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20 09 K





3 June – 14 July 2009 the 12th festival the 7th festival

























Patron's Foreword IF THIS IS GRANGE PARK OPERA’S TWELFTH SEASON, and it is, I must have written at least eleven forewords to the programme. So the choice of subjects other than obeisance to the preceding and impending seasons has not always been obviously easy – and Wasfi gets impatient if I talk about the weather too often.

having if you were an investor in an age of low interest rates. If that had been the whole story, the outcome would have been different. But the investors who wanted these returns did not in general understand what they were buying, nor the risks attached to them. The complexities were huge.

But this year is different and we have a huge subject which is affecting, whether they realise it or not in the remoter parts of the world, every human being in every single continent or country however remote.

Enter a new cast of characters. The Rating Agencies. If you are an investor, be it bank, insurance company, hedge fund, pension fund or individual and you don’t understand what you are getting for your money you rely on the Rating Agencies – and if they rate a security AAA you worry no more – it’s triple A rated and must be OK. Now the Rating Agencies also appear not to have had much idea what risks the securities they were rating contained. So thousands of investors ranging from Banks, who we all regarded as boringly stuffy people to deal with, down to individual punters who would gamble on anything, landed up with dud investments.

And, moreover, it is vitally affecting that microcosm of which GPO is a part called Country House Opera. Since the ‘financial crisis’ and its consequences from which we are all suffering are so relevant, perhaps it is worth a quick glimpse at its causes. In doing so, though it is absolutely essential it is virtually impossible not to oversimplify. I should also emphasise that I am writing in early April – months before you will read it and strictly for those of you to whom the banking and financial system generally is not familiar. The causes are manifold and not exclusively stemming from the USA, but the principal trigger seems to have been a huge irresponsible mortgage splurge in the USA: grossly unjustified mortgages to ludicrously uncreditworthy borrowers. In a quick glance like this, it is not worth speculating why this happened, but it was politically influenced. More or less at the same time as this was happening, clever employees mainly of investment banks, a cast of characters often referred to as ‘rocket scientists’ and all too often without banking experience, were inventing, with the aid of very sophisticated computer programmes, financial instruments which bundled together sheaves of mortgages. These bundles contained at the base of their financial pyramid a proportion of really bad mortgages, but they appeared to produce returns which were worth

Looking for a moment at the UK, the demise of Northern Rock meant that banks here looked very carefully at their own portfolios of assets and soon realised that, though most of the assets were fine, there might well be a can of worms or two. This naturally horrified them and they reasoned that if they had a can of worms or two, most of the competitors to whom they had been lending and from whom they had been borrowing in the wholesale money market were likely to be at least as worm ridden, if not worse than they were themselves. And the inter– bank market ground suddenly to what was in practical terms a complete halt. This halt of course spread through the normal commercial lending business of the Banks which also became very illiquid. Now whatever you may feel about bankers, and those of us who like me worked for 39 years in the merchant banking business have always been very conscious of the varying opinions that exist, the world cannot function without a reliable, competent creditworthy banking system. If that system seizes up, the world seizes up. There is no escape. cover Still life with Sweets and Pottery, 1627 by Juan van der Hamen y León (bapt. 8 April 1596 - 28 March 1631)


We must have safe repositories for our cash, we need loans, and we need a transmission system for money. At this moment in early April, it seems that Governments, however much they try, are finding it difficult to revive the banking system by throwing gargantuan sums of money at it to ensure that banks do have the capital base necessary to meet regulatory requirements. But despite this and Government guarantees for bad debts on a huge scale what is happening? – at present not much. The conventional wisdom is lack of confidence – let confidence recover and lending will start again. I believe, however, that confidence is a by–product of certainty without which we all know that we sit as still as possible and do nothing. The present so–called ‘financial crisis’ is completely without precedent in the modern world. No–one living today has seen anything like it and none of us is sure how far it is going to spread. I know that I can no longer say that I know what cannot happen. The field is completely open and until I get a feeling that the uncertainty surrounding us is fading, I shall sit on my hands. And I should say that as a bank depositor

I don’t want my bank to start lowering its standards and lending my deposits to other than really sound borrowers, whatever the Government and so–called public interest demand. Nor does anyone I know believe that nationalisation with Governments running banks would work, and that is clearly also the view of Governments themselves. I don’t know what will bring certainty – I only know that something will and at first we may not recognise it when it comes. I like to think it might be something like light at the end of a tunnel. Until you see it you may be in an endless hole – when light appears uncertainty begins to fade and is replaced gradually by increasing confidence. As I write, ticket sales for the new season are initially a little below this stage last year. You are doing everything you can to help us through a very, very uncomfortable financial season. Many thanks and with the Endowment Fund behind us, I’m pretty sure that if Country House Opera has a future, and heaven knows there are plenty of people who support it with all the enthusiasm they can, Grange Park Opera will be there.

This year’s programme of Norma, Eliogabalo and Cunning Little Vixen, not to mention the other titbits, is very enticing. Have a great season – it should be memorable. ASHBURTON 9 April 2009



The Linbury Trust The Golden Bottle Trust • The Dyers Company The Christopher Reeves Memorial Trust


Pickett Fine Leathers Catalyst Investments Eden McCallum Euromoney The Goldsmiths Company Greenhill John Armit Wines Moda Rosa Phillips Solicitors The Bridge Project Thornhill Investment Management Zolfo Cooper


Sponsors 2009 In these difficult times we are supremely grateful to our sponsors & advertisers They are the diamond geezers – a phrase we learned in HMP Wandsworth

ICAP plc  Tulchan Communications   Kier Marriott, a division of Kier Group plc

The Carphone Warehouse  CHI & partners  Kleinwort Benson  SBJ Group Limited  Laurent–Perrier  Allied Irish Bank plc  Reed Elsevier  Hiscox  ING  GAM(UK) Ltd  Baring Asset Management 


Wasfi's contribution I SUBSCRIBE TO THE IDEA of honesty in favour of spin. The business model of country house opera requires demand to exceed supply and in the current financial climate this is no longer the case. The good news is that our crystal ball was functioning well last October, it foresaw the problem and we wrote to members begging them to buy as many tickets as possible. They have been brilliant but alas this is the first year that we have not seen a growth in our ticket sales. There might even be a small decrease - a first for Grange Park (along with operas by Cavalli and Wagner). So if you are reading this at the beginning of June . . .

To every person who has supported Grange Park and Nevill Holt, I owe a curtsey.


Those autumn days were not only taken up with problems. The parish came together to celebrate Lord Ashburton’s 80th birthday with spectacular fireworks over the lake. We gave our donors a number of London parties in glamorous places. I have the Hollidays to thank for a party at Apothecaries Hall, conductor Stephen Barlow for the party in his studio and Andrew Haigh for an evening at Coutts Bank. We like to see something of our Grange family out of season and welcome newcomers. Another of these family occasions was Messiah in the chapel of Winchester College sponsored by Sir David Davies. A more atmospheric setting for Handel could not exist.

And though last year’s festival was probably our most successful to date (Hugh Canning saying that the big boys should look out), our annual donors figures fell slightly for the first time. About 6.6% both in terms of numbers of members and value. Ticket sales and annual donors are two income streams. The other two are sponsorship and larger personal gifts. The sponsorship front was inevitably disastrous. Our corporate presence has always been small and special to us. Those who stayed with us are most precious and cannot be praised too often and too loudly: Michael Spencer at Icap, Andrew Grant at Tulchan, Carphone Warehouse, Kleinwort Benson all deserve fortissimo thanks.

That’s the four income streams. My problem is that we commit to productions, and therefore singers, years in advance, so much of our expenditure is contracted and can’t be changed. We’ve all had a pay freeze and looked to see where we could cut back. Michael scrapped the generator. This is a tricky one. It costs about £10,000 but is only used if there is a power cut in the middle of a performance. So if all the lights go out . . . we will resort to candles . . . are a new production sponsor (Norma) and John and Anya Sainsbury have also made a generous contribution to the festival. Dolcissimo thanks.

Between parties and problems Jan and Rachel wore down my resistance to on-line booking. Jan masterminded the smooth start up of the new website and there she was, selling tickets in her sleep (ie on–line during the night). Hand in hand came email marketing (we need your email address) which is the undoubtedly the most effective way to keep in touch.

The fourth stream, large personal gifts, is hooked to sponsorship of individual artists. This has gone well and increased. Last festival I was asking for sponsorship of a Roman centurion (Norma), a dog and a cock (Vixen) and a humourous donor asked if they could sponsor Lord Ashburton’s dog – actually bitch - Ellie. She was too proud to be so patronised by a human without a title, but I put myself forward as substitute. Lord Ashburton has remarked that I am not as good at retrieving dead birds but he’ll let it pass this time.

In October there was the shocking death of Swiss baritone David–Alexandre Borloz, a Rising Star on the Pimlico Opera tour. A homage appears on page 29. A few weeks later Judith Becher died. By the third festival she had her sleeves rolled up and was tireless in supervising the preparation of the site, recruiting car park boys, organising our lovely thermoi and ensuring everything possible was done to make sure your visit went smoothly whatever the weather. She has been the lynchpin of many other local charities and everyone misses her.



• JUAN CARLOS VALLS DROPPED OUT – rather irritatingly with less than 7 days before rehearsals were due to start. • Around the same time, JOHNNY HORNBY DROPPED IN. His advertising firm CHI Partners couldn’t have been nicer about renewing their sponsorship despite difficult times.

It is hard to follow on from Bryn Terfel and Mara Galeazzi but this year's off–piste offerings are two legends: Wagner's Dutchman (with the orchestra of Welsh National Opera) and Ray Davies. For 2010, I am leaving the options open. My deepest curtsey is to John and Sally Ashburton for their support and promotion of sanity in the midst of their own hectic lives. We are utterly indebted to them.

• Ian Rosenblatt and Emma Kane have made a huge contribution by housing the Venezuelan Ernesto Morillo. Might one of you follow their noble example in 2010? This is the same Rosenblatt who mounts a London recital series with remarkable voices and buckets of bel canto – so if that is your tipple, these concerts are for you.

Lord Ashburton's foreword didn’t deal with the weather so I will. Today is the dullest of dull days but warm. A blue tit is feasting on the explosion of greenfly on my roses. Do greenfly actually do damage or just look ugly – to me but I assume not to blue tits or greenflies of the opposite sex?

• Last year Richard Loader moved the fences in the Lime Avenue. The result is far more elegant. He seems to have adopted the Avenue and this year he donated hundreds of pounds of grass seed to further increase the elegance.

Finally I am being told that 2010 could be even harder for us. If you bought tickets this year, thank you. If you are a guest, please buy tickets next year. If you are a greenfly, please holiday elsewhere else next year.

• Around thirty individuals have contributed to the staircase project. However, I have still half a dozen steps for sale.

Wasfi Kani OBE

Sponsored by an anonymous donor – and open to offers for 2010


In late September the Rising Stars come to Grange Park with Rigoletto prior to the tour. The website will have all the tour dates. The London performance is at Cadogan Hall, near Sloane Square on 20 October. Pop back there on November 10 for Toby Purser's energetic Orion orchestra with student members from all the London music colleges. This concert is a taster for our 2010 season. Susan Gritton (who is Countess Madeleine in Capriccio at Grange Park 2010) sings Strauss' Four Last Songs, Alwyn Mellor (who is Isolde at Grange Park 2011) will sing the Leibestod and the second half is a Brahms symphony. As well as Capriccio, our first Strauss opera, we present in 2010 at Grange Park Tosca and Love for Three Oranges – a crazy story about a prince who is looking for happiness in the form of an orange. Who can help me with Orange mobile sponsorship? Or Cointreau or Cadbury's chocolate orange. At Nevill Holt there is Madama Butterfly.


Individuals who sponsored Steps 2009 The staircase dates from 1870 when the architect John Cox gave the interior of The Grange a Victorian makeover. It comprises a single central flight of stairs splitting right and left and sweeping you up to the floor above. Until then there had been a staircase of the same format from the 17th century red brick house. When in the early 1800's William Wilkins had transformed this red brick house into a Greek temple, he had retained the staircase. Conservation builders R J Smith have undertaken this complicated project to re–unite the staircase with the building. In places they had to repair the 17th century brick form work that supported the staircase.

Step 15 Alastair Storey Step 14 Lady Shauna Gosling Step 13 Robin & Judy Hutson Step 12 Mrs T Landon Step 11 Mrs T Landon Step 10 Anonymous Step 9 Anonymous Step 8 Anonymous Step 7 Donald & Rachael Stearns Step 6 Raymond Henley Step 5

David & Simone Caukill

Step 4 Nigel & Diana Grimwood


Step 3

Grant & Brigitte Gordon

Step 2

Jim & Deirdre Prower

Step 1

Paul CG

Step 21 Dr & Mrs Christopher Davenport Jones

for sale Step 26 for sale Step 25 for sale Step 24 for sale Step 23 Caroline van Zyl Step 22 Anonymous Step 27

Step 28 for sale

Step 29 The Arthur & Holly Magill Foundation

Step 30 The Sharp family

Step 31 James Siskind

Step 33 Lulu Siskind

Step 34 Ed Siskind

TOP LANDING David & Amanda Leathers

Step 32 Leila Siskind


Heike & Cameron Munro & family

Left step 19 Barry & Anne Rourke,

Nigel & Viv Robson, Keith & Lucy Jones

Left step 18 Mr & Mrs Anthony Townsend Left step 17 Mr & Mrs H Hintzen

TRAIN LANDING Jane & Paul Chase-Gardener

Right step 17 Christopher Swan Right step 18 Consuelo & Anthony Brooke Right step 19 Charles & Annmarie Mackay GLASS LANDING

William & Kathy Charnley


Individuals who sponsored artists 2009 Andrea & P J Beaghton • Claire Rutter Norma Dame Vivien Duffield • Ernesto Morillo Oroveso The Sharp family • Stephen Barlow Conductor Anonymous • André de Ridder Conductor Francis & Nathalie Phillimore • Ailish Tynan Vixen William & Kathy Charnley • Renata Pokupic Emperor Eliogabalo In memory of our lovely member Sir Edwin Nixon who has given Grange Park its first legacy • John Hudson Pollione Anonymous MFH • Frances Bourne Fox Malcolm Herring • Robert Poulton Forester Mrs Peter Cadbury • Wynne Evans Cock / Schoolmaster Sir David & Lady Plastow • Sara Fulgoni Adalgisa Mr & Mrs W Friedrich • Claire Booth Eritea, the Emperor’s current girlfriend (but he’s bored with her) Mr & Mrs Richard Morse • Julia Riley Alessandro, the Emperor’s cousin Bridget & Alun Evans • Yvette Bonner Atilia Macrina The Wolves • All the fox cubs Sir Stuart Rose • David Stout poultry dealer JRV ADC MLV • Sinead Campbell Flavia Gemmira Dr Jonathan Holliday & Dr Gwen Lewis • Tim Dawkins Badger / Parson Mrs Ian Jay • Gary Griffiths Dog / Innkeeper David & Mary Laing • Laura Mitchell Gilda Christina & Timothy Benn • Thomas Walker Lenia the nanny A number of people were supported anonymously • Wasfi Kani Chief Executive • James Edwards Duke Joao Fernandes The Emperor’s valet • Ashley Catling The Emperor’s pimp • James Laing Giuliano


On offer in 2010 ARTISTIC MEN Andrew Kennedy • Flamand Capriccio Roderick Williams • Oliver Capriccio tba • Cavaradossi Tosca Wynne Evans • Italian tenor Capriccio

MEN of STATUS Robert Poulton • Scarpia, chief of police Tosca Quirijn de Lang • The Count Capriccio Matthew Best • La Roche Capriccio Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts • Prince Oranges Henry Waddington • Prime Minister Oranges Vuyani Mlinde • The magician Oranges King of Clubs Oranges

GRAFTERS The prompter Taupe Capriccio Angelotti, a political prisoner Tosca Spoletto, a police agent Tosca Cook Oranges Wynne Evans • Truffaldino, the jester Oranges

GORGEOUS GIRLS Claire Rutter • Florian Tosca Tosca Susan Gritton • Countess Capriccio Sara Fulgoni • Clairon Capriccio Italian soprano Capriccio Dancer Capriccio Three princesses Oranges



Opera at Nevill Holt The people on this page and the next have made generous gifts that have helped bridge the gap between the cost of the artistic programme at Nevill Holt and ticket sales. We are very grateful. To join them, use the form at the back of the programme.

