Bampton Classical Opera 2021 Season Announcement

Bampton Classical Opera’s 2021 season develops a particular Bampton interest in the inexplicably neglected works by one of the most significant 18th century operatic masters, CW Gluck.  In The Crown, a light-hearted occasional piece originally composed for four Austrian Archduchesses, Gluck explores a classical story of a country’s salvation from a ravaging beast: this is offered as a symbol of hope as we begin to emerge from lockdown.  In contrast is the passionate and psychologically intense Paris and Helen, which charts the tempestuous encounter between the legendary Helen and Paris of Troy. This is followed in the autumn by the fifth Bampton Young Singers’ Competition, aimed at identifying and nurturing the finest young singers in the UK and their accompanists.
Christoph Willibald Gluck: The Crown (La corona) composed 1765
Azione teatrale, in one act, sung in Italian with linking English narration
Concert Performances:
St John’s Smith Square, London: 7.30pm Tuesday May 18
University Church, Oxford: 7.30pm Saturday May 22
These concert performances of Gluck’s one-act opera The Crown will be the first in the UK since 1987.
Composed in 1765 with a libretto by Pietro Metastasio The Crown (La corona) glories in the sensuous beauty and virtuosity of the soprano voice.  It was written for four Viennese Archduchesses, daughters of the Holy Roman Emperor Francis I and the formidable Empress Maria Theresa, intended for the Emperor’s birthday celebrations, but abandoned due to his sudden death. Early music specialist Robert Howarth conducts, making his Bampton debut, and an outstanding cast includes Lucy Anderson, first prize-winner of the 2019 Bampton Young Singers’ Competition. 
The London performance of this great rarity, postponed from November 2020, will be filmed and available to watch online via
Meleagro – Harriet Eyley (soprano)
Atalanta – Samantha Louis-Jean (soprano)
Climene – Lisa Howarth (soprano)
Asteria – Lucy Anderson (soprano)
Narrator – Rosa French
Orchestra – CHROMA
Conductor – Robert Howarth
Details of booking will be made available later pending further pandemic announcements.
More information on Bampton’s performances of Gluck’s ‘The Crown
Christoph Willibald Gluck: Paris and Helen (Paride ed Elena) composed 1770
Dramma per musica in five acts, sung in English
The Deanery Garden, Bampton, Oxfordshire: Friday 23, Saturday 24 July
The Orangery Theatre, Westonbirt School, Gloucestershire: Monday 30 August
St John’s Smith Square, London: Friday 24 September
In Summer 2021 Bampton Classical Opera will present one of Gluck’s major works, Paride ed Elena, postponed from 2020 which marked 250 years since its premiere in 1770.  It will be given in a new English translation by Gilly French. Despite its significance in Gluck’s canon and its glorious quality, Paris and Helen is very rarely performed and little-known.  Bampton’s St John’s Smith Square performance may be its first-ever London staging. The production will be directed by Jeremy Gray and conducted by Thomas Blunt. Scored for four soprano voices with chorus, and with colourful and exciting orchestration, Bampton’s performances aim to bring this enchanting and sensuous work to new audiences.
Gluck’s extraordinary opera, with a libretto by Ranieri de’ Calzabigi, charts the passionate and tempestuous encounter between the legendary Helen and Prince Paris of TroyParis ardently woos her in a sequence of ravishing arias and ensembles, including the exquisite and much-loved O del mio dolce ardor
Paris – Samantha Louis-Jean (soprano)        
Helen – Lucy Anderson (soprano)     
Amor – Lauren Lodge-Campbell (soprano)              
Pallas Athene – Lisa Howarth (soprano)                   
Conductor – Thomas Blunt
Orchestra of Bampton Classical Opera (Bampton, Westonbirt)
CHROMA (St John’s Smith Square)
Details of booking will be made available later pending further pandemic announcements.
More information on Bampton’s performances of Gluck’s ‘Paris and Helen’
Bampton Classical Opera Young Singers’ Competition 2021
The fifth Young Singers’ Competition will take place this autumn, and is open to singers aged 21-32 and their accompanists. The public Final will be at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford on Sunday 28 November. This biennial competition was first launched in 2013 to celebrate the company’s 20th birthday and is aimed at identifying the finest emerging young singers and their pianists currently working in the UK. Previous winners have included mezzo-sopranos Anna Starushkevych and Emma Stannard and sopranos Galina Averina and Lucy Anderson. Bampton Classical Opera has a reputation for its commitment to young talent and a number of musicians who have appeared in Bampton productions have gone on to work with leading national and international companies.