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Nevill Holt Opera Announces Cast For New Winter Weekend Indoor Performances

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Performances take place 27th – 29th November 2020.

The cast and creatives have been announced for new production of Trouble in Tahiti, NHO's first indoor performances since lockdown.

Performances take place 27th - 29th November 2020.

Trouble in Tahiti, as part of Nevill Holt Opera's Winter Weekend festival, marks NHO's first performances in its indoor theatre since the Covid-19 pandemic began and follows more than 2,000 people having enjoyed live music outdoors at Nevill Holt this summer. Clare Presland and Lawson Anderson will sing the roles of Dinah and Sam in this new production, directed by Thomas Guthrie while NHO's Artistic Director, Nicholas Chalmers, will conduct players from the Manchester Camerata with the jazz trio comprising Philippa Boyle, James Beddoe and Tom Mole.

British/Irish mezzo soprano Clare Presland has sung frequently with Nevill Holt Opera, since performing in the company's first ever production - The Magic Flute - in 2013. In the 2019/20 season she made her mainstage debut at the Royal Opera House as Red Queen in Gerald Barry's Alice's Adventures Underground. Bass-Baritone Lawson Anderson is also a popular face at Nevill Holt Opera, having performed as Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream (2019) and as the title role in the production of The Marriage of Figaro which opened the new theatre at Nevill Holt in 2018.

Former Jette Parker Young Artist Stage Director at the Royal Opera House, Thomas Guthrie, will direct and design this new semi-staging. Guthrie's ROH revival of David McVicar's Die Zauberflöte won WhatsOnStage Best Revival in 2018. His subsequent achievements include a production of Der Fliegende Holländer at Longborough Festival Opera in 2018 ("one of the best productions at this venue I have seen" - The Daily Telegraph), and his 2020 production of Gagliano's La Dafne at the Brighton Early Music Festival has been nominated for a 2020 RPS Award.

Nicholas Chalmers, Artistic Director of Nevill Holt Opera since the festival began in 2013, comments, Trouble in Tahiti by Leonard Bernstein will bring together some of NHO's incredible young performers. The stunning American baritone Lawson Anderson returns to NHO in the role of Sam. Clare Presland, the mesmerising Carmen from our production in 2015, returns to sing the role of Dinah. They will sing alongside three NHO young artists who form the jazz trio in this amazing take on American suburban life. This production also marks our first collaboration with the award-winning Manchester Camerata. It has been incredible to welcome over 2000 people to the estate over the summer to hear music and see our art and sculpture, and now it is very exciting to welcome you back into our operatic home, our beautiful theatre.

Players from Manchester Camerata, dubbed 'Britain's most adventurous orchestra' by The Times, will form the ensemble, using the arrangement by Bernard Yanotta for seven players. Manchester Camerata's CEO Bob Riley said, Following the postponement of our planned June performances, we are delighted to be appearing with Nevill Holt for their first indoor concert since lockdown. Productions like this provide much needed support for the freelancers which are the lifeblood of the UK's creative industry. We cannot wait!

NHO was recently awarded an £85,000 grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund. The cancellation of this summer's opera festival had a critical effect on the organisations future as it lost more than 85% of its income having already spent on its education programme and other work. The grant, applied for through Arts Council England, will enable the organisation to continue to run its year-round education and community programmes across the Midlands, and to continue to work with freelancers to present performances for its audiences.

NHO is an independent charity and festival run by its board, Artistic Director, Nicholas Chalmers, and Managing Director, Annie Lydford. More than 55% of its income is generated from ticket sales, 25% from fundraising and membership, 10% from other activity such as catering, merchandise and theatre hire, and 10% through an annual grant from the David Ross Foundation.

Featuring ten events across three days, the Winter Weekend festival will also include cabaret from renowned musical comedy duo Bounder & Cad; a choral concert from the Fieri Consort; festive Christmas concerts; talks and more. Between events at the Winter Weekend, guests can enjoy tours of the Nevill Holt gardens with Head Gardener, Andy Bretherick, a festive tea in the picnic chapel, or relax with a hot drink in the festival marquee.

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