GLYNDEBOURNE TOUR 2013 to Return to The Marlowe Theatre, Nov 12-16
GLYNDEBOURNE'S 45th annual tour will make a triumphant return to Canterbury in one month's time. Glyndebourne Tour, which visited The Marlowe Theatre for the first time last year, offers three operas crafted to the highest possible production standards and showcases some of the most exciting new operatic talent in the UK. It is a culmination of 550 hours' rehearsal time and features a cast of 23 soloists, 37 choristers, 119 musicians and 20 children.
The Tour features a new production of Benjamin Britten's The Rape of Lucretia directed by actress and director Fiona Shaw. This is Glyndebourne's first production of Britten's masterpiece since its world premiere at Glyndebourne in 1946.
Laurent Pelly's 2008 vivid re-imagining of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel is set in the sugar-saturated aisles of a supermarket - a contemporary twist on a traditional and much-loved fairytale.
Annabel Arden's gloriously romantic 2007 production of Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore, also takes to the road. Audiences can enjoy a free pre-performance talk exploring the themes of each opera on the first night of each production; an opera buff's heaven!
New to Glyndebourne Tour this year is Captain Blood's Revenge, a specially commissioned studio opera for children aged seven to nine composed by Lynne Plowman. For Years 5 to 13, Glyndebourne is offering a full-length, fully staged performance of Hänsel und Gretel. Both productions will see hundreds of Kent children experience the exhilaration of watching world-class opera, many for the first time.
Singing Junius in The Rape of Lucretia is Kentish-born Oliver Dunn, who began his operatic career in the Glyndebourne Chorus. He has since gone on to perform for English National Opera and Opera North and is making a welcome return to Glyndebourne Tour after performing in the 2011 Tour production of La boheme.
Oliver says: "I'm certainly looking forward to singing in Canterbury. County identity is something which, I think, is much underrated and I am very proud of my Kentish roots! Vocally it is inspiring to be working at Glyndebourne. Hundreds of world-class singers, conductors and directors pass through every year, rubbing shoulders with them and witnessing their work is quite incredible."
Conducting Hänsel und Gretel is 20-year-old Venezuelan Ilyich Rivas, who made his Tour and Glyndebourne debut in 2012 conducting a number of performances of Mozart's beloved comedy Le nozze di Figaro. In the last year alone, Ilyich has made a number of successful international debuts which include the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Stockholm Philharmonic and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestras.
L'elisir d'amore features rising American tenor Christopher Tiesi, who makes his UK and Glyndebourne debut as Nemorino. Alongside him, US soprano Joélle Harvey makes her role debut as Adina, returning to Glyndebourne after her much admired Tour debut last year performing Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro.
As well as Canterbury, Glyndebourne's Tour takes in Woking, Norwich, Milton Keynes, Plymouth and Stoke-on-Trent. The mammoth organisational challenge required to take three full-scale, world-class operas on the road calls for a huge team of people working behind-the-scenes. Every week, 22 stage crew work two shifts a day with another crew working through the night - a total of 1,200 hours every week - to ensure the operas are ready.
David Pickard, General Director at Glyndebourne, says: "Glyndebourne remains steadfast in its desire to invest in the future of both audiences and performers and the Tour does this in two important ways - by bringing world-class performances to new audiences and by bringing new talent to the fore."
Glyndebourne Tour 2013 is at The Marlowe Theatre from Tuesday 12 to Saturday 16 November. For full performance details, and to book tickets (priced from £29 to £60, concessions available), call the Box Office on 01227 787787 or go to marlowetheatre.com.
Photo Credit: Bill Cooper