Garsington Opera’s 30th anniversary season: four new productions including an Offenbach premiere

The season culminates
with concert performances of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610,
celebrating the start of a partnership with The English Concert. The season
runs from 29 May to 26 July.

Garsington Opera remains committed to engaging great singers from around
the world as well as showcasing the best talent from the UK. They are
joined by the Garsington Opera Chorus and Orchestra, and
for the performances of The Bartered Bride, the Philharmonia Orchestra.

The UK stage premiere of Offenbach’s little-known opera Fantasio celebrates his bicentenary year. A
beguiling tale of love and mistaken identity, it will feature Hanna Hipp, who sang Clairon in Capriccio last
season, in the role of the Jester, a melancholy,
moon-struck dreamer yearning after Princess Elsbeth, performed by Jennifer France, winner of the Critics Circle Emerging
Talent Award 2018, the Leonard Ingrams Foundation Award 2014 and praised
for her appearance as Susanna in John Cox’s legendaryLe nozze di Figaro. They are joined byHuw Montague Rendall (Prince of Mantua),Timothy Robinson (Marinoni),Brian Bannatyne-Scott (King of Bavaria) and Bianca Andrew (Flamel). Three singers, formerly on the
Alvarez Young Artists’ Programme, Benjamin Lewis (Sparck),Joseph Padfield (Hartmann) and Joel Williams (Facio) complete the cast. This fantastical
story is performed in a lively new English translation byJeremy Sams. The creative team of directorMartin Duncan and designer Francis O’Connor return after many admired productions at
Garsington Opera, and are joined by lighting designerHoward Hudson and choreographerEwan Jones. Making his Garsington Opera debut, Justin Doyle, Artistic Director of

RIAS Kammerchor

, Berlin, will conduct.

The Bartered Bride
, a celebration of Czech culture and identity, will be reimagined into the
heart of the English countryside, and will open the season.Natalya Romaniw, last seen at Garsington as Tatyana inEugene Onegin, sings the heroine Ma? enka who uses all her charm and cunning to marry the man she loves
– JenÌk, sung by American tenor Brenden Gunnell. The cast
includes Joshua Bloom (Kecal) last seen as Figaro (2017),Stuart Jackson (Vaöek), Peter Savidge (Kruöina), Heather Shipp
(Ludmila), Brian Bannatyne-Scott (MÌcha),Anne-Marie Owens (H·ta), andJeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (Circus Master). Lara Marie M¸ller, a former Alvarez Young Artist, sings
Esmeralda. Dance is at the heart of this sparkling work from the vibrant
overture to the riotous and festive polka; Jac van Steen,
who returns after his success with PellÈas et MÈlisande (2017),
will conduct the Philharmonia Orchestra. The creative team
of Paul Curran (director) and Kevin Knigh
t (designer), whose production of Death in Venice (2015) was much
acclaimed, returns with Howard Hudson (lighting designer)
and Darren Royston (movement director).

Mozart’s enduring masterpiece Don Giovanni will
feature several role debuts including Jonathan McGovern in
the title role, David Ireland (Leporello), formerly an
Alvarez Young Artist, Australian soprano Sky Ingram (Donna
Elvira) and Welsh tenor Trystan Ll? r Griffiths (Don Ottavio). The cast also includes two UK
debuts – Brazilian soprano Camila Titinger (Donna Anna)
and Canadian soprano Mireille Asselin (Zerlina).Paul Whelan (Commendatore) and former Alvarez Young Artist Thomas Faulkner (Masetto) complete the cast. Garsington
Opera’s Artistic Director Douglas Boyd conducts and former
Artistic Director of the Royal Shakespeare CompanyMichael Boyd (director) returns to direct together withTom Piper (designer), after their success withPellÈas et MÈlisande (2017) and Eugene Onegin (2016) with Malcolm Rippeth (lighting designer).

The Turn of the Screw
with a libretto by Myfanwy Piper, based on the novella by Henry James, is
considered to be one of Britten’s finest stage works. The gripping story of
a young governess, performed by Sophie Bevan, sent to a remote country house to care for two children,
also features the tenor Ed Lyon (Prologue/Quint), making
his role debut. Also in the cast are Kathleen Wilkinson
(Mrs Grose) and Katherine Broderick (Miss Jessel).
Emerging American director Louisa Muller makes her UK
debut together with two-time Olivier and Tony Award-winnerChristopher Oram (designer) andMalcolm Rippeth (lighting designer). Richard Farnes, conductor of last year’s admired Falstaff, will conduct.

Celebrating the start of a new partnership, the renowned Baroque and
Classical chamber orchestra The English Concert makes its
Garsington debut playing on period instruments in three concert
performances of Monteverdi’s Vespers of 1610.
They will be joined by soloists Mary Bevan,Sophie Bevan, Benjamin Hulett,Robert Murray and James Way.Laurence Cummings returns to conduct with the Garsington Opera Chorus.

Marking the end of the 30th anniversary season, on the three
concert days there will be an afternoon cricket match, tours of the Walled
Garden and Green Theatre Recitals showcasing the Alvarez Young Artists, as
well as the opportunity to visit the Getty Library.


As part of an extensive Learning & Participation Programme, there will
be a full performance of Fantasio by the Alvarez Young Artists for
local school pupils and adults, all of whom take part in preparatory
workshops to introduce them to opera and deepen their enjoyment of the


Opera patrons are invited to arrive from 3.30pm to enjoy the extensive
gardens and Deer Park of the Wormsley Estate in the heart of the Chilterns,
before performances begin in the early evening. Those arriving early can
take a short trip in a vintage bus to the 18th century Walled Garden. On
their return, they can enjoy traditional afternoon tea overlooking the
cricket pitch, admire the spectacular views across the Deer Park and lake
from the Champagne Bar, or stroll around the Opera Garden and grounds. In
the long dinner interval patrons can dine in the elegant restaurant marquee
overlooking the famous Wormsley Cricket Ground or they can have a picnic by
the lake, in the garden or in one of the private picnic tents. Performances
resume as the evening light begins to fade and end around 10.15pm. A
minibus service connects with High Wycombe station, a half hour train
journey from London. A short open-air recital by Alvarez Young Artists
awaits Saturday patrons in the Green Theatre in the Walled Garden (weather


Garsington Opera is passionate about widening access to a young audience
and has a much sought-after GO?35 membership scheme which offers subsidised
tickets, priority booking, free train transfers, pre-performance parties
and half price programmes.


The Bartered Bride
– 1 29, 31 May, 6, 8, 11, 15, 20, 23, 30 June (start time 6.05pm)

Don Giovanni

30 May, 1, 7, 13, 24, 29 June, 3, 6, 12, 14, 18, 21 July (start time

14, 16, 22, 27 June, 5, 8, 11, 17, 20 July (start time 6.05pm)

The Turn of the Screw
1, 4, 7, 13, 15, 19 July (start time 6.35pm)

Vespers of 1610 – 2
4, 25, 26 July (start time 8.30pm)

Tickets £60 – £225 including a suggested but non-obligatory donation of £70
(Vespers £30).

Public booking opens Tuesday 19 March 2019. Book online:

or Telephone 01865 361636.