The Captain's Table 2009 Mr Philip Bland Anthony Bunker Peter Crisp & Jeremy Crouch The Everard Foundation Nigel & Diana Grimwood Andrew Haigh Keith Hann The Hardingham Trust Mr & Mrs Michael Heaton David & Mary Laing Chris & Jane Lucas June Lumbard Ian & Clare Maurice John Salmon Sir James & Lady Spooner


Through the classroom window 1955 Donald Hunter's drawing for the Royal Drawing Society's examination


The Clipper Class 2009 Mr & Mrs J D Abell Mr & Mrs C R Bennion Kate & Philip Douglas Denis Dunstone Richard & Celia Foulkes Mrs M A Gammell Mr Timothy Gidley Wright

Michael Godbee Mrs M Granziol Mr and Mrs James Lowther Ian & Caroline McAlpine Christopher Morris Lady Morris Ian & Murie Ronald

Mr & Mrs James Saunders Watson Hugh & Angela Sinclair Hon Mrs Wheeler-Bennett and an anonymous donor

The Stowaways 2009 Mr Jinx Grafftey-Smith Mr & Mrs Victor Green Mr & Mrs Richard Hill

Mrs Robin Abbott Edward Aubrey-Fletcher David Barker QC Stanley Bates Brian Beardsall Mrs Margaret Bowen Mr & Mrs Barry Burles Mr & Mrs Kit Burrows Mr Michael Butterfield Andy Butterworth Sir Ian & Lady Byatt Denis & Ronda Cassidy Michael Cazenove Mrs Mark Charnock Dr & Mrs E Craven Dexter Mr Richard Frost Dr R Godwin-Austen

Dr & Mrs D Hinton Bryan & Mo Hollier Paul Hyde-Thomson Victoria Joel & Steven Bobasch J Denys Johnson Keith & Lucy Jones Bob Lancaster Mrs Nicholas Lyons Pieter & Patricia Mommersteeg Guy & Sarah Norrie John & Dianne Norton Sir John Parsons Ian Pasley-Tyler Sir James Perowne Barry & Nikki Rivers

Robert & Monica Rust Sue & Gerry Sharp David & Liz Staveley Terry Stone OBE Mr John Swallow Pru Tatham David & Janet Thomas Mrs A J Thorman Mr Anthony Trace QC & Mrs Trace Robert & Patricia Wakeford Heather & Andrew Wallis Mr & Mrs J R Whitehead Mr & Mrs E G Wignall and three anonymous donors

The Cunards 2004 Ron Haylock Richard & Victoria Heyman Mr & Mrs Michael Learoyd Mrs Sam Lloyd Sir Bruce & Lady MacPhail Sir Richard & Lady Morris Mr & Mrs Robin Murray-Philipson Mr & Mrs E H D Peppiatt Jim & Anne Peschek Mr & Mrs Roger Sharpley Mark & Lesley Shaw

Mr & Mrs Robin Bowie Patrick & Julia Carter Anonymous Dr & Mrs Mark Cecil Anonymous Mr Peter Fenwick OBE Hamish & Sophie Forsyth Colin & Sarah Forsyth Mr Martin George The Hardingham Trust Mr William Guinness


Mr & Mrs Raymond I Skilling Sir James & Lady Spooner Mr Maurice Thompson Mike Thrower & Gill Lungley Fred Vinton The Hon Mrs Louise Ward R W B Williams Colin Williams

The view from the road between Uppingham and Nevill Holt photo Alastair Muir


The Glass Ceiling Society 2009 These are our highest level of annual donors. We are most grateful to them for their generosity

The Band Trust

Ian & Clare Maurice

Christina Benn

Gordon & Dena McCallum

Mrs Michael Beresford-West

Ian & Debrah McIsaac

Tom & Ann Black

Mr & Mrs Roger Morris

Mrs Jennifer Blackwell

Heike & Cameron Munro

Mrs Jenny Bland

Pierre & BeĂ trice Natural

Lady Brown CJE

Charles Outhwaite

David & Simone Caukill

Stephen & Isobel Parkinson

Sir James Cayser, Bart

The Countess of Portsmouth

Samantha & Nabil Chartouni

Dominic & Katherine Powell

Tim & Maria Church

David & Hilary Riddle

The Hon Sir Christopher Clarke

Tim & Barbara Roberts

Ian Clarkson & Richard Morris

David Russell & Angela Gallop

John & Louise Dear

Mr & Mrs David Salisbury

Kate Donaghy

Lord & Lady Sharman

Andrew & Liann Eden

Stella Shawzin

Martin & Eugenia Ephson

Dominic Shorthouse

Niall & Ingrid FitzGerald

Brigitte & Martin Skan

Steve & Linda Garnett

Mrs Marveen Smith

Roger Gifford & Clare Taylor

Marcus & Sarah Stanton

Jill Goulston

Alastair Storey

Mr & Mrs Robin Herbert

Mr David Taylor

Liz Hewitt

Mr Andrew Unwin

Caspar & Cathy Ingrams

Lou & John Verrill

Rowan Jarvis

Mr & Mrs Kevan Watts

Mr Anthony Johnson

John & Jan Whiter

The Kilfinan Trust

and six anonymous donors

Neil King Mike Hall & Shuna Mackillop



Looking into the garden, Southside House, 3–4 Woodhayes Road, Wimbledon photo Ingalill Snitt


Rusalka Grange Park Opera 2008 Director / designer Antony McDonald


The School of Hippocrates 2009 Mr Stephen Ainger The Allenby Family Camilla Baldwin Mrs Isla Baring Roger Birtles Anthony Boswood Mrs Clemens Brenninkmeyer Mr & Mrs Roy D Brown Anthony Bunker Mr Tom Busher Mr & Mrs Peter Clarke Mrs Carolyn Conlan Stephen & Julia Crompton Mr & Mrs G W Daughtrey Kathrine Davies Simon & Noni de Zoete Patrick Despard Miss Helen Dorey FSA Mr Michael Eaton Jennifer & Robert Enslow Stuart Errington CBE DL Jeremy & Rosemary Farr Venetia Findlay Mr & Mrs Simon P Fisher Mr & Mrs Mark D Fleming Mr & Mrs John Foster Robert Francis QC & Alison Meek Francois Freyeisen & Shunicho Kubo Mr & Mrs Geoffrey Fuller Lindsey Gardener Susie Gaunt David & Margaret Gawler Grant & Brigitte Gordon Suzanne Graham-Dixon Mrs M Granziol Marcus & Susan Grubb

Wendell & Andrea Harris Mr & Mrs H Hintzen Mr & Mrs Christopher Holdsworth Hunt Lucy Holmes & Alexandra Wood Mrs M Holmes & Mr S A Holmes Robin & Judy Hutson Mr Charles & Lady Iona Ind Judith & Peter Iredale Ian & Noelle Irvine Mrs Harriet Jackson Peter & Morag James Mr John Jarvis QC Martin Jay CBE DL Mr & Mrs Simon Jeffreys Margi & Mike Jennings Hilary Jones Keith & Lucy Jones Dr Ingo Klรถcker Liz & Roger Kramers Mr & Mrs Andrew E Law Mr Peter Leaver QC Mr Gerald Levin Jamie & Laura Lonsdale Sarah Louveaux & Jo Hudson Alistair & Sara Mackintosh Charles & Sue Marriott William & Felicity Mather David McLellan Mr & Mrs John Moreton Mr & Mrs Peter Morgan Ian & Jane Morrison Colin Murray Mr & Mrs Piotr Nahajski Guy & Sarah Norrie Princess Paul Odescalchi

Mr & the Hon Mrs J Ogilvie Thompson Robert Linn Ottley James & Nicky Palmer Tim & Therese Parker Liz Peace CBE & Nigel Peace Sally Phillips Jonathan & Gillian Pickering Mr Charles Pike Sir Desmond & Lady Pitcher Mrs Sally Posgate Hugh & Caroline Priestley John & Victoria Raymond Marian & Martin Read Tineke Dales Mr & Mrs Michael Rice Mr Clive Richards OBE DL Nigel & Viv Robson Barry & Anne Rourke Sir James & Lady Scott Nigel Silby Andrew & Jill Soundy Geoff Squire OBE Sir Nigel & Lady Teare Mr & Mrs Hugh Tidbury Mr & Mrs Denis Tinsley Chris & Miranda Ward Johanna Waterous & Roger Parry Kevin & Sonia Watson Mr & Mrs Edward Weston Nigel Williams Penny & Nicholson Wilson Mr & Mrs R J Woolnough David & Liz Wootton and five anonymous donors



The School of Archimedes 2009 Brian Abbs Mr Robin Aisher OBE John & Jackie Alexander Rosemary Alexander Lady Allan Robin Allen & Gay Moon Etienne d’Arenberg The Lady Armstrong John Arney Dr Richard Ashton Roger & Lisa Backhouse Mr & Mrs J Balfour Annette Ball Mr Peter Bell Mrs Julian Benson Mr & Mrs Mark Benson Adrian Berrill-Cox The Hon Mrs Julian Berry Mr & Mrs Peter Bevan Mike & Alison Biden Anthony Bird Donald Birts Mr David Blackburn Halldora Blair Mrs Simon Boadle Elisabeth & Bob Boas Mrs Margaret Bolam Mr T A & Mrs E Boley John & Lillie Boumphrey Mr & Mrs Graham Bourne Mr & Mrs W Neville Bowen Jan Bowlus Dr & Mrs Douglas Bridgewater Mr & Mrs John Britton Robin & Jill Broadley Dorothy & John Brook Consuelo & Anthony Brooke Mr & Mrs Antony Brooking Stuart & Maggie Brooks Mr George Brown & Dr Alison Calver Mr & Mrs Charles H Brown Hugh & Sue Brown Mr & Mrs Nicholas Browne Mr David Bruce Mr & Mrs Thomas Buckley Nick & Helen Buckworth Mr & Mrs D M Bullough Mr & Mrs Nicholas Burnell Mr D M A & Mrs E V Burridge Clive Butler Richard Butler Adams Mark & Rosemary Carawan Mr & Mrs Peter Carden Russ & Linda Carr Max & Karina Casini Graham Cawsey & Virginia Korda Jason & Belinda Chaffer Mr Shane Chichester Lady Clark Mrs Ann Clarke Michael & Angela Clayton Sir Anthony & Lady Cleaver Mrs Susie Clegg Dr Neville Conway Andrew & Donna Cooper


Liz & Mike Cooper-Mitchell Mrs Oliver Corbett Matthew & Bianca Cosans Richard & Corin Cotton Johnny & Liz Cowper-Coles Heather & Alan Craft Mr & Mrs Keith Craig Mr Michael Cranfield Mr Carl Cullingford John & Susan Curtis Douglas & Pru de Lavison Robert Dean Krystyna Deuss Christine Douse & Peter Stevens Noreen Doyle Mr James Eadie QC Mr & Mrs Kenneth Eckett Yvonne & Malcolm Edwards Mr & Mrs S D Elliott Mr & Mrs Peter Ellis Mr Peter Evans Martin & Maureen Farr Mairi Eastwood & Richard Findlater Mr & Mrs James Fisher Ms Sian Fisher Mr & Mrs Harry Fitzalan Howard Drs T H & J M Foley Michael & Anne Forrest Mr & Mrs Robin Fox Mr & Mrs David Gamble Mark & Vicky Garthwaite Mr & Mrs Wyatt Gates Jacqueline & Jonathan Gestetner David & Anne Giles Ian & Edwina Gilroy Mr & Mrs Bruce Ginsberg Miss C Goad Mr Brian Goater Michael Godbee Mr Kenneth Grange Mr & Mrs Richard Grant Mick & Denise Green Mr Robin & The Hon Mrs Greenwood Sally & Alistair Gregory-Smith Ian & Patricia Grice Kingsley Griffiths RIBA Mr & Mrs Alistair Groom Max & Catherine Hadfield Mrs Peter Hall Nigel & Jane Halsey Mr Eben Hamilton QC John & Janet Hammond John Harbor Mr Patrick Harbour Mr & Mrs Richard Hardman Benjamin Hargreaves Timothy C Harris CBE Paul & Kay Henderson Basil Henley & Caro Barton Mr & Mrs Michael Hewett Valerie & Peter Hewett Michael & Genevieve Higgin Mr & Mrs William Hillary

Mr & Mrs Christopher Hills Frank Hitchman Mark & Vicki Hodgkinson Mr H R Holland Roger & Kate Holmes Mr Charles Holroyd David & Mal Hope-Mason Gabrielle Howatson Mr & Mrs Richard Howorth Iain & Claudia Hughes Mr & Mrs Richard Hughes Mr Laurence Humphreys-Davies Mrs Marie-Josee Hunter Howard & Anne Hyman Tim & Christine Ingram Mr Charles Irby Mr & Mrs Michael Jodrell Neil & Elizabeth Johnson Sally & Scot Johnston Caro & Max Jonas Alan & Judi Jones Mr & Mrs Edward Jones Douglas Jones Mr & Mrs Pierre Jungels R T Kanter Vincent & Amanda Keaveny Mrs Judith Kelley Tim & Tamsin Kelly Tim & Ginny Kempster Andrew Kennedy & Lindsay Cornish Mrs Dinah Kennedy Mr & Mrs James Kiernan Kevin Kissane Stephen & Miriam Kramer Diana & Terence Kyle David Laing Foundation Mr & Mrs Brian Lanaghan Mrs Alistair Lang Mr & Mrs Bill Lawes Sarah Leader Belinda Leathes Mr Richard Leonard Mrs Brian Levy Sonya Leydecker Mrs Roger Liddiard Mr & Mrs Anthony Littlejohn Mr Dieter Losse Mr & Mrs Henry Lumley P M Luttman-Johnson Mr Robin Mackenzie Ian & Jane MacNabb Mr & Mrs J J Macnamara Sir Nevil Macready BT CBE Mr & Mrs David Maitland Mr & Mrs Xavier Marin Daniel Marks & Paul Carter Sarah B Mason Brian & Penelope Matthews Wendy & Michael Max Mr & Mrs A Mayhook-Walker Mr & Mrs Douglas McGregor Michael McLaren QC & Caroline McLaren Kathryn & Sarah McLeland Mrs John McVittie

