Aida at the Dorset Opera Festival 2014
Image Credit: Patrick Frost Photography
For further information: Julian Demetriadi 01722 238627; or Roderick Kennedy 01258 840000
Note for Editors:
Dorset Opera was established in 1974 and apart from performing many of the well-known classics, other ‘operatic firsts’ include the world stage première of Donizetti’s Gabriella di Vergy (1985); what is thought to be the first UK stage première of Puccini’s Edgar (1980); the first UK stage production of Donizetti’s Maria Padilla (1988); the first European production (and world’s first recording) of the Brazilian composer Gomes’ Salvator Rosa (2000); the UK stage première of Hungarian Ferenc Erkel’s Hunyadi László (2003); the UK stage première of Puccini’s Turandot with the Berio completion (2007); and the UK stage première of Lord Berners’ Le Carrosse du Saint-Sacrement (2012).
The operas are performed in the Coade Theatre in the magnificent grounds at Bryanston School where picnics (and five-course dinners) can be enjoyed before the opera and during the long interval.
Artists who have appeared in recent seasons have included singers of international fame such as Rosalind Plowright OBE; Daniel Barenboim’s ‘Tristan’ from La Scala, Ian Storey; bass-baritone Mark S. Doss, and the young American tenor Leonardo Capalbo. La traviata in 2013 was directed by the great polymath, Sir Jonathan Miller. At the other end of the scale, the Festival continues to give professional opportunities to younger singers – several of whom have subsequently gone on to appear at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, La Scala, Milan and other international houses.
Champagne is provided by Pol Roger; picnic hampers are from The Salt Pig in Wareham; ice cream is by Purbeck Ice Cream.Back to News