Greek gods feature in Bampton Classical Opera's summer season
Bampton Classical Opera’s commitment to performing rarely performed operas has seen two short works by Gluck in recent years and this summer they are adding Philemon and Baucis (1769) to the list. Composed as part of the wedding festivities for the marriage of the Duke of Parma and the Archduchess of Austria it hails the hoped-for marital success. The story, taken from Ovid’s Metemorphoses, tells of a poor but loving and generous couple who welcome the disguised Jupiter into their home when he has been turned away at other doors. Their reward triumphantly celebrates their happy marriage. The opera has been newly translated into English by Gilly French.
The Judgment of Paris (1742) by Thomas Arne, refers to the mythical origin of the Trojan war. Paris, a Trojan, is given the thankless task of presenting a golden apple to the most beautiful of three goddesses. They attempt to bribe him. He is offered earthly power and kingship, wisdom and glory in war, and the most beautiful woman in the world – Helen. He gives the coveted prize to Venus, who offers the latter bribe but the lady is unfortunately already married and the rest, as they say, is history; well, mythical history, at least. The English text is by William Congreve.
Bampton Opera’s summer season is a double bill of Gluck’s Philemon and Baucis and Arne’s The Judgment of Paris. It will open at The Deanery, Bampton on July 22 for two performances and will travel to Westonbirt, Gloucestershire on August 29 and St John's Smith Square, London on September 13