Lawrance Messer Charitable Trust William Middleton-Smith Alison & Anthony Milford Mr D & Dr J Mitchell Patrick Mitford-Slade David & Angela Moss Edward & Susannah Moss Lady Muir Wood Douglas Munro-Faure John & Camilla Newbegin Chris & Annie Newell Mr & Mrs Michael Nicholson Pamela & Bruce Noble North Street Trust Mr & Mrs Peter Nutting Barry & Sue O’Brien Daye Offer Mrs Eugene O’Keeffe Bernard & Anne Oppetit Janet & Michael Orr Mr & Mrs Richard Collin Nick & Lavinia Owen Mr & Mrs A E Pakenham Mrs Charles Parker Sir Michael & Lady Parker Mr & Mrs Jonathan Patrick Peter & Charlotte Peddie Ron & Lyn Peet Mr & Mrs Peter Peirse-Duncombe Mr Erik Penser RIchard & Gail Pertwee Mr & Mrs Robin Petherick Matthew Pintus David & Christina Pitman Mr & Mrs Anthony Pitt-Rivers Mr & Mrs John Platt Mr & Mrs Alex Popplewell David & Jill Potter Jane Poulter Julien Prevett Mr David Pritchard Mr Anthony Pullinger Charles & Virginia Purle Dr Shirley Radcliffe Mr & Mrs Nigel Reavley Hilary Reid Evans The Hon Philip Remnant Mike & Jessamy Reynolds Mr & Mrs James Roberts Alex & Caroline Roe Mr Nicolas Rogerson Emma Rose & Quentin Williams Peter Rosenthal David Rosier Mr & Mrs E J M Ross Mr & Mrs James Roundell Mr George Sandars Peter & Carolyn Scoble Mr & Mrs Gordon Scutt George & Veronique Seligman Jonathan & Elizabeth Selzer John & Tita Shakeshaft Tony Shead Robert & Felicity Shepherd Mr Jeremy Sillem

The border by the Font Garden Nevill Holt 2008 photo Alastair Muir

Amanda & Richard Slowe Dr Anthony Smoker Joe & Lucy Smouha Peter & Sue Sonksen Mr & Mrs C D Spooner Brian Stevens Lisa Stone Mr J Strachan Mr & Mrs Tom Sweet-Escott Phillip & Caroline Sykes Jeremy & Marika Taylor Mrs Patricia Taylor

Mrs Peter Wake DL Max & Valerie Thum Mr & Mrs Hady Wakefield Mr & Mrs Brian Trafford Rosy & David Walker Mr & Mrs John Tremlett Sir Timothy & Lady Walker Joanna Trollope Admirer of Charles Wallach Sir Thomas & Lady Troubridge Mrs Denise Wallace Mr & Mrs James Turner Mr & Mrs Philip Warner Sir Michael Turner Mr & Mrs Tim Watkins Mr & Mrs Edward Vandyk Ken Watters & Robin Wilkinson Dr Raman Verma Christian Wells Mrs Mary Vernon Mr & Mrs Graham J West X N C Villers Olof & Suzie Winkler von Stiernhielm Richard & Susan Westcott

Ian & Jane White Isobel Williams Mr & Mrs Owain Williams Mr & Mrs Patrick J d’A Willis Mr & Mrs Richard Worthington Mr Peter Wrangham Dr Ian Wylie & Prof S Griffiths OBE Richard Youell and fourteen anonymous donors


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2001 Donald Kahn & family Ronnie Frost & family • The Geoff & Fiona Squire Foundation Lydia & Miles d’Arcy-Irvine • The Carphone Warehouse The Clore Duffield Foundation • Lord Harris of Peckham John & Anya Sainsbury • Simon & Virginia Robertson Anonymous • James Cave • David & Amanda Leathers Sir David Davies & Lady Davies • EFG Private Bank • William Garrett • Corus Mark Andrews • Mr & Dr J Beechey • David & Elizabeth Challen Mr & Mrs William Charnley • Mr & Mrs Peter Dicks • Simon Freakley David Gilgrist & Bobbie du Bois • Philip Gwyn • Mrs Ian Jay James & Béatrice Lupton • Donald & Jill Mackenzie Nigel & Anna McNair Scott • P F Charitable Trust The Hon Richard & Victoria Sharp • Mrs Timothy Syder Richard & Cynthia Thompson • Anne Veeder • The Band Trust Mr & Mrs Gerald Acher Mr & Mrs David Anderson Mr & Mrs R Atkinson–Willes Anonymous Tom & Gay Bartlam Rupert T Bentley Bernard Cayser Trust Kevin & Corinne Bespolka William & Judith Bollinger Douglas Guest Bollinger James Philip Bollinger Sarah & Tony Bolton Mr & Mrs Paul Brewer Rory & Elizabeth Brooks Mr & Mrs Tony Bugg The Bulldog Trust Sir Euan Calthorpe Bt Christopher & Katie Cardona Nigel & Elisabeth Carrington Sir Peter & Lady Cazalet Mr & Mrs Bernard Cazenove The Chase–Gardener family Pam Clarke Alastair & Tiana Collett

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TheFounding FoundingDonors Donors1988 1998–1999 –9 The Mr Mark Andrews Mr Felix Appelbe BSc FRSA Mr Peter Arengo-Jones OBE Mr David Buchler Mr William F Charnley Professor Ian Craft Lydia & Miles d’Arcy-Irvine Sir David Davies & Lady Davies

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Mrs Julian Jeffs Mrs Lynette G Joly JP Mrs Z L Kelton Mr John Learmonth Mr Gerald Levin Mr & Mrs Mark Lomas Mr & Mrs David Maitland Anonymous Gordon & Julia Medcalf Lord Montagu of Beaulieu Mrs Jonathan Moore Mr Barry O’Brien Mr Laurence O’Mara Mrs Deidre Pegg Miss Mahtab Pouria Mrs C H Powell Mrs Joan L Prior Mrs Thomas Redfern

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The Grange in early 2009 photo John Salkeld


David–Alexandre Borloz baritone 29 May 1976 – 19 October 2008

David-Alexandre was born in Vevey in Switzerland. His parents are vegetable farmers and David-Alexandre would often return to the farm and enjoy its beauty and tranquillity. He first studied the trumpet in the Malmaison conservatoire outside Paris and it was during this time that he had an idea that he might become a singer. He was offered a place to study voice at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. After winning various competitions, in 2006 he joined Lausanne Opera’s ensemble appearing in Menotti’s Amelia al Ballo, Figaro and Britten’s Little Sweep. Recent work include Amonasro in Aida (Avenches Arena), Franck Fledermaus (Lausanne Opera), Pistola Falstaff, Nicias’ servant Thais (Grange Park), Orff’s Carmina Burana (Montreux) and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria (Lausanne Cathedral). Other roles include Papageno Zauberflöte, Junius Rape of Lucretia, Lothario Mignon, Ramiro L’heure espagnole and Truffaldino in Jonathan Dove’s Little Green Swallow. Plans included Traviata (Lausanne Opera), Masetto Don Giovanni (Monaco) and Kurwenal Tristan (Grange Park). David-Alexandre was an extremely accomplished artist with a natural stage presence and an exceptional baritone voice which was both beautiiful and powerful. He was already in considerable demand and it was obvious that his career was on a steep upward incline. David-Alexandre died in his sleep of natural causes in London on the morning of 19 October. He had performed Falstaff with Pimlico Opera two days previously and was due to perform the role four more times in the UK before returning to his beloved Switzerland. David-Alexandre was a very popular colleague and will be greatly missed by the opera profession.


Falstaff (David–Alexandre Borloz) has been duped into allowing the “marriage” of Bardolpho (Gareth Morris) and Caius (James Scarlett) but he sees the funny side and leads the company in the final fugue of the opera Tutto nel mondo è burla. L'uom è nato burlone (All the world is a joke. Man is born to clown) Falstaff Nevill Holt July 2008 Revival Director Hazel Gould Designer Emma & Giuseppe Belli The company took the production from Nevill Holt on a national tour and it was during the tour that David–Alexandre died


A dramatic act of rehabilitation The Financial Times The point about arts projects in prison is they ask the audience and participants serious existential questions. Who do you want to be? Not just for this evening, but for the rest of your life? Peter Aspden | Saturday 7 March 2009 | West Side Story HMP Wandsworth, London SW18 This column does not often act as a broker for jobless actors, but here is a free tip for those agents out there looking for a purposeful night out. Check out the performance of Kevin Wood, currently wowing audiences in south London in his role as Action, one of the feistier members of the Jets gang in West Side Story. Wood is charismatic, moves well and can carry a tune, although he could do with some work on his vocal projection. He may not be available for a while, though, as he is currently serving time in Her Majesty’s Prison Wandsworth. Wood is performing, together with some of his fellow inmates, in the forbidding gothic grounds in which he is incarcerated. Wandsworth is the biggest prison in the UK, and it feels like it too. In a traditional Victorian theatre in London’s West End, it can be a crush squeezing your way into your seat; at Wandsworth, as you move through the razor-wired yards towards the improvised auditorium, it feels more like a vice is being calmly applied to every refined sensibility you think you possess. Not the greatest conditions to sit down and enjoy a show, then. And yet. Pimlico Opera specialises in performing in unlikely venues and with its prison project, now in its 19th year, it takes that aspiration to its most ambitious extreme. The company brings a professional cast and crew to handle the lead roles and supervise the production, while inmates provide the supporting roles and backstage hands. At the gala performance that I attended earlier this week, Wood and his fellow prisoners showed extraordinary powers of focus and concentration – and in some cases no little dramatic ability – as they supported their professional mentors. We were, of course, all expecting the barnstorming “Officer Krupke” to be rich in dramatic irony (“Gee, Officer Krupke, we’re very upset; We never had the love that ev’ry child oughta get. We ain’t no delinquents, We’re misunderstood. Deep down inside us there is good!”) and so it proved, especially when the last verse was sung extra-lustily to the prison project’s patron, former cabinet minister Michael Portillo, smiling sheepishly in the stalls. There was still more poignancy in store when the entire male chorus, inmates every one, sang the lyrics ofWest Side Story's loveliest melody: “Some day, somewhere, we’ll find a new way of living ... ” It can’t be often that the mise-en-scène of this particular musical is as moving as its substance, but that was certainly the case here, where its theme of redemption passed for much more than mere


romantic conceit. The use of the arts in helping to rehabilitate criminals has been much in the news recently, following a clampdown by justice secretary Jack Straw after he had been embarrassed by reports that some inmates at Whitemoor prison had been getting lessons in stand-up comedy. That particular transfer of skills was a joke too far for the tabloid press, and the Pimlico production at Wandsworth had been in doubt until late in the day, pending approval from the ministry. But I wish Straw and his supporters had been in the audience on Monday to witness the after-show Q&A between the audience and some inmates, chaired by Portillo and attended by the prison’s governor, Ian Mulholland. Wood showed himself to be every bit as charismatic as his performance had implied, articulate and gifted with his comic timing (“We all make mistakes.” Pause, looks to Portillo. “You’ve made mistakes.”) Shaun Russell, who played Bernardo and also excelled in the role, was no less compelling. Russell was asked if rehabilitation in prisons worked. Only if there were opportunities to show it, he replied instantly. The words “dignity” and “self-esteem” recurred continuously in the discussion. There was another notable participant on the panel: Al Stewart, a prison officer at Wandsworth for 20 years, who had played Officer Krupke. Officers don’t usually join in prison performances, for obvious reasons. But Stewart had made the effort, agreeing to take his lunches with the rest of the prisoners in the cast, behind locked doors. A prison is as hierarchical a society as you can get; but in the arts, people are equal. They have to be. It worked out. Stewart described the experience as the highlight of his professional career. Fun as it sounds, the crux of the question is: does any of this actually work? I don’t know. There are no guarantees in the infernal business of rehabilitation; to release some inhibitions on stage is not automatically to begin the trying process of moral reform. But there have to be some opportunities offered, some risks taken. The point about arts projects is that they are not only diverting, and requiring of discipline and commitment. They also ask, when done properly, serious existential questions of their participants. Who do you want to be? Not just for this evening’s performance, but for the rest of your life? Can you find a new way of living? Some day, somewhere? Those questions hit all of us, after witnessing a great artistic performance. At HM Prison Wandsworth, they hit home that little bit harder.

IT HAS BEEN AN EXTRAORDINARY YEAR FOR PIMLICO OPERA. It began with Jack Straw’s cancellation of a long established theatre workshop at HMP Whitemoor as a result of scurrilous press in the redtops. The subsequent Prison Service Instruction demanded that all activity in prison must pass the ‘public acceptability test’ and saw prison doors nationwide close on a wide range of artistic endeavour from orchestras to theatre groups. Our own reprieve came on December 27 when the persistent endeavours of the enlightened Ian Mulholland, Governor of HMP Wandsworth, paid off and we were able to go ahead. What followed surprised us all. The piece is powerful in itself but the audience question and answer session with cast members left no-one in any doubt that the experience of taking part in these shows can be life changing for the prisoners. The intensive hard work, the camaraderie, the sense of challenge, achievement, self worth and pride lifts them from the humdrum existence of their daily routine inside and gives them a glimpse of what might be. For one, Kevin Wood, it really was life–changing. His astonishing talent in the role Action was remarked upon by several critics including the Financial Times (opposite). Shortly after the show he was in court and took with him his copy of the FT and a letter from Grange Park Opera/Pimlico Opera setting out the terms under which we would participate in and supervise his new life. . . he was released. It has been an eyeopening venture for us all – nurturing his talent, helping him find work and establishing a team of mentors to help him embark on his new life. Every piece of the jigsaw of normal life – finding accommodation, getting a bank account, seeking work, etc – is even harder when you come out of prison, have no support from any family and have very little option but to return to the life you left before you went in and – inevitably - before long reoffend. One of the conditions of our involvement was that Kevin would write an account of his life. The story of his early and teenage years reveals so clearly how turbulent childhoods beat a path to the prison door. Kevin found his way there via drug addiction and repeated non violent crime to feed his habit. If you would like to read his account of his life and subscribe to the fund that is helping him in this transition phase please contact me on We hope the chapters that follow will lead to the happier ending that Kevin is now working so hard to achieve. Rachel Pearson


