Garsington Opera's summer season includes Handel, Mozart, Debussy and Rossini together with a new commission from Roxanna Panufnik
A love story with a twist opens the season on June 1. The god Jupiter is captivated by the beauty of the all-too-human Semele. In Handel’s version of the mythical story, Semele flirts with danger by demanding immortality and suffers the consequences, but leaves behind her a life-enhancing legacy.
Count Almaviva has lost interest in his wife and is intent upon seducing Susanna – on the day of her wedding to Figaro. But in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro love has many stratagems and Susanna, Figaro and the count’s wife conspire to teach him a lesson.
A dangerous love triangle emerges as Melisande, newly arrived in her husbands’ shadowy kingdom, grows perilously close to his brother, Pelléas. Debussy’s only opera Pelléas et Mélisande evokes a claustrophobic environment in which to play out a haunting tragedy.
It’s more of a quartet in Rossini’s comedy Il turco in Italia involving the flirtatious Florilla, her devoted husband, false friends and thrilling Turks. Games go wrong, lessons are learned – and will the poet find inspiration for his new opera buffa?
The power of a mother’s love features in Silver Birch, based on the poems of Siegfried Sassoon and the testimony of a British soldier, recently returned from Iraq. Following her son’s experienced in WWI the mother tries to hold the family together as they seek to help those whose suffering they share. Designed by Garsington’s Learning & Participation team to appeal to everyone from age 8 upwards it is a celebration of music, drama, poetry and dance and brings together professional singers with 180 members of the local community.
Garsington Opera’s extensive programme of education work Opera for All will continue this summer based on screenings of Semele together with a variety of opportunities for communities to be involved in creating, learning about and performing opera.
Garsington Opera’s summer season opens with Handel’s Semele on June 1 and continues with Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro (June 2), Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande (June 16), and Rossini’s Il turco in Italia (June 26). Silver Birch, their new commission by Roxanna Panufnik, opens on July 28 for three performances.