Reason and love keep little company together in Garsington Opera's 26th season featuring Mozart, Strauss, Britten and a new partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company
The season opens on June 5 with Mozart’s Così fan tutte. A light-hearted wager spirals out of control when two young soldiers are drawn into the intrigues of their cynical friend. It’s a bitter-sweet comedy in which relationships are tested to the limit. Garsington’s Artistic Director Douglas Boyd conducts and John Fulljames, Associate Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, directs.
If Cosi is about carefully plotted misunderstandings, Richard Strauss’s Intermezzo, for which he wrote both libretto and music, is about completely coincidental ones that nearly cause havoc. It is a thinly disguised portrait of his own marriage, a relationship which baffled many who knew him and his volatile wife. Jac van Steen conducts, and Bruno Ravella makes his debut at Garsington Opera as director.
Conductor Steuart Bedford conducted the premiere of Britten’s Death in Venice at Snape Maltings in 1973. Over 40 years later, he will conduct it again for Garsington Opera. Britten’s last opera, based on the novella by Thomas Mann, it is about a writer who visits Venice to recuperate and find creative inspiration. He becomes obsessed with a young boy. who comes to represent the youth that can never again be his. Paul Curran, former Artistic Director of the Norwegian National Opera, will direct.
The season concludes with more tangled relationships. It was King Frederick IV of Prussia who commissioned Mendelssohn to compose incidental music for Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a play he particularly liked. Garsington Opera’s Douglas Boyd collaborates with Gregory Doran, Artistic Director of the RSC, on a venture involving artists from both companies to combine Mendelssohn’s evocative music with an abridged version of Shakespeare’s multi-layered dream-world, where lovers, fairies and rude mechanicals confuse and pursue one another in a wood near Athens.
The Garsington Opera season opens on June 5 with Mozart’s Così fan tutte and continues on June 6 with Richard Strauss’s Intermezzo; and June 21 with Benjamin Britten’s Death in Venice. The season concludes with four performances of a Garsington/ Royal Shakespeare Company partnership production of an abridged A Midsummer Night’s Dream which opens on July 16.