Rejoice in these jailhouse blues

The Observer

Jack Straw is clamping down on arts inside prisons. If he’d been at HMP Wandsworth last week, he might just change his mind. Fiona Maddocks | Sunday 15 March 2009 | West Side Story HMP Wandsworth, London SW18 BETWEEN HIS WAGNER PERFORMANCES at the Royal Opera House last week Bryn Terfel slipped into Wandsworth prison in south-west London. He had a free afternoon and responded to an impromptu invitation. After visiting a few cells, the world’s most famous bass-baritone volunteered to join a group of inmates in a song. For these untrained voices, it must have been like having a knock-up with Roger Federer. Together they sang “Somewhere”, the yearning ballad from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. For anyone incarcerated in one of the largest prisons in western Europe together with 1,643 other male offenders, the lyrics have unbearable poignancy: “Peace and quiet and open air/ Wait for us/ Somewhere.../We’ll find a new way of living/ We’ll find a way of forgiving/ Somewhere.” Usually performed by the Romeo-and-Juliet lovers, Puerto Rican Maria and American Tony, but here bestowed on the men, this chorus was one of the emotional climaxes of HMP Wandsworth’s staging of West Side Story, given nine public performances last week in conjunction with Pimlico Opera, who have been mounting operas in prisons since 1991. Standing spot-lit alone in the balcony of the drab prison gym, these 17 men sang their hearts out, some openly sobbing. Yards away but out of reach - inmates and public never mix, not for an instant - were wives, girlfriends, parents. One mother, disgusted by her son’s criminal record, had refused to see him for years. This was the first time she could be proud of him, she said, as we filed out at the end, escorted through a series of padlocked gates to the fortified portcullis entrance and freedom. Allowing 2,500 members of the public through a prison is a logistical nightmare, the risks of which cannot be underestimated. The chief point to make is that this West Side Story was an outstanding performance and a thrilling few hours of theatre. As Bernstein’s tale of gang warfare, violence and murder was enacted at our very feet, the audience sat transfixed by this highly charged union of life and art. The fights may be choreographed but the tension is real. Michael Moody’s in-the-round staging, conducted by Toby Purser, was ambitious and effective, with simple, stylish sets and full lighting rig. Director, conductor, deft orchestra, female chorus and three excellent lead roles - Johanne Cassar’s Maria, Merryn Gamba’s Anita and Andrew Bain’s Tony - were the only professionals. The rest, professional in attitude if not in training or experience, were inmates, with one game prison officer joining each performance. A 38-year-old man who had been inside 40 times, an unexpected


star of the show, now has hopes of a stage career; another admitted he went back to his cell and wept each night, from joy at the achievement, from remorse at the circumstances which brought it all about, from sorrow at what he would do when the show was over. By chance I took part in that first Pimlico Opera show in 1991, Sweeney Todd, in Wormwood Scrubs. You have to learn to get over the strange titillation of being manhandled - in the course of stage business - by a lifer who admits he hasn’t touched a woman since he murdered his wife in the garden shed. Then an unforgettable miracle occurs: watching these often broken figures begin, haltingly, to shine as their confidence, commitment and dignity grow. For all of us it was hard work, difficult, troublesome, frustrating, sometimes frightening but always rewarding, affecting and one of the formative experiences of my life. Yet far from growing easier to mount such enterprises, this West Side Story almost didn’t happen at all. Officialdom has got the jitters. In January the justice secretary Jack Straw banned an established comedy course at Whitemoor prison, arguing that it was “not a constructive pursuit”. A formal Prison Service Instruction (PSI) followed, decreeing that every such prison arts activity must now be assessed for its intrinsic merits, as well as how it “might be perceived by the public”. David Ramsbotham, the former chief inspector of prisons, called the PSI “lunacy”. He should know. Mr Straw might note that West Side Story opened on Broadway in 1957, the same year that prisoners in San Quentin jail formed one of the most famous theatre groups ever to perform Waiting for Godot. They wrote to Beckett asking permission, and he offered to help them. As they gradually became ex-prisoners they continued to work with the playwright for the next 32 years until he died in 1989. The justice secretary should consider, too, that Timberlake Wertenbaker’s celebrated play Our Country’s Good (based on Thomas Keneally’s novel The Playmaker) is about convicts putting on a play, and art’s ability to ennoble. GCSE and A-level candidates up and down the land, studying this popular set text, must be mystified by the regressive times in which we live. I challenge Jack Straw to audition for the next Pimlico Opera staging. He will find the singing voice and dancing feet he never knew he had. He will learn much about humanity. He might also perceive that artists understand the “outsiderness” of those inside in the way Mr Straw and the rest of us, however hard we try, never will.

West Side Story HMP Wandsworth / Pimlico Opera 2009 Director Michael Moody Designer Emma & Giuseppe Belli Movement Dan O'Neill Lighting Peter Mous Photo Alastair Muir


Grange Park Opera 2009 { associated with Grange Park since its inception in 1998


The Rt Hon Lord Ashburton KG { BOARD



William Garrett (Chairman) The Hon Mark Baring { Iain Burnside { Simon Freakley { Wasfi Kani OBE { The Hon Mary-Ann Sheehy {

Mark Andrews (Chairman) { Hamish Forsyth { William Garrett Wasfi Kani OBE { Mark Lacey { Marie Veeder {

Sir David Davies (Chairman) { Gerry Acher CBE { Miles d'Arcy Irvine { Dame Vivien Duffield CBE Jacob Grierson { Donald Kahn {





Wasfi Kani OBE {

Sue Paice

Jules Ross-Brown



Anthony Legge consultant Toby Purser head of music staff Cathal Garvey chorus master Duncan Robertson Asst conductor Vixen

Penny Akroyd Jean Amos MEMBERSHIP / DEVELOPMENT Paul Bamber Rachel Pearson { Jane Barber COMPANY MANAGER Sue Bristow Helen Sennett Sue Brown Scott Cooper Lorna Clive { BOX OFFICE Virginia Collett Jan Tuffield Henrietta Cooke Box Office Manager / Press Louise Cox Caroline Sheahan Pru & Douglas de Lavison Emma Kjellin Gill Dockray Carrie Raynham Andrea Harris FINANCE Inge Hunter Annabel Ross Jane Hutchence PRODUCTION MGT Peter & Moira Jackson Alison Ritchie Jane Jarman Charmian Jones GROUNDS Penelope Kellie Richard Loader { Angela Larard John & Victoria Salkeld { Susie Lintott THE RESTAURANT Sue Neame Anthony Lane & Heidi Coles Sue Paice { PICNICS / LONG MARQUEE Lucy Pease Lizzie Holmes Caroline Perry Food Hugh and Jane Powlett Kaye Thompson Carolyn Ranald Creative Catering, Hampshire Clare Read Wine John Armit Wines { Jo Seligman Champagne Laurent–Perrier { Katharine Sellon Ann Smart CHAMPAGNE BAR Di Threlfall Jack Gardener The Hon Gina Tufnell Clare Whitfield Barbara Woods Michael Moody {


James Lupton { Viscount Norwich { David Ross Victoria Sharp The Hon Jeremy Soames {


Marius Ronning (Eliogabalo) Chrissie Chandler (Vixen) Judith Cound (Norma) Jules Ross-Brown (Rigoletto)

Jeremy Cooke { DEP'TY STAGE MANAGERS (Norma / Rigoletto) Iain Mackenzie-Humphreys (Vixen) Catriona Beveridge (Vixen) Sarah Tryfan (Norma) Christopher Bucknall (Eliogabalo) Ian Andlaw (Eliogabalo) Samantha Kerrison (Rigoletto) LANGUAGE COACH Patrizia Dina (Norma) ASM Ivano Ruggeri (Eliogabalo) Marte Bergsland (Norma) Karel Janovicky (Vixen) Jacqueline Carden (Eliogabalo) Jenni Price (Vixen) TECHNICAL STAGE MANAGER Linda Vogal Declan Costello (Vixen, work placement) DEPUTIES Jim Plumridge YOUNG ASSISTANT Nigel White Omar Shahryar Vixen Paul Gregory STAGE TECHNICIANS



Scott Darkins James Pitkin Sylva Parizkova Niall Mulcahy Jade Hawkins

Bowerwood (Norma) Visual Scene (Vixen & Rigoletto) Set-Up Scenery (Eliogabalo)



Lorna Heavey




Tom Lishman



Paul Charles @ Asgard



Tim Lutkin Asst LX design Vixen Peter Mous Wesley Hiscock Andy Turner




Sarah Bowern (Norma / Vixen) Yvonne Milnes (Eliogabalo) DEPUTY Caroline Brett WARDROBE MISTRESS

Alyson Fielden { Assisted by Rebecca Hopkins COSTUME MAKER


Elsa Threadgold cutter Chloe Simcox costume / prop maker Amanda Brothwell Stevie McTear Emma Lindqvist work placement Genevieve Cox work placement Merran Philips dresser WIGS


Jill Hardy USHERS

Geoff Jones Harry Dudgeon Alex Newman Fred Baring HOUSEKEEPING

Karen Wheeler TENT KEEPER Peter Paice Derek Lintott



Alison Ritchie Assisted by Judith Cound HEAD OF STAGE

Nigel Vincent


Wesley Hiscock Peter Mous deputy SITE MANAGER


Jane Towers THERMOI

Gillian Horrocks Clare Pearce-Smith Eric & Flick Craven Geraldine Henson Chris & Helen Roberts Richard Mansfield Valerie Mansfield Frances Fray Colin & Sarah Forsyth Judy Bennion Tor & Richard Heyman

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La Fanciulla del West Grange Park Opera 2008 Director Stephen Medcalf Designer Francis O'Connor Cynthia Makris Minnie gives a bible class to some of the miners Andrew Bain Joe, Fran Garcia Happy, James McCoran Campbell Handsome, Quentin Hayes Sonora, Wynne Evans Harry, Andrew Sritheran Trim

ENGLISH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA Cunning Little Vixen / Norma Horn Cello Violin Richard Berry Jesper Svedberg Marieke Blankestijn Jonathan Eddie Dietrich Bethge Pauline Lowbury Richard Dilley Christina Shillito John Mills Keira Doherty Richard Birchall Helen Paterson Max Garrard Tim Lowe Matthew Elston Trumpet Bass Alison Kelly Andrew Crowley Stephen Williams Susan Briscoe Edward Hobart Beverley Jones Julian Tear Neil Brough Frances Casey Ellie Fagg Trombone Flute Ruth Funnell Colin Sheen Kate Hill Clare Hoffman Ian Moffat Robert Manasse Natalia Bonner David Vines Nicholas Bricht Richard Milone Tuba Oboe Christopher Bevan Jonathan Rees Philip Harmer Catherine Schofield Timpani Adrian Rowlands Kate Robinson Henry Baldwin Ruth Contractor Tom Hankey Percussion Clarinet Imogen Richards Tim Barry Anthony Pike Viola Harp Jill Turner Jonathan Barritt Garbiella Dal’Olio Alan Andrews Liz Varlow General Management Bassoon Martin Humbey Pauline Gilbertson Paul Boyes Lydia Lowndes - Northcot Charlotte Templeman Helen Simons John Murphy Ben Gould Rebecca Carrington


ORCHESTRA OF EARLY OPERA COMPANY Eliogabalo Violin Oliver Webber Hannah Tibell Bojan Cicic Viola Malgosia Ziemkiewicz Artabe Gamba Reiko Ichise Gamba/lirone Emilia Benjamin Cello Alison McGillivray Lute Richard Sweeney Lynda Sayce Harp Joy Smith Keyboard Chris Bucknall Cornett Adrian Woodward Richard Thomas Sackbut Phil Dale Tom Lees George Bartle Andy Harwood White General Management Claire Shovelton



NORMA has been most generously sponsored by

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OPER A IN T WO AC TS Text by Felice Romani after L A Soumet’s tragedy First performance La Scala, Milan, 26 December 1831 Performances at Grange Park on June 3, 5, 13, 18, 24, 27, July 1, 3, 6 Sung in Italian with surtitles


1801 1835

NOR M A Stephen Barlow supported by the Sharp family Conductor

NORMA priestess of the temple of Irminsul

supported by Andrea & P J Beaghton POLLIONE Roman pro–consul and her lover

DIRECTOR ADALGISA a virgin of the temple


Wolfgang Goebbel LIGHTING DESIGN

Tom Roden

John Hudson

In memory of our lovely member Sir Edwin Nixon who included us in his will

Martin Constantine Robert Innes Hopkins

Claire Rutter

Sara Fulgoni

supported by Sir David & Lady Plastow

Ernesto Morillo

supported by Dame Vivien Duffield

CLOTHILDE Norma’s confidante

Sally Johnson

FLAVIO Pollione’s friend

Paul Curievici


Patrizia Dina language coach


William Lipscombe James Lipscombe Charlie Mawson James Curry



A converted British family sheltering a Christian priest from the persecution of the Druids 1850 William Holman Hunt (1827–1910) Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford / Bridgeman Art Library

Note on the painting from Druids by Stuart Piggott With loving pre–Raphaelite realism Hunt has constructed a wildly unrealistic scene, in which a missionary is being succoured by a family of friendly Britons in an improbable hut, like an amateur stage set for a Nativity play, the rear wall of which appears to be of megalithic construction. In the background Druidic ceremonies are taking place in a stone circle set in an elegant park–like landscape, and a second missionary is being pursued behind the corn plot. There is virtually no attempt at archaeological verisimilitude in the dress or equipment of the Britons though their daggers are vaguely Bronze Age in type.


Synopsis Norma In Roman–occupied Gaul, druids prepare for the sacred ceremony of cutting mistletoe led by their high priestess Norma. The druids long for a sign from their god Irminsul so they may rise up against the Romans. Norma is in love with the Roman pro–consul Pollione, the father of her children, but he loves another. ACT 1

The sacred grove of the druids The high–priest Oroveso and the druids prepare for the ceremony to cut the mistletoe. Pollione, the Roman pro–consul appears and confides to the centurion Flavio that he no longer loves Norma with whom he has had two children. His heart has been won by Adalgisa. Norma, Oroveso’s daughter and the high–priestess, appears for the ceremony and addresses her people. She insists that the time is not right for an attack against the Romans and predicts that soon the Roman Empire will collapse through its own vices. Secretly she is preoccupied at the conflict between her duty and her secret love for Pollione. Adalgisa is alone and prays at the altar. Pollione tells he he has been recalled to Rome. He wants her to abandon her faith and go there with him. She agrees to meet him the next day. Norma’s house Norma has found out that Pollione is being recalled to Rome and is worried that he might leave her behind with the children. As Adalgisa approaches, Norma asks Clotilde to hide the children as nobody other than Pollione knows of their existence – nor of her love for the Roman. Adalgisa has come to confess to Norma that she has fallen in love with a Roman. She would like to be released from her vows. Norma is sympathetic and muses on the similarity in their circumstances. She agrees to allow Adalgisa to abandon her duties to the temple. Pollione comes in and Adalgisa identifies him as her lover. Norma is horrified. Incensed, she tells Adalgisa that the

deceitful man has made her break her own vows. They hear the temple gong and warn Pollione that this could be the start of a druid rebellion against the Romans. DINNER INTERVAL ACT 2

Norma’s children are asleep. She has decided to kill them rather than risk them being taken to Rome where they would be slaves. She is unable to perform the deed and asks Clotilde to call Adalgisa. Norma entrusts the boys to her care, and tells Adalgisa that she must marry Pollione. Adalgisa has reflected on the situation and decided to give up Pollione. In the sacred grove Oroveso addresses the druids. They know that Pollione has been recalled to Rome but are fearful that the new pro–consul will be more repressive. At the temple Norma has convinced herself that Pollione will come back to her. Clotilde brings the news that Pollione plans to abduct Adalgisa. Norma summons Oroveso and her people and calls for war. Soldiers drag in Pollione who has been found in the druid’s temple. Norma raises a dagger to execute him but she has a change of heart. She asks to speak with him alone. She will spare his life if he will give up Adalgisa. He refuses and Norma then threatens to execute Adalgisa. Pollione offers his own life. Norma calls back her people. She announces that a priestess has broken her vows and that she must be punished.


Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres by Michael Fontes Who were the Gauls? Who were the druids? Was there a priestess torn by irreconcilable emotions as a patriot, as a lover, as a mother? Michael Fontes is a former master at Winchester College who now photographs orchids and butterflies in southwest France. WE NEED TO RESIST THE TEMPTATION to think of Gaul as modern France. Certainly the Gauls were a troublesome lot, and the French are eager, to judge from the cigarettes they sometimes smoke and from Asterix, to embrace them as ancestors, but for Julius Caesar, writing at the time of Norma, around 58 BCE, at the opening of his account of his campaign in Gaul, Gallia was that part of Gaul beyond what he called ’our province’. ’Our province’, Gallia Narbonensis, was the first Roman colony outside Italy, and served as an important trade route from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. It evolved from land gained in 125 BCE, when Rome sent M. Fulvius Flaccus to defend Massalia (modern Marseille), against the Gauls. The Gauls of Southern France had helped Hannibal in his march against Rome a hundred years earlier. The Massalians, the people of the ancient port founded by the Greeks, on the other hand, had supported Rome. When Massalia itself came under attack from the Gauls, therefore, it deserved protection – that was the pretext. By 121 BCE the Romans had control over the coastal area stretching from the Alps to the Pyrenees and established a garrison in Aquae Sextiae (Aix–en–Provence). Caesar called it ’our province’; it was sometimes called Narbo, after the Roman name for Narbonne. The Gaul which Caesar said was divided into partes tres (Aquitania, Celtica, and Belgica) was the rest of Gaul, what other Romans often called Gallia Comata, long–haired Gaul, and we know as central–northern France, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg and much of Germany west of the Rhine. We need to remember also that the Gauls had sacked Rome in 387 BCE. The young Roman republic had miserably failed to protect itself. The legions lost the battle of the Allia river to the Senones under Brennus, who went on to spend seven months making hay in the city. The Romans either fled or barricaded themselves into the Capitoline Hill. They could do little to limit the damage down below. This disaster had led to reforms, particularly in the army, but the resentment and humiliation lingered. To mark the failure of their ancestors to warn of an attack,


every year some guard–dogs of Rome were crucified on the Capitoline Hill, ’pour encourager les autres’ no doubt. The Capitoline Geese, whose honking had given the only warning, were brought to watch the cruel spectacle on gilded purple cushions. In 58 BCE Caesar became proconsul of Cisalpine Gaul (Northern Italy) and Gallia Narbonensis. He needed to show that conquest of the whole of Gaul was now politically necessary for Rome, because it was personally necessary for him if he was to train and keep a powerful army, and avoid being recalled by a hostile senate. He had to present the Gauls as posing a continued threat to Roman territory, particularly to Gallia Narbonensis. In De Bello Gallico he sets out to do just that, and the book has coincidentally become our major written source on the Gauls of the time. They themselves had little written culture, and it’s hard to derive much from coins and milestones. However, Caesar was writing for Rome, to show what a great general he was: it was important to him to present the Gauls as terrifying and altogether formidable. The few other sources available often relied upon Caesar and each other, and they developed a stereotype of enormous, untamed, naked, hairy warriors, quixotic and politically unpredictable, given to disagreeable habits, like collecting the heads of enemies slain in battle. Diodorus Siculus (writing ca.60 and 30 BCE), a Greek from Sicily, explains how physically daunting they could be: The Gauls are very tall with white skin and blond hair, not only blond by nature but more so by the artificial means they use to lighten their hair. This process makes them resemble Satyrs and Pans, since it renders the hair thick like a horse’s mane. The nobles shave their cheeks and allow the moustache to grow until it covers the mouth. The result is that their moustaches become mixed with food while they eat, and serve as a sort of strainer when they drink. He says they were strikingly hospitable, but also dangerous, hosts: They invite strangers to their feasts, inquiring of their identity and business only after the meal. During feasts it is

their custom to be provoked by idle comments into heated disputes, followed by challenges and single combat to the death. You clearly had to be careful what you said. They do not fear death, but subscribe to the doctrine of Pythagoras that the human spirit is immortal and will enter a new body after a fixed number of years. For this reason some will cast letters to their relatives on funeral pyres, believing that the dead will be able to read them. They were clearly terrifying soldiers: They decapitate their slain enemies and attach the heads to their horses’ necks. The blood–soaked booty they hand over to their attendants, while they sing a song of victory. The choicest spoils they nail to the walls of their houses just like hunting trophies from wild beasts. The many rumours that they

cannibalized the bodies of their victims are scary, but hard to justify. The Celts were a great culture. Archaeological artefacts show that they had a rich farming economy ruled by a warrior aristocracy. They invented and developed the barrel, which was to supersede the amphora as a container for wine and oil. They were master iron and metal workers, as their armour showed: They use uniquely decorated, man–high shields in battle, some with projecting bronze animals of superb workmanship. These animal–figures serve for defensive purposes as well as decoration. Their helmets have large figures on top – horns which form a single piece with the helmet, or the heads of birds and four–footed animals – which give an appearance of added


height to the warrior. Their trumpets are also of a peculiar and barbaric kind, which produce a harsh, reverberating sound suitable to the confusion of battle. [. . .] Their swords are as long as the spears of other peoples, and their spears have heads longer than others’ swords. Some of the spears have straight heads, but others are twisted in their entire length so that a blow not only cuts but mangles the flesh and withdrawal tears the wound open. They were much given to drink and would always be ready to pay a high price in slaves for good wine: The Gauls are exceedingly addicted to the use of wine and fill themselves with the wine which is brought into their country by merchants, drinking it unmixed. And since they partake of this drink without moderation by reason of their craving for it, when they are drunken they fall into a stupor or a state of madness. Perhaps the binge drinking observable among many Northern peoples today is genetic in origin rather than cultural. Strabo (ca. 63 BCE – ca. AD 24), the Greek geographer, makes them sound rather agreeable: As for their might, it arises partly from their large physique and partly from their numbers. And on account of their trait of simplicity and straightforwardness they easily come together in great numbers, because they always share in the vexation of those of their neighbours whom they think wronged. They clearly enjoyed a good shindig. In De Bello Gallico Caesar found himself pitted against a most formidable opponent in Vercingetorix, chief of the Averni, a tribe from the Massif Central, modern Auvergne. He was a political and military genius, a more than worthy opponent for any of the great generals of history. Not only was he the first leader to unite many of the Gallic tribes, but he was a strategist of most unusual talent who organised and imposed discipline on the Gallic tribes he assembled. In the Gergovia campaign Vercingetorix first destroyed all the bridges across the Allier and then taunted Caesar, marching his army down the west bank, shouting insults at the legions across the river. When Caesar, exasperated, rebuilt a bridge to get at the Gallic army, Vercingetorix refused battle – a difficult feat because it went against the grain for the Gauls, above all spontaneous and impulsive soldiers. He then defeated Caesar at Gergovia (near Clermont–Ferrand), killing 700


legionaries and 46 centurions, but he surprisingly lost the battle of Alesia (modern Alise–Sainte–Reine near Semur–en–Auxois in Burgundy), where Caesar tells us that with 40,000 soldiers he defeated an enormous army of 250,000 Gauls, about 6% of the whole population. One thinks of Strabo’s remark about the Gauls’ willingness to go to the help of their friends in need. At Alesia Caesar adopted the extraordinary expedient of building a wall round the fort to keep the Gallic garrison in, and another round his own army to keep the relieving force out: 25 miles of fortifications, with his army the meat in the sandwich. Vercingetorix, isolated within the fort, had no means of communicating with his huge relieving army. The two Gallic armies could not unite or coordinate. Vercingetorix was defeated and forced to surrender, which he did, as Plutarch tells us, in style: Vercingetorix (he that was their king and captain in this war) went out of the gates excellently well armed, and his horse furnished with rich caparison accordingly, and rode round about Caesar, who sat in his chair of state. Then lighting from his horse, he took off his caparison and furniture, and unarmed himself, and laid all on the ground, and went and sat down at Caesar’s feet, and said never a word. So Caesar at length committed him as a prisoner taken in the wars, to lead him afterwards in his triumph at Rome. The incident lives in French folklore in equal prominence with Voltaire’s story about how the French generals at the battle of Fontenoy asked the English if they would care to fire first. Vercingetorix was again the centre of attention for one last day, at Caesar’s triumph in Rome for the Gallic Wars. He was marched, still defiant, through the City, and then strangled at the Tullianum, or Mamertine Prison. Caesar tells us that the druids were the educated among the Gauls and occupied the highest social position. They were responsible for passing on cultural and religious knowledge, and for the performance of rituals. They were polytheistic and animist, maintaining that trees and animals had souls. They venerated nature, particularly the oak tree and mistletoe, presumably because it remains green even when its parent tree is dormant. Irminsul, the god evoked in Norma, is a tree. They preached a Pythagorean doctrine of transmigration of souls from one

Vercingetorix throws down his arms at the feet of Julius Caesar, 1899 Lionel Noel Royer (1852–1926) Musée Crozatier, Le Puy-en-Velay, Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library

body to another, which, as we have seen, the Romans felt largely accounted for the Gauls’ carelessness of their own lives in battle. The druids were thus priests, but also judges, scholars and teachers. They settled disputes in what we would call criminal and civil cases. They also determined foreign policy, and whether or not the tribe went to war, from which they were ex officio exempt service. The children of aristocratic families went to them for instruction. They wrote using Greek letters, but discouraged their pupils from writing, because they held it weakened the memory. Some think their distaste for

writing springs also from a wish to preserve the mystery of their cult. It means that we have no means of knowing what literate Celts thought of the Romans, only reflections in the other direction. Felice Romani, Bellini’s librettist, took as his base Norma ou l’Infanticide, Alexandre Soumet’s five–act play, which had recently (1831) been a triumph at the Odéon. Soumet’s play draws on three main dramatic sources, Medea, Veleda, and La Vestale.


We all remember the Greek myth of Medea, the bloodthirsty priestess of Colchis, who fell for Jason, helped him win the Golden Fleece, and bore him two children. She and Jason went to Corinth where Jason left her for Glauce, the daughter of King Creon. Medea took this badly, and poisoned Glauce and Creon, before cutting the throats of her own children (at the end of Soumet’s play Norma murders her own two children). Medea then fled to Athens, where, amongst other terrible things, she married Aegeus. Different authors have treated different parts of the myth. The Medea of Euripides deals with the events in Corinth, as does Corneille’s 17th–century French version. Cherubini’s opera Medée (1797) is the most famous of several operas on the Medea theme, but Romani and Soumet were probably more familiar with Simon Mayr’s Medea in Corinto; Romani because he wrote the libretto for Mayr, Soumet because it ran in Paris from 1823 to 1826. Veleda, the German hermit–prophetess mentioned in Tacitus, organised opposition among the Bructeri against Roman rule around 70 AD. She was known to Soumet through Chateaubriand’s 1809 treatment of the story, his novel, Les Martyrs, where she is a Gallic priestess of early Christian times. As in Norma, the bards in the Chateaubriand talk of cutting mistletoe from a sacred oak with a golden sickle; they also worship a sacred dead tree called Irminsul. Velléda falls in love with and seduces a Roman soldier, Eudore, who is a Christian. She then cries rape and calls on the Gauls to revolt against the Romans. During the battle she has a further change of heart, confesses her guilt, and cuts her own throat with the golden sickle. Spontini’s La Vestale (1807) was a great hit in its day. Napoleon said it was his favourite opera and it was admired by Berlioz and Wagner, powerful advocates for what many now regard as insipid stuff. The heroine is a vestal virgin, a priestess of Vesta pledged to chastity so that she can concentrate on tending the sacred flame. She conducts a hazardous affair with a Roman general and during a big duet the flame goes out. A lightning bolt happily comes to relight it, so all ends well. From these sources Soumet put together his verse drama Norma ou L’Infanticide for the famous tragedienne Mme


Georges. It was first produced in 1831 in Paris. He had become extremely successful and the fame had gone to his head, for he immodestly claimed in a note in the text of the play that Mme Georges traversed ’the entire range of passions to be found in the female heart’ – he mentions Niobe, Lady Macbeth, Chateaubriand’s Velléda – rising in the final scene ’to heights of inspiration which will probably never again be climbed’: in the fifth act Norma goes crazy, and having, Medea–like, murdered one of her children, throws herself over a precipice with the other. Romani, ever ready to seize upon the latest success, adapted the play for Bellini, who had a commission for an opera to open the 1831 December Carnival Season at La Scala, Milan. In Soumet’s play Oroveso is the head druid but not Norma’s father. Norma’s children have important speaking parts, and one of these children has the dream given to Pollione in the opera. Clothilde is a Christian and in an extended scene explains her religion to Norma’s children. There is no druidic ceremony nor any ceremonial Cutting of the Mistletoe, though the set contains the oak of Irminsul and an altar. Norma has been held prisoner in Rome for three years before the play starts. She keeps the recently–conquered Gauls peaceful, enabling Pollion to govern the province. He appreciates her help in this but finds her love cloying, and is becoming interested in the attractive young priestess, Adalgise. He is embarrassed in this flirtation by his promise to take Norma and his children back to Rome, and, of course, by Norma’s growing suspicious jealousy. Romani concentrates the plot, reducing Soumet’s five acts to just two. He moves the action back to 50 BCE, soon after Caesar’s conquest of Gaul, which simplifies the religious background – Clothilde cannot be a Christian. He removes most of the fifth act, the mad scenes, the murder of the children and the suicide, and devises a different end: Norma sacrifices herself, and mounts the pyre both because she can bear life no more, and to show Pollione what a noble heart he has spurned. To understand the extent of Norma’s betrayal of her people, we need to remember that Gaul’s wounds were fresh. Caesar’s final victory over the Gallic tribes had been hard–fought and painful; hard–fought on both sides, and painful particularly for the Gauls, for the campaign against

René Goscinny et Albert Uderzo

Caesar saw the slaughter of over a million people (a quarter of the population), the enslavement of a million more, and the destruction of more than 800 towns. Roman armies were as adept as Gauls at rape and pillage. Conflicting passions, such as are found in the hearts of two lovers drawn from opposing factions or different loyalties, provide the staple for much great theatre and opera – Romeo and Juliet, Pinkerton and Butterfly, Aida and Radames. Bellini’s Norma is a lover betrayed, but she is also a high priestess in a country still smarting under Roman conquest. Norma is unforgiving, but also proud, of her own weakness in breaking her vows of chastity, proud of her love for the Roman commander, of all people – a double betrayal. She is torn in every direction by her irreconcilable emotions, her overwhelming passions, as a patriot, as a priestess, as a lover, as a mother. These conflicts gave Bellini the dramatic impulse he needed. He responded with his greatest opera, the crowning achievement of the bel canto style. Andrew Porter has pointed out that the autograph score is full of unusual indications, suggestive of how keenly Bellini felt the drama: con devota fierezza (with

solemn pride), con voce cupa e terrible (in a muffled and dreadful voice), con tutta la tenerezza (with all imaginable tenderness), canto vibrato (with a quiver in the voice). Norma is a huge dramatic role; Callas said that Isolde was as nothing by comparison. Taking the long view, for he famously admired the Roman civilization he chronicled, Gibbon explains how the Romans had the insight to give citizenship of Rome to the Gallic ruling classes. This meant that all who served in the army or undertook offices of state received the benefit of Roman laws, particularly valuable in matters of inheritance, and for the transfers of wealth which accompanied marriage. The gifted and ambitious among them – maybe even Norma and Pollione’s children, one imagines – could go to Rome to compete for the important offices of state on an equal footing with Romans. As Gibbon touchingly puts it: The grandsons of the Gauls who had besieged Julius Caesar in Alesia, commanded legions, governed provinces, and were admitted into the senate of Rome. Their ambition, instead of disturbing the tranquillity of the state, was intimately connected with its safety and greatness.


