Pegasus Opera Company Present the UK Premiere of SHAW GOES WILDE
Following last year's successful run of Ruth and The Dark Lady of the Sonnet, Pegasus Opera Company presents another outstanding opera double bill titled Shaw Goes Wilde. The productions are based on Oscar Wilde's The Nightingale and The Rose and George Bernard Shaw's The Music Cure. The two one act shows will be performed on Friday 12, Saturday 13 at 7.30pm and Sunday 14 April at 2.30pm at the new Susie Sainsbury Theatre, Royal Academy of Music, London, NW1 5HT.
The first act is The Nightingale and the Rose features themes of love and rejection. Oscar Wilde's bittersweet production sees a student who falls for a young maiden, who demands the student show his feelings by giving her a red rose. Unable to find one, a nightingale offers to make a red rose for him. The production stars celebrated soprano Alison Buchanan, award winning baritone Peter Brathwaite (Effigies of Wickedness at Gate Theatre), Oliver Brignall, Thomas Bennett, Angela Caesar (Caroline or Change at Playhouse Theatre), Katie Grosslet, Amal Khalidi and Nick Morton. The second act is The Music Cure, a satirical comedy set in the 1900s, which sees Lord Reginald being investigated by Parliament for insider trading. This unwanted scrutiny makes the Lord depressed, so his beloved mother hires a famous, dynamic female concert pianist to cheer him up. This tale of love, desire and corruption is played out with outstanding, specially adapted music. The Music Cure stars Alison Buchanan, Peter Brathwaite and Oliver Brignall.
Both productions have been adapted by composer and conductor Philip Hagemann who first collaborated with Pegasus Opera Company in 2018. Shaw Goes Wilde is a unique opportunity to showcase two British iconic Irish playwrights and present a diverse cast and creative team in a brand new venue in London namely the Susie Sainsbury Theatre, part of the Royal Academy of Music.
Philip Hagemann has published 75 choral compositions including a delightful Christmas novelty, Fruitcake, written with Penny Leka Knapp, which has sold over 200,000 copies and featured in the USA television series Nip/Tuck. Hagemann has composed ten one-act and two full-length operas, two of which have won competitions from the National Opera Association in the USA. Hagemann is only the second composer to transform Shaw plays into operas.
Shaw Goes Wilde is directed by Louise Bakker works across opera, theatre and musicals. Her directing credits include: Assassins (Sevans Productions); Pravda (Tower Theatre Company). Bakker was assistant director for Jette Parker Young Artist Summer Performance (Royal Opera House); The Enchanted Island (British Youth Opera); Don Giovanni (Headfirst Productions); The School of Jealousy (Bampton Classical Opera); Ka t'a Kabanova (Opera Holland Park); The Braille Legacy (Lancrenon Productions); National Opera Studio Scenes (National Opera Studio/Welsh National Opera) and The Color Purple (Tarento Productions). She undertakes education work for the Royal Opera House and this summer, she will be assisting Christopher Luscombe on The Grange Festival's production of Verdi's Falstaff.
Alison Buchanan is a renowned soprano soloist and Artistic Director of Pegasus Opera Company. She is the winner of many prestigious awards including the Kathleen Ferrier (Decca Prize), the Luciano Pavarotti, the Washington International and the Maggie Teyte competitions. Alison has performed with New York City Opera in Porgy & Bess and Don Giovanni. She has performed in venues throughout the world including Carnegie Hall, The Sydney Opera House, The Royal Opera House, Sadler's Wells for Pegasus Opera and for the London Symphony Orchestra. In addition she has performed with The Baltimore and Boston Symphonies as well as the Philadelphia Orchestra. Alison has also performed in Brazil with the S o Paulo Symphony Orchestra and has given concerts in St. Louis, Washington DC, Gibraltar, Zimbabwe and Kazan to name but a few. She has worked with conductors such as David Robertson, Sir Colin Davis, Sir Simon Rattle, Jane Glover and Marin Alsop.
Pegasus Opera Company was founded in 1992 by Lloyd Newton and is the home of multicultural opera. Alison Buchanan became the new Artistic Director in 2017 and the Patrons are Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Baroness Doreen Lawrence, Kristin Lewis and Chuka Umunna MP. Pegasus Opera has a long track record of staging high-quality productions with outstanding professional, whilst developing new audiences and presenting productions with which they can identify. The company also exist to create opportunities for underrepresented artists and break down the perception that opera is elitist. Pegasus Opera delivers pioneering educational programmes through special workshops, outreach programmes and teaching thousands of children and young adults across London and the regions.
Past productions include Carmen, Magic Flute, I Pagliacci on National Tours, Porgy and Bess at the Barbican Concert Hall, Delius' Koanga at London's Sadler's Wells and Treemonisha at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre and UK tour. In 2018 Pegasus Opera Company collaborated with Hagemann Rosenthal Associates to present Ruth and The Dark Lady of the Sonnet at Actors Church Covent Garden.