Operas by Tchaikovsky, Puccini and Saint-Saens and a well-loved musical starring Bryn Terfel comprise Grange Park's eclectic season
“Possibly Grange Park Opera’s most ambitious production...ever”, the musical Fiddler on the Roof opens the company’s 2015 season. Superstar Bryn Terfel takes on the role of Reb Tevye, the milkman of a rural village in pre-revolutionary Russia trying, in vain, to bring up his five daughters within the time-honoured traditions of his Jewish forebears. A semi staged performance at the Proms in July (a company first) will also provide an epilogue to the season. The conductor is David Charles Abell and the director/designer Antony McDonald.
La Boheme is one of the world’s and certainly Puccini’s most popular opera. Steven Medcalf’s production will be set in the 1840s of the original story in which the impoverished poet Rodolfo falls in love with seamstress Mimi. This is a story that needs no introduction; all that has to be added is that Puccini’s heartbreaking music will be conducted by Stephen Barlow.
The second opera of the season will be considerably less familiar. This is a rare opportunity to catch one of the glories of French opera, Saint-Saens’s Samson et Dalila, set during the 12th century war between Hebrews and Philistines. Samson, a Hebrew, is physically strong but romantically vulnerable, and cannot resist the protestations of love from the manipulative and conniving Philistine Dalila. He has killed the Philistines’ leader and she is hell-bent on revenge. Although her plan to capture him is successful it is Samson who brings the house down. Directed by Patrick Mason it will be conducted by Gianluca Marciano.
Marciano also conducts the revival of Stephen Medcalf’s successful 2013 production of Eugene Onegin which completes the Grange Park season. Tchaikovsky’s popular opera features the feckless flaneur, Onegin, who breaks the heart of Tatyana only to realise that in the end it is he who is the victim of love.
The Grange Park Opera season opens on June 4 with Fiddler on the Roof and continues on June 6 with Puccini’s La Boheme; on July 20 with Samson et Dalila by Saint-Saens and concludes with four performances of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin opening on July 10. The Proms performance (semi-staged) of Fiddler on the Roof is on July 25.