Maria Callas by George Hall Of all operatic legends, none enjoys such a vigorous afterlife as Maria Callas. Plays and films are still made about her. You can even watch her on YouTube. George Hall writes widely on classical music, especially opera, and is a contributor to the Oxford Companion to Music and the Penguin Opera Guide. THIRTY–TWO YEARS after her death, the name of Maria Callas is still one to conjure with. Books proliferate. Her recordings – many of them first choice for a particular work in the estimation of critics, though all of them at least forty years old – remain big sellers for EMI, while other companies reissue those now out of copyright. Why has Callas achieved this apparent ability to defy time, and retain not just her artistic reputation but even a portion of her fame, so many years on? There are a number of reasons. One is that she was fortunate to record at a time when the new LP format led to the burgeoning of complete opera recordings, allowing her to set down on tape the bulk of her repertoire. No previous singer from earlier in the 20 th century, let alone those from the 18th or 19th, was able to do this. Equally, though very little survives of Callas filmed on stage, she became an eminently photographable woman, and when her fame hit the heights the cameras were always there to document her. Lastly, her sheer artistic quality – not just as a singer, but above all (as she herself would insist) as a musician, as well as an actress, may be make her art one of abiding fascination to anyone prepared to sit down and really listen to it. Greatness shines from everything she did, even if at times that greatness is flawed. When certain operatic roles are discussed, it is impossible to leave out her interpretation. One is the title role of Bellini’s Norma. The character of the perjured priestess was one she personified live 92 times – considerably more than any other in her repertoire. She recorded it commercially twice, both times in Milan with the forces of La Scala, in 1954 and for a stereo remake in 1960. Her live performances stretched from 1948, when she was just 25 and still at the beginning of her international stage career, almost to its bitter close, with appearances in Paris in 1965 that preceded her final operatic performance, a single Tosca at Covent Garden, by just a few weeks. It had also been the opera of her debut at Covent Garden, in 1952. The fourth performance was captured on tape, one of seven live recordings of the opera (not all of them complete) that Callas addicts need to put alongside the two studio accounts on the shelves.


Why did Callas make this role so central to her career? Partly, surely, because it represents the ultimate challenge for the soprano voice. All operatic roles present their difficulties for performers to explore and conquer. Purely in technical terms, but also interpretatively, Norma has often been declared the most challenging of them all. The late–19th century German soprano Lilli Lehmann, who started her long career singing the florid bel canto repertory before moving into the new Wagnerian territory as an acclaimed Isolde and Brünnhilde, said that she would rather sing all three operas in which Brünnhilde appears than one performance of Norma – though she kept the role in her repertory right to the end. Few subsequent singers would match her blend of Wagner and bel canto, and thus be in a position to measure the respective challenges involved. One who could was Callas, who sang Isolde, Kundry in Parsifal and Brünnhilde in Die Walküre early on in her career in Italy (and in Italian). Later, she turned the full force of her dramatic coloratura technique towards the bel canto repertory that has always been far more than just the ’beautiful singing’ the name implies. The creator of the role of Norma was the Italian soprano Giuditta Pasta, whose skills as an actress equalled her vocalism. She also created the title–roles of Bellini’s La sonnambula and Donizetti’s Anna Bolena, which Callas too sang with rare distinction. Callas’ central achievement was a self–conscious emulation of the great early 19th century divas Pasta and her great rival Malibran, women who were uniquely celebrated in their day as incomparable performers and whose extraordinary fame derived from their supreme vocal and dramatic artistry. Callas too became famous, attracting the reporters, photographers and newsreels wherever she appeared and whatever she did. But as all celebrities quickly realise, fame comes at a considerable price, and there are many photographs of Callas at moments she would not have wanted made public – notably one taken straight after a performance of Madam Butterfly in Chicago in 1955 capturing her incandescent fury after being served with a writ from an individual who had once acted as her

Aristotle Onassis and Maria Callas, 1960 Bridgeman Art Library

agent. At the end, after her voice and her career had both packed up, she avoided publicity to the point of becoming a recluse. Norma is a druid priestess so closely in touch with the divine that the god speaks through her, declaring war or peace uniquely through her as intermediary. But Norma is also a woman who has given way to her feelings, not merely choosing a human partner but one who is the enemy of her people – Pollione, the Roman proconsul whose task it is to

subdue the Gauls. What is more, he has become the father to her children – her greatest and most intimate secret. Not only has Norma betrayed her own people, but she has also betrayed the sanctity of her mission as the direct agent of the divine. That she is herself betrayed by Pollione with another, younger priestess is the great irony of the opera. That she then forgives her rival Adalgisa, and even Pollione, to accept sole responsibility for her actions and to allow the punishment for them to fall upon her, raises the opera to a transcendent close. If Norma falls from her initial semi–


divine status to the vengeful near–matricide of the opening of the second act, by the end she has achieved a heightened human awareness of her own fallibility and that of others. She could escape her death and instead cause that of those who have harmed her. She chooses not to. Like Norma, Callas knew what dedication was. She was born in New York in 1923, the daughter of recent immigrants from Greece. Her parents’ marriage was unhappy, and when her mother decided to return to Athens in 1937 she took her daughters with her but left her husband behind. Already the young Maria had shown evidence of a devotion to singing – her first known operatic role, unlikely as it may seem, was Ralph Rackstraw in a high–school production of HMS Pinafore. Back in Greece, she started to take her singing more seriously – indeed about as seriously as anyone could. Her voice teacher at the Athens Conservatoire recalled that Maria would arrive at the institution as soon as it opened every day and leave only when it closed. She would attend all her teacher’s lessons, for sopranos, mezzos, tenors and basses, later noting that she had learned more this way, especially from other students’ mistakes. With an undoubtedly pushy mother behind her, Maria managed to find a place with the Greek National Opera, moving quickly from small to large assignments, including Tosca and Fidelio, often to the consternation if not downright hostility of older members of the company. The war years were a struggle for survival in Athens, with firstly the Italian army and later the Germans occupying the city. Maria sang for and, at her mother’s insistence, fraternised with them both – one of many things for which she came to hate her after she had gained her independence. They never met after 1950, though Evangelia Callas would make some money out of her book My Daughter Maria Callas, just as Maria’s sister Jackie would from her own equally contentious memoir. Callas’ international career took off in Italy in 1947, when she sang La Gioconda at the Verona Arena. Slowly but steadily, and always with a degree of opposition, Callas’ talent and dedication saw her rise to prominence in Italy, then South America and Mexico, then in London, Berlin and New York, to the point when, within a few years, only Renata Tebaldi was a serious rival to her position as the


world’s leading soprano. Early on in Italy Callas had been taken up by a much older businessman, Giovanni Battista Meneghini, whom she married. But career came first, at least for a decade. She also turned herself from a rather frumpy overweight soprano into the most svelte and elegant figure on the stage, an opera singer with a film–star appeal. Dedication remained the order of the day: her utter preparedness for everything she sang, her constant search for perfection, her willingness to work and rehearse tirelessly until she achieved her artistic goals. Then suddenly things changed. In 1957, at a party in Venice given by the socialite Elsa Maxwell, Callas met the other most famous Greek in the world, the shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis. Born in Smyrna in 1906 (or possibly 1900 – many things about Onassis were, and are, dubious), he had emigrated in his youth to Argentina, where he made his first fortune out of tobacco – much of it smuggled – and had his first affair with a diva, Callas’ great predecessor Claudia Muzio. She was somewhat older than him. Now it was Onassis that was older, and fabulously wealthy, and Callas began a relationship with him that ended her marriage but clearly gave her something she had never previously had: an emotional life. Callas’ lifestyle with Onassis raised her to the pinnacle of the international smart set – a different group, certainly, to the artistic community she had lived among for so long. Their relationship, at least publically, would last for a decade, during which she renounced her American citizenship and took Greek nationality in order to invalidate her marriage to Meneghini and thus free herself to marry Onassis. Instead, he chose to woo and marry Jackie Kennedy in 1968, while continuing to see Callas afterwards in secret, especially after his marriage had gone sour. When Onassis died in 1975, it was Callas who was devastated. From the point of view of her artistic life, her relationship with Onassis came with a terrible cost, though the vocal problems she had held at bay for years (and which have been analysed in innumerable ways by experts) were already starting to inundate her. Painfully aware as she must have been of these, her schedule steadily

diminished. In 1958 she gave 29 operatic performances, in addition to concerts and recordings. The following year she was down to 11. In 1961, there were just five. Eventually she ceased to practice assiduously and then stopped altogether. After Onassis’ very public desertion of her, Callas’ feelings for him did not end, but reverting to the great artist by picking up the pieces of a career she had sacrificed for him proved to be beyond even her. What had she gained? It depends on which book you read whether you believe that Callas became pregnant by Onassis, (http://www. and was then forced by him to have an abortion, or whether she did, in fact, have his child, which then died within a matter of hours, or whether her terrible loneliness in her last years caused her to misjudge her pills and to end her life accidentally, or whether she perhaps did so deliberately. Her friend and colleague Franco Zeffirelli believes she was murdered, and also claims that Onassis once made a pass at him. Her last years, spent in Paris, were sad. Hard–fought attempts to restore her voice to what it had been scarcely succeeded. She gave no public performances between 1966 and 1973. Then in 1973–4 a major concert tour with her old colleague Giuseppe di Stefano (whose vocal condition at the time was worse than hers) pulled in the audiences but added nothing to her artistic reputation. After the final date in Sapporo, Japan, in November 1974, she sang no more. Onassis’ death the following year was a further blow. Increasingly isolated in her Paris apartment, she died there on September 16 1977, aged 53.

Maria Callas, Paris, 1964

Does any of this matter now? Perhaps, because the lives of great artists often contain signifiers to their art – and few would deny Callas the accolade of a supremely great singer, though there were, and are, great singers who never achieved her tabloid celebrity. Maybe it is facile to equate Callas with Norma, the woman touched by the divine who betrayed her calling for a love that finally cheated her; but there is a parallel here that the diva herself – whose portrayals, even experienced only on disc, carry a sense of human reality within them to an unusual degree – could not have missed.


ELIOG ABALO is the fifth production to have been most generously supported by

ICAP plc


DR AMMA PER MUSIC A IN THREE AC TS Text by Aurelio Aureli (b. Murano, first half of 17th century – d. Venice, post 1708) Composed for Venice, published in 1668 but no known performance. Performing edition by Peter Foster First performance Teatro San Domenico, Città del Crema, 27 November 1999 UK première Grange Park Opera, June 4, 2009. Further performances on June 6, 14, 21, 26, July 2, 5 Sung in Italian with surtitles


1602 1676

ELIOGABALO Christian Curnyn


Renata Pokupic

ERITEA the Emperor's girlfriend but in love with Giuliano

Claire Booth

GIULIANO GORDIO brother of Flavia Gemmira in love with Eritea

James Laing



Wolfgang Goebbel LIGHTING DESIGN



Ivano Ruggeri language coach

supported by William & Kathy Charnley

supported by Mr & Mrs W Friedrich supported by an anonymous donor

ALESSANDRO CESARE the Emperor's cousin in love with Flavia Gemmira

Julia Riley

FLAVIA GEMMIRA sister of Giuliano in love with Alessandro Cesare lusted after by the Emperor

Sinead Campbell–Wallace

supported by Mr & Mrs Richard Morse

supported JRV ADC MLV

ATILIA MACRINA also in love with Alessandro

Yvette Bonner

ZOTICO the Emperor's pimp and his boyfriend

Ashley Catling

LENIA the Emperor's nanny in love with Nerbulone NERBULONE the Emperor's valet who feigns love for Lenia to get her money first gladiator of the Circus Maximus TIFERNE HENCHMEN

supported by Bridget & Alun Evans

supported by an anonymous donor

Tom Walker

supported by Christina & Timothy Benn

Joao Fernandes

supported by an anonymous donor

Francisco Javier Borda Nuno Silva Kevin Wood

performed on period instruments


Synopsis Eliogabalo In order to keep up with this riotous but sorry tale, you must try to keep track of 3 men and 3 women. Emperor Eliogabalo is bored with his girlfriend Eritea whom he stole from Giuliano. Giuliano and Eritea are in love. The Emperor is after Giuliano's sister Flavia Gemmira who is in love with Alessandro the Emperor's cousin. Alessandro is also in love with Gemmira. Attilia is in love with Alessandro ACT 1

The megalomaniac sun-worshipper and boy wonder, Marco Aurelio Antonino, known to the world as Emperor Eliogabalo, returns to Rome after a rebellion of the army has been suppressed by his cousin Alessandro. It is hard for Giuliano, whose men were at the centre of the uprising. He must beg Eliogabalo for forgiveness but he is aware that the Emperor has seduced his girlfriend Eritea. Eliogabalo, however, is now bored with Eritea and, denying he ever promised to marry her, decrees that he is empowered to have whomsoever he wishes. Lenia and Zotico, the Emperor’s nanny and pimp-boyfriend, are to dispose of Eritea and procure a new lover. They propose Gemmira. There is an obstacle they must overcome: she loves the Emperor’s cousin Alessandro. Lenia’s attempts to find herself a lover have come to nothing. Eliogabalo’s valet Nerbulone feigns an attachment to her in order to get his hands on her money. In this atmosphere of licentiousness passions run high. Gemmira warns her beloved Alessandro against Eliogabalo. Giuliano and Eritea cannot forgive one another. Giuliano contemplates suicide. As a ploy to trap Gemmira, Eliogabalo commands that only women will be admitted to the Senate and Alessandro must escort the Roman beauty Atilia there. Lenia will take Gemmira who will become suspicious of Alessandro’s fidelity and vice versa. Gemmira and other women in the Senate, act out a version of blind-man’s-buff in order to gain political favours. Nobody realises that Eliogabalo is amongst them en travesti. Eritea bursts in, denounces him and the game turns ugly. Lenia feigns horror and ushers all the women to “safety”.

Though the Female Senate failed, Eliogabalo is desperate for a new ploy to trap Gemmira. Lenia suggests he invite her and Alessandro to dine, and then to poison the latter and drug the former in order to achieve his goal. Gemmira is reluctant to accept the invitation but, cajoled by Lenia, consents. Alessandro asks Gemmira to explain her behaviour in the Senate. Realizing he doubts her fidelity she retaliates by confronting him about Atilia. Nerbulone vicariously relishes their tiff but becomes entangled in Alessandro’s plan for the dinner. Nerbulone must present him in disguise as a surprise guest so that he would be able to observe what Gemmira and Eliogabalo are up to. Alessandro himself will also attend the dinner incognito. Eliogabalo chances upon an intimate scene between Eritea and Giuliano. He is delighted to disown her as a slut and announces that he would like Gemmira, Giuliano’s sister, to be his new squeeze. In the dining room Lenia and Zotico anticipate the effects of the drugged cocktails they have mixed for Gemmira. She arrives and Eliogabalo tries to chat her up but she remains aloof. Nerbulone, unaware of the plan, starts knocking back the cocktails with disastrous effect. He forgets the plan to bring the disguised Alessandro into the room. Eliogabalo becomes fractious. Where is Alessandro? Suddenly two owls swoop down on the dining table and ravage the table. Lenia and Zotico see this as a terrible omen and, with Nerbulone off his head on the opiate, the dinner is declared a fiasco.


Atilia has got the hots for Alessandro. Perversely he encourages the flirtation but declines to engage. Eritea tries to convince Giuliano that she was raped by Eliogabalo. This does not help their reconciliation.



