Free to watch on Sky Arts on Sunday 20 December, Glyndebourne: No Ordinary Summer charts the 'show-must-go-on' effort made to mount an opera in the verdant gardens of the Sussex country mansion after the main season in the opera house was cancelled.
Soprano Danielle de Niese, and tenors Nicky Spence and Allan Clayton headed a starry cast in Jacques Offenbach’s Mesdames de la Halle, a jaunty romp set in a Parisian fruit and vegetable market, performed in a new version by Stephen Plaice, and given a new title: In the Market for Love.
In the Market for Love was such a success, it was repeated inside the opera house at Glyndebourne in the autumn. Photo: Richard Hubert Smith
The 12-strong cast worked together at a safe distance, without a chorus, and props and costumes from earlier productions were brought out of hibernation and given another airing. Glyndebourne's regular instrumentalists, the London Philharmonic Orchestra staged a first-half concert with the comic opera following after a 75-minute picnic interval – thereby preserving a much-loved Glyndebourne tradition.
Also available to watch online over Christmas and New Year is a free stream of Sir Peter Hall’s elegant production of Rossini's La Cenerentola.
Based on the traditional Cinderella story and full of tender emotion and sparkling comedy, La Cenerentola is an ideal opera for Christmas. This well-received production premiered at the 2005 Glyndebourne Festival and was filmed live that summer.
Glyndebourne's magical La Cenerentola is streamed from 17 Dec to 4 Jan. Photo: Mike Hoban
Vladimir Jurowski conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra and a cast led by Romanian mezzo-soprano Ruxandra Donose as Cinderella. Russian tenor Maxim Mironov is Prince Ramiro, with Italian bass-baritone Luciano Di Pasquale as Don Magnifico, and American soprano Raquela Sheeran and Italian mezzo-soprano Lucia Cirillo as the ugly sisters.
Two Christmas crackers from Glyndebourne – just the curtain-raiser we need for the Sussex opera house's season 2021.
La Cenerentola is streamed free on glyndebourne.com or the Glyndebourne YouTube channel from 6pm on Thursday 17 December 2020 until noon on Monday 4 January 2021
|What||Christmas at Glyndebourne, on screen and online|
17 Dec 20 – 04 Jan 21, Streaming, free to view, plus a TV documentary
|Website||Click here to view|