Garsington Opera, on the Getty estate at Wormsley, near High Wycombe, unveils four operas, with some exciting names already on the roster.
The season will open with Rossini's sparkling comedy Il Barbiere di Siviglia – The Barber of Seville (11 performances, 31 May to 22 July). Douglas Boyd conducts the opera that in plot terms is a precursor to Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro – both operas were based on the comedy of French playwright Beaumarchais. Casting is to be announced, but music-lovers are assured an evening of virtuosic brilliance and hilarity.
We join the wily servant Figaro as he helps a young nobleman woo his future bride, abducting her from under the nose of her jealous guardian. Look out for the music lesson scene...
Next comes an early Mozart opera, Mitridate Re di Ponto (seven performances, 1 June to 2 July) The composer was 14 when it was premiered in Milan in 1770. Like the Rossini (and Mozart's Figaro), the opera is based loosely on the work of a French playwright, this time Racine. The involved plot centres on love across the divide, and is set in the Crimean port of Nymphaeum. Tim Albery directs.
Bruno Ravella's stylish Der Rosenkavalier. He returns to Garsington to direct another Strauss opera. Photo: Johan Persson
As the season unfolds, director Bruno Ravella makes a welcome return. His absolutely superb Der Rosenkavalier was universally acclaimed as the opera hit of 2021, and was Culture Whisper's opera of the year. In 2023 he directs another Richard Strauss opera, the comic and profound Ariadne auf Naxos (eight performances, 18 June to 21 July).
Ariadne grew out of a short entertainment, and is one of Strauss's best-loved operas. In it, when the schedule changes for a lavish dinner and show, high-minded singers and lowbrow vaudevillians are obliged to combine their turns, with comic but also illuminating results.
Finally, the return of a very popular production from 2019, Smetana's comedy The Bartered Bride (eight performances, 30 June to 23 July). With a new cast to be announced, the show features hugely entertaining circus skills that seemed to defy gravity in Garsington's moonlit auditorium.
Operas are sung in their original language with English surtitles. Booking dates to be announced. Watch Culture Whisper for updates
|What||Garsington Opera 2023|
|Where||Garsington Opera, Wormsley Estate , Stokenchurch, HP14 3YG | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Marylebone (underground)|
|Website||Click here for more information and booking|