Gemmira realises that the duplicitious Lenia has not got her best interests at heart. She and Eritea put Lenia in


| |






MAX the picture and persuade the vacillating Giuliano to kill Eliogabalo. Wishing to know why their dinner plan failed, Alessandro interrogates Nerbulone.. He learns that that the dinner is merely postponed until the following day and is filled with dark misgivings. Lenia explains to Eliogabalo that her cover has been blown. Gemmira will not listen to her any longer. Their conversation is interrupted by a platoon of soldiers demanding cash or the death of the Emperor. The problem is solved and their allegiance re–affirmed. This unpleasant experience confirms Eliogabalo in his decision to kill Alessandro, who is too popular with the army. Zotico proposes a double stratagem. Alessandro will be ordered to attend the customary blood sports in the arena, where, he cryptically alludes, something ugly will happen. Meanwhile in private, Eliogabalo can enjoy Gemmira. Aroused by these amorous and bloody plans the oblivious Eliogabalo is stalked by the murderous Giuliano. He is about to strike at his victim when he is forestalled by the arrival of Alessandro, who cannot condone the murder of his cousin. Unaware of this near escape Eliogabalo berates Alessandro for his failure to attend the dinner. Alessandro uses the inauspicious owls as his excuse. This doesn't wash with Eliogabalo who instructs both men to attend the games, or else. He dismisses Alessandro. Eliogabalo questions Giuliano: when can he expect to have possession of Gemmira? She arrives and appears to comply with the Emperor's wishes in the knowledge that Giuliano has sworn to kill him. But noticing Alessandro nearby she refuses the Emperor's advances and he storms off in a fit of pique. The damage has been done and the suicidal Alessandro finds Atilia at his side. She sweet-talks him back from the

brink, even admitting, in different circumstances, he would be her lover. Stumbling into this confession, Gemmira tears into them in a wild frenzy. Alessandro reaffirms his love and Gemmira is placated. Their moment of harmony is shortlived. Alessandro admits he would rather let Eliogabalo have her than allow Giuliano to murder his cousin. Lenia’s ineffectual liaison with Nerbulone and her pathetic sexual escapades in general are a source of amusement to Zotico. However, even these habitual jibes cannot dampen their euphoria for the events that are about to unfold. In the arena the fighting begins. Alessandro and Giuliano are anxious that Eliogabalo has still not put in an appearance. The undefeated gladiator Tiferne demands from Alessandro the name of his next challenge. Before Alessandro can make the announcement Tiferne leaps upon him with murderous intent and is only forestalled by Giuliano with the help of some guards. Under interrogation the would-be assassin confesses that Zotico hired him to carry out this attack for Eliogabalo. Gemmira appears, bedraggled and distressed. Eliogabalo is dead. What had happened? He trapped her and her cries for help were brutally answered by armed guards. Eritea has seen the mob dragging the Emperor's body through the streets. Alessandro vows to avenge his murder and punish the guilty, but Gemmira and Giuliano find this absurd. Atilia has more news. She has seen both Zotico and Lenia suffer the same fate as their taskmaster. Abruptly, two consuls appear to announce Alessandro Severo as the new Caesar and the crowd endorses their proclamation. Alessandro publicly espouses Gemmira and Eritea claims Giuliano while Atilia is left with no one . . . DAVID FIELDING


Cavalli and Venetian opera by Fiona Maddox As La Serenissima, glittering Republic of the sea, lurches towards decline, she builds the first public opera house. Fiona Maddox, founder editor of BBC Music Magazine and former arts feature write and opera critic for the Evening Standard, is now chief music critic of The Observer TRANSPORT YOURSELF, for a moment, to the Grand Canal, Venice. It’s the mid–17th century. The composer Pietro Francesco Cavalli (1602–1676) has just taken up residence in Europe’s most magnificent water–filled thoroughfare, alongside fashionable patricians and nobility. A mere jobbing musician, though increasingly celebrated, he has married a rich widow with a large dowry so the annual rent of 108 ducats – not far off his starting salary as a singer and organist at St Mark’s – is well within his means. After centuries of dominion La Serenissima, the glittering Republic of the sea, is lurching towards decline, her powers diminished by plague, wars with the Turks, political corruption and financial collapse. Yet in a fever of blind optimism, the city is witnessing a rush of lavish building work: oversized palazzi, hastily commissioned by Venetian arrivistes, rise up from the lagoon’s toxic, muddy, brackish waters. Amid the porticos and loggias, the landing jetties and mullioned windows, the quatrefoils, coloured marbles and vivid plasterwork of the Gothic and Renaissance, a new Baroque Venice is taking shape, dramatically redefining the famous skyline which would so obsess that son of a theatrical set designer, the painter Canaletto, a few years later. The most prominent of these new Baroque landmarks is the massive, domed church of Santa Maria della Salute, built as a thanksgiving to the Virgin for saving Venice from the plague of 1630, which wiped out tens of thousands of Venetians, high born and low, including the Doge himself. Faced in white marble and supported by 100,000 wooden piles, the Salute dominates the lagoon– “the building which occupies the centre of the picture Venice leaves in the mind” as Bernhard Berenson, the pioneer of Italian art criticism, put it. Pertinently for us, its half century of construction encompass the years of Cavalli’s maturity as a composer. Work began in 1631, the year he became second organist of St Mark’s and eight years before he wrote his first


opera. The grand basilica was eventually completed in 1687, one decade after Cavalli’s death and nearly two since he completed Eliogabalo. So it is hardly fanciful to imagine that Cavalli, as he headed to work at San Marco, where he followed in Monterverdi’s footsteps to become Maestro di Cappella, may have glanced across the water towards the Dorsoduro each day and watched the Salute’s awe–inspiring progress. Today, looking at this flamboyant, gleaming building, with its chorus of buttresses, statues, cupolas and volutes one word shouts to define it: operatic. This is not a coincidence. For if Venice was plagued by fevers medical and architectural, it was also consumed by a passion for the new phenomenon of opera. As Monteverdi had already proved with Orfeo and L’Incoronazione di Poppea, opera could touch hearts and emotions in a way the dry, formulaic pastorals and masques of the past never would. Nor was this exotic joining of music and theatre any longer the preserve of the nobility and the court. Ordinary Venetians were in thrall. The world's first public opera house, the Teatro San Cassiano, opened in 1637, with other establishments and impresarios jostling to following suit, with ever bigger star singers and better musical offerings of their own. At the centre of this activity was Cavalli. For this prolific composer, with a canny business brain, was the leading opera composer of the Seventeenth Century. His gifts and industry turned a fledgling fringe activity into a revolutionary, and enduring art form, more powerful and expensive and creatively fertile than any. He wrote more than 30 operas, between reaching professional maturity and the end of his life, mainly for Venice but also for performance in those other fast expanding centres of Italian opera, Paris, Rome, Florence and Milan. Following conventions which would shape opera for the next two centuries – double pairs of lovers, disguise, cross dressing – his stage works range from the bucolic to the political, from tragic to comic.

Venice: The Molo with Santa Maria della Salute, c.1740-45, Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal) (1697-1768) Wallace Collection / Bridgeman Art Library

Ever the entrepreneur, Cavalli formed a production company – how modern that phrase sounds – with a librettist, singer and dancing–master. His wife, Marie, helped her busy husband by working as a copyist. For a time Cavalli effectively ran the Teatro San Cassiano, presenting several operas and finding a fruitful relationship in the 1640s (after some serial librettist–swapping) with Giovanni Faustini. Their collaboration is one of the most significant in the history of early opera. What was a night at the Baroque opera like? The season

was short and intense, traditionally beginning on the feast of St Stephen, 26 December, coinciding with the Carnival period through to the start of Lent. Then, as now, opera was a magnet for fashionable social encounter, for stage spectacle and tantrum–prone divas. Flying machines and other experimental contraptions, the more elaborate the better, were a new fad. Prime Donne argued over fees. Their reputations spread throughout Italy and across Europe, as far as Paris, where Cavalli himself spent two years, and London where, as an exciting recent manuscript discovery indicates (see below), the composer was known.


We might do worse than read these words of the great English diarist John Evelyn, whose travels took him to Venice and who, fortunately for us, had a sharp curiosity for vivid detail: (We went) to the Opera, which are Comedies (& other plays) represented in Recitative Music by the most excellent Musitians vocal & Instrumental, together with variety of seeanes painted & contrived with no lesse art of Perspective, and Machines, for flying in the aire, & other wonderfull motions. So taken together it is doubtlesse one of the most magnificent & expensfull diversions the Wit of Men can invent: The historie was Hercules in Lydia, the Seanes chang’d 13 times, The famous voices Anna Rencia, a Roman, & reputed the best treble of Women; but there was an Eunuch, that in my opinion surpass’d her, and a Genoveze that sung an incomparable Base: This held us by the Eyes and Eares til two in the Morning when we went to Chetto de San: Felice, to see the Noblemen & their Ladies at Basset, a Game at Cards which much use, but play not in publique . . . Today, if the name Cavalli is known at all – except as a designer of erotically tight animal–print jeans – it is associated chiefly with La Calisto, his 1651 opera about the sexy nymph who pays for her revels by being immortalised as the Great Bear constellation. In 1970, at the dawn of an explosion of interest in early music –meaning everything before Bach and Handel – the conductor Raymond Leppard created a performing edition of this work for Glyndebourne. Ileana Cotrubas, Janet Baker and James Bowman headed the luxury cast. It had been forgotten for more than three centuries. As for Eliogabalo, written for the 1668 Carnival, it outstrips even La Calisto in its rarity value. Peter Foster, who has prepared Grange Park’s peforming edition, has found no evidence that the work was ever performed in Cavalli’s lifetime. Because of its politically suspect subject matter, it was speedily withdrawn by the hyper–sensitive Venetian censors.


The risqué plot was evidently too skimpily veiled a metaphor for the corrupt state of La Serenissima and its potentates. To create – using a libretto by a talented young Venetian nobleman, Aurelio Aureli – a fast moving, scurrilous work about an 18–year old Roman Emperor and his gross habits, ending in a blood bath, was asking for trouble. From a musical point of view, this richly varied score is a perfect example of Cavalli’s mature style. The fluid transition between recitative, arioso and aria has begun to crystallise into the recitative/aria pairing so characteristic of the next generation of opera composers. The forward–looking score is peppered with highly emotional accompanied recitative and fully accompanied arias that are structurally closer in form to Scarlatti and even Handel – the generation yet to come – than they are to his master, Monteverdi. The title role in Cavalli’s day would have been sung by a castrato, a male soprano who, having been castrated before pubescence, retained child–sized vocal cords. In Grange Park’s period instrument performance. the choice of a high mezzo, Renata Pokupic, has the advantage of giving full rein to the opera’s cross dressing possibilities. Richard Strauss would have been in his element. Many reasons can explain the neglect of Cavalli’s music, from taste, to habit. One simple cause is the absence of proper editions, as Leppard’s work on Calisto demonstrated. Handel, for whom the same was true, has already been

Neptune offering gifts to Venice (ceiling fresco) Giovanni Battista Tiepolo (1696-1770) Palazzo Ducale, Venice /Bridgeman Art Library

redeemed, though several of his many operas remain rarities. Vivaldi, who boastfully claimed he had written nearly a hundred operas though most of us could barely name one, is now enjoying operatic revitalisation thanks to teams of musicologists, with editions and recordings steadily issuing forth and dozens more to go. If this has been the fate of two composers who lived later than Cavalli and have enjoyed far greater celebrity with modern audiences, we should hardly be surprised that Eliogabalo and the majority of his other operas remain buried treasure. Yet this may soon change. Last year the Royal Opera House staged a snazzy, contemporary staging of La Calisto. In January 2009 the Bodleian Library Oxford, after urging the UK Culture Minister to place an export bar on

the manuscript in question, saved an English setting of Cavalli’s Erismena for the nation at a cost of £85,000. Dating from the 1670s, and thus later than Eliogabalo, it is the earliest known opera manuscript to have been written in English, confirming the extent of the composer’s celebrity beyond Italy. This MS has been described by the Bodleian as of “outstanding significance for the study of the history of music in the UK” and “one of the most significant British 17th–century music manuscripts to have appeared in recent decades”. But Erismena must wait her turn. First we must acquaint ourselves with Eliogabalo and the young hedonist’s lurid, seedy pleasures. Make no mistake: Cavalli is hot news.


“In Rome, the emperor sat in a special part of Michael Fontes tells us how a sensuous little Syrian boy of fourteen, with no obvious intellectual gifts and an extremely self–indulgent nature, became a Roman Emperor. And how two women and a eunuch altered the course of the ancient world MRS PAT FAMOUSLY SAID that it doesn’t matter what we do in the bedroom as long as we don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses. Eliogabalus frightened the horses. In 187 AD the Roman General and Emperor Septimius Severus, a Carthaginian from Leptis Magna, married Julia Domna, an Arab princess from the ancient city of Emesa (modern Homs in Syria). Her ancestors were Priest Kings of the famous temple of the sun–god El–Gabal (Baal) at Emesa. The family had lost its kingdom to Rome but continued to control and officiate at the temple of El–Gabal, where the god was worshipped in the form of a black, phallic, conical stone – a meteorite. They had acquired prodigious wealth and, on the granting of Roman citizenship to all free residents of the Empire, had been raised to the Roman senatorial aristocracy. Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, the Severan Emperor better known to history as Eliogabalus, was a junior member of this Emesan family, and thus a high–priest of El–Gabal. His energetic worship of the god was one of several aspects of his reign which were to make him an object of scorn, ridicule and disgust among the Roman ruling classes. He was born sometime between the autumn of 203 and the spring of 204. His mother, Julia Soaemias, was the niece of Julia Domna, being the daughter of her almost equally daunting sister, Julia Maesa. We need to distinguish carefully between these Julias. The boy’s grandmother and his mother, Julia Maesa and Julia Soaemias, were the great powers behind the rise of Eliogabalus. However, as a child this future emperor was probably raised in the entourage of his great–aunt, the empress, Julia Domna. He spent his earliest years in Rome, travelled with Severus’s Imperial court, to Gaul, and then on to Britain during Severus’s campaigns on the island. After the death of Severus in York in 211, Eliogabalus’s family became even more prominent. The boy’s father and maternal grandfather each held important offices of state during the reign of Severus’s son, Caracalla. However they were both dead by the spring of 217, when Caracalla was murdered in Syria between campaigns against the Parthians, at the instigation of Macrinus, the prefect of the Praetorian Guard. Macrinus had arranged


for Caracalla to be knifed as he stopped on the road to relieve himself, when the guard would be lightest. Macrinus’s control of the legions was sufficient to enable him to have himself proclaimed emperor. It was at this time that historians of the period first start to mention Eliogabalus. He was living in Emesa, with his mother, in the household of his grandmother, Julia Maesa, and he was beginning to perform the hereditary family role of high–priest at the temple. Here his dazzling beauty – most of the early sources mention it – and striking grace of manner brought him to the attention of the soldiers, harshly forced by Macrinus’s orders to stay encamped in Emesa all winter, and already attracted by the cult of the sun god, and the black conical meteorite. Even at this early stage Eliogabalus gives clear indications of that love of extravagance and self–promotion which marked his whole short life: the boy priest refused to go to the temple without a procession of sixty chariots in his wake. His grandmother thought this excessive but could not dissuade him. Caracalla’s mother, the Empress Julia Domna, had committed suicide, starving herself to death, when her son was murdered. Her sister Julia Maesa, whom Macrinus had banished from the Imperial court at Antioch, saw the possibility of using her young grandson’s popularity with the legionaries, and her own great wealth, to overthrow Macrinus, avenge Caracalla’s murder, and seize power. She plotted with her daughter, the boy’s mother, Julia Soaemias, and Gannys, a court eunuch, to use the teenager’s public displays as high–priest to channel the soldiers’ discontent with Macrinus into revolt. Julia Maesa further overcame the soldiers, and any qualms she may have had for her daughter’s reputation, telling them that Eliogabalus was the son of Caracalla, who had been loved by the army – a trick proposed by her daughter’s lover, Gannys, and supported by a certain resemblance between the boy and the murdered Caracalla. She promised the soldiers mountains of gold if they shifted allegiance, and successfully bribed the garrison at Raphanaea near Emesa. Two celestial events further enhanced the young priest’s reputation with the troops: an eclipse of the sun brought darkness at midday sometime in April and, only a few days later, a comet streaked across the sky. The legionaries, with

f the Coliseum called the Caesarian Section�


P Septimius Geta

Julius Bassianus


Julia Maesa x Avitus Alexianus



Julia Soaemias x Sex Varius Marcellus


Julia Mamaea x Gessius Marcianus SEVERUS ALEXANDER


the help of a little prompting, saw these as portents – the eclipse that the sun–god was displeased with Macrinus, and the comet that a redeemer was at hand. On 16 May 218, the Third Gallic legion switched its allegiance from “the usurper Macrinus” to Eliogabalus. Macrinus was in Antioch, and responded by sending his prefect Ulpius Julianus to Emesa to restore order, while he went himself to the nearby fortress of Apamaea. He tried to bribe the hesitating praetorians in the fortress with a bonus. However, the force which he had sent to Emesa turned against its own commanders, and joined cause with the young boy, whom they hailed as the son of Caracalla. The senate in Rome, shocked at the news of the revolt, and deeply weary of Severan rule, declared their support for Macrinus, which was about all they could do, for Rome was far away. The two Roman armies met in the Battle of Antioch on June 8 218. The Emesan forces under the unlikely eunuch Gannys, and the two Julias, Maesa and Soaemias, prevailed, after a period when the battle seemed lost to them. It says something for the teenager’s hold over the troops that they reported that it was the sight of him riding into the heat of the battle which had caused them to turn and fight. Gibbon is particularly splendid on the subject: Antoninus himself, who, in the rest of his life, never acted like a man, in this important crisis of his fate, proved himself a hero, mounted his horse, and, at the head of his rallied troops, charged sword in hand among the thickest of the enemy; whilst the eunuch Gannys, whose occupations had been confined to female cares and the soft luxury of Asia, displayed the talents of an able and experienced general. Macrinus and his son Diadumenian both escaped, but were eventually captured and butchered. The senate, resignedly on the side of those who shot the better, acknowledged Eliogabalus as Emperor, confirming him to be the son of Caracalla, and deifying his ‘father’ Caracalla. Significantly, Eliogabalus was not the only person elevated by the senate; Julia Maesa and Julia Soaemias were each proclaimed Augusta – Empress. Clearly real power in the Empire now resided in these two women.


Eliogabalus and the Julias now slowly moved towards Rome, though their position was not universally accepted all at once: there were riots in Alexandria and revolts in the Third Gallic Legion, the very legion that had been the first to turn in the boy–priest’s favour, as well as in the Fourth Scythian Legion, and the fleet. Offers of large rewards for the severed heads of the ringleaders successfully restored order, and the Imperial court finally arrived in Rome in July 219, bringing the black phallic meteorite of Emesa in tow. Poor Gannys, the eunuch, the accomplished lover and surprising general, had been executed at Nicomedia. Nobody knows why, though Cassius Dio suggests that it was at Eliogabalus’s own hand, and the result of his rashly pressing the boy to show more restraint in his private life. Anyone who finds it surprising that a eunuch could be an accomplished lover should read Richard Wassersug, a professor in the department of anatomy and neurobiology at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, who was castrated at the age of 52 as part of his treatment for prostate cancer. He became interested in the social and sexual consequences of castration, and writes: The historical accounts suggest that, given the right cultural setting and individual motivation, androgen deprivation may actually enhance rather than hinder both social and sexual performance. We conclude that eunuch history contradicts the presumption that androgen deprivation necessarily leads to social and sexual impotence. I wonder if he considered the case of poor Gannys. Some historians, lacking Richard Wassersug’s personal experience, have concluded that Gannys must have been in no way incomplete. Although a portrait of the boy–Emperor in his priestly robes had been sent ahead of the party, to prepare the Senate, no travelling circus, trailing tigers, elephants, dromedaries, and baboons, could have made a deeper impression on Rome than did the first Asiatic Emperor, Eliogabalus, with Julia Maesa and Julia Soaemias, in the summer of 219. Not only were many low–born Syrians given important positions of state, but the fact that the Emperor had brought the black stone with him meant that he intended to continue his duties as High Priest of El–Gabal.

Roses of Heliogabalus, 1888 Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) Whitford Fine Art, London / Bridgeman Art Library

He showed himself insensitive to public opinion to the point of building a great temple on the Palatine Hill, the Eliogaballium, or Temple of Eliogabalus, to house the stone. Senators found themselves forced to attend the boy–priest–Emperor in his observance of the rites of El–Gabal, who was raised above Jupiter to the status of foremost god in the Roman cult. They had to be up before dawn to watch as hecatombs of cattle and sheep were sacrificed, while around the altars the Emperor, surrounded by Phoenician women, all in flowing gowns, danced, beating cymbals and drums. They had even to forbear a smile or a sneer when Eliogabalus declared

that the black stone was to marry the ancient statue of Minerva, which was to be moved from the Temple of Vesta to the greater propinquity of the Eliogaballium, for the better consummation of the marriage. Not one to let things be, Eliogabalus decided that the Eliogaballium was not sufficiently magnificent to reflect the glory of El–Gabal, so he built a huge temple of the sun outside Rome. The idea was that each year at the midsummer solstice the black stone should be taken to this temple in triumphal procession. The Emperor himself ran backwards ahead of the chariot, holding the reins of


the six white horses, thereby never turning his back on his god. Herodian of Antioch vividly describes the scene: Antoninus ran along in front of the chariot, but facing backwards as he ran looking at the god and holding the bridles of the horses. He ran the whole way backwards like this looking up at the front of the god. But to stop him tripping and falling while he was not looking where he was going, lots of sand gleaming like gold was put down, and his bodyguard supported him on either side to make sure he was safe as he ran like this. Along both sides of the route the people ran with a great array of torches, showering wreaths and flowers on him.

The beards of barbels served, instead of salads; Oil’d mushrooms; and the swelling unctuous paps Of a fat pregnant sow, newly cut off, Drest with an exquisite and poignant sauce; For which, I’ll say unto my cook, “There’s gold, Go forth, and be a knight.”

The language of Shakespeare and Jane Austen feels short of words to describe the carnival prodigality of this boy Emperor. Ben Jonson has a noble try in this speech given to Sir Epicure Mammon in The Alchemist:

Jonson, a fine classical scholar, had been reading accounts of Eliogabalus’s feasts, and come across: in ungirdled tunics the guests lay on silver beds, their heads and necks encircled with amaranth –– whose perfume, in opening the pores, neutralises the fumes of wine – fanned by boys, whose curly hair they used as napkins. Under the supervision of butlers the courses were served on silver platters, so large that they covered the tables. Sows’ breasts with Libyan truffles; dormice baked in poppies and honey; peacocks’ tongues flavoured with cinnamon; oysters stewed in garum – the famous green sauce from Thebes made from the intestines of rotting fish, but apparently delicious: no, don’t ask me; they’ve lost the recipe – flamingos’ and ostriches’ brains, followed by the brains of thrushes, parakeets, pheasants, and peacocks, also a yellow pig cooked after the Trojan fashion, from which, when carved, hot sausages fell and live thrushes flew; sea–wolves from the Baltic, sturgeons from Rhodes, fig–peckers from Samos, African snails and the rest. The wine was evidently to match and as they were overcome with surfeit the guests were spirited away gently to beds of oriental softness. The boy liked practical jokes as well, for on awaking they found themselves surrounded by live tigers and leopards, tame, but no doubt startling at first glance. Some guests survived the fright, others didn’t.

My meat shall all come in, in Indian shells, Dishes of agate set in gold, and studded With emeralds, sapphires, hyacinths, and rubies. The tongues of carps, dormice, and camels’ heels, Boil’d in the spirit of Sol, and dissolv’d pearl, Apicius’ diet, ‘gainst the epilepsy: And I will eat these broths with spoons of amber, Headed with diamond and carbuncle. My foot–boy shall eat pheasants, calver’d salmons, Knots, godwits, lampreys: I myself will have

Astonished by this young Asian boy’s extravagance, the Romans found plenty to shock them in his dress and demeanour. His obvious effeminacy, the fact that he wore make–up, had himself depilated, wore wigs, and what they regarded as women’s clothes, led them to draw their own, probably correct, conclusions. The Roman aristocracy could, through force of habit, cope with, as Emperor, a man who fancied boys; they found it hard to countenance a boy who fancied men. Homosexuality, though frowned upon by the law, was accepted socially,

The Emperor was energetically bent on the introduction of a fanatical eastern monotheism which was at odds with the polytheistic worship fashionable in Roman society. This defiling of Roman religious practice was not necessarily disastrous: El Gabal, who had been renamed Deus Sol Invictus, remained popular with the legions. Had the young Emperor’s behaviour been acceptable in other regards, the senators might have found it easier to overlook. But teenagers are not designed for life in goldfish bowls. Gibbon throws the book at Eliogabalus. He says of his acts as Emperor that, rejecting the many malicious and scurrilous stories, confining ourselves to the public scenes displayed before the Roman people, and attested by grave and contemporary historians, their inexpressible infamy surpasses that of any other age or country.


Roman theatre at Bosra (Busra), Syria ancient capital of the province of Arabia c.5th century Bridgeman Art Library

but exclusively for men who took the active role, and chose partners among their social inferiors. Several contemporary accounts suggest that Eliogabalus was deeply attached to the passive role in homosexual relations, and for the Romans, in an Emperor, this was deeply demeaning, offensive, and unacceptable. Even in his heterosexual initiatives the

boy provoked outrage: in 220 AD, saying that his first wife had a blemish somewhere unmentionable, he divorced her, and married the Vestal Virgin Aquilia Severa. He asserted that only a Vestal was a fit bride for the high priest of El–Gabal, and added sententiously that the marriage would produce “god–like children”. Under Roman law any Vestal found to have engaged in sexual intercourse had to be buried alive. Julia Maesa, sensitive to the undercurrents at court, insisted on a divorce, but the boy took against his third wife, Annia Faustina, and remarried Aquilia Severa within the year.


Salacious stories abound, even in the writings of the gravest historians. It was said that he ‘married’ his blond Carian charioteer, Hierocles, probably his closest personal confidant and friend. He consulted his surgeons about the possibility of an operation to substitute female organs for his male parts. He was reputed to be a penis–fetishist, sending agents to the public baths to have the most physically impressive bathers sent to him. The usually reliable Cassius Dio gives a vivid picture of life at court. He tells of how Hierocles became alarmed by one Zoticus, nicknamed ‘the cook’ after his father’s profession, a particularly well–endowed athlete. Eliogabalus had Zoticus summoned to him, bathed with him, and found him equal to his reputation. Hierocles, however, was himself equal to the situation, and had the Emperor’s cupbearer drug Zoticus’s drink. Eliogabalus was so disappointed by the ensuing performance that he banished Zoticus from Rome. Tales circulated that Eliogabalus spent his evenings pretending to be a female prostitute, wandering around the city soliciting passers–by. Even Herodian of Antioch, perhaps the least biased of the historians, admits that Eliogabalus could also be vicious: Even though the Emperor seemed to be devoting all his attention to dancing and to his priestly duties, still he found time to execute many famous and wealthy men who were charged with ridiculing and censuring his way of life. Julia Maesa must have despaired of her grandson as he became ever more headstrong and self–indulgent, for she could see the Romans’ patience wearing thin. She must have feared that his downfall would entail her own for she shifted her allegiance to Alexander Severus, the son of her other daughter, Julia Mamaea. The old woman suggested to the Emperor that he make his cousin his heir and consul. The senate was asked to endorse the Emperor, who was sixteen, in his role of father to Alexander, who was twelve. Eliogabalus was keen to enrol Alexander as a priest and to teach him to prance around altars in the authentic manner, but the younger boy’s mother, Mamaea, would have none of that, and provoked Eliogabalus by insisting that Alexander keep his old teachers in more conventional


subjects. Eliogabalus’s reaction was to execute some of these teachers and exile the others, on the absurd pretext that by stopping him learning to prance and take part in religious orgies, they had been corrupting his adopted son. Herodian tells of how the young Emperor’s crazy wilfulness increased at this time: The madness of Eliogabalus increased to such a degree that he appointed all the actors from the stage and the public theatres to the most important posts in the empire, selecting as his praetorian prefect a man who had from childhood danced publicly in the Roman theatre, Publius Valerius Comazon. He elevated in similar fashion another young actor, putting him in charge of the education and conduct of the Roman youths and of the qualifications of those appointed to membership in the senatorial and equestrian orders. To charioteers, comedians, and actors of mimes he entrusted the most important and responsible imperial posts. To slaves and freedmen, to men notorious for disgraceful acts, he assigned the proconsular provincial governorships. Gibbon, anxious for the chastity of his text, left in the ‘decent obscurity of a learned language’ the criterion upon which the Romans assumed these men had been selected. By now, the Emperor had offended aristocrats, bureaucrats and troops alike. When he ordered the praetorians, who were being heavily bribed by his grandmother to support Alexander, to arrest and punish those of their number who had publicly cheered the younger boy, they considered themselves sufficiently provoked. On March 11, 222, they killed the eighteen–year–old Eliogabalus and his mother Soaemias together with all their attendants. They gave the bodies of the Emperor and his mother to those who wanted to drag them about and abuse them. When the bodies had been dragged throughout the city, the mutilated corpses were thrown into the public sewer which flows into the Tiber. Some say Julia Maesa herself bribed the praetorians to murder her own daughter and grandson. That is the sad and extraordinary story of Eliogabalus, boy–priest of Emesa. If only that had been all he ever was! Exploited by his grandmother for her own ends, suddenly losing both his father and grandfather at the critical

moment in his childhood, dominated thereafter by ambitious women, he was elevated to a role far beyond his capacities and altogether too heady for his unconventional temperament and tastes. Both he and Rome suffered in consequence. His reign lasted four years. After his murder his grandmother claimed that Caracalla had slept with her other daughter too, and was the real father of Alexander Severus. Julia Maesa died in 226. By then the black stone had been returned to Emesa with care.


T H E F LY I N G D U T C H M A N has been kindly supported



OPER A IN THREE AC TS Text by the composer based on an episode in Heine’s Memoirs of Herr Ivon Schnabelewopski First performance Hofopera, Dresden, 2 January 1843 Concert performance at Grange Park on June 19 Sung in German with surtitles




the flying dutchman


Elgar Howarth Conductor

THE DUTCHMAN DALAND a Norwegian sea captain SENTA his daughter ERIC a hunter MARY Senta’s housekeeper DALAND’S STEERSMAN

Robert Hayward Gregory Frank Annalena Persson Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts Anne-Marie Owens Richard Roberts



Synopsis The Flying Dutchman The Dutchman is cursed to sail the seas until he finds a woman who will be devote herself to him forever. He thinks he has found such a woman in Senta and his torment is over. Within a short space of time he believes she has betrayed him and he takes to the seas. He was mistaken and Senta drowns herself. The proof of her love is his salvation and they are united.

ACT 1 At sea A violent storm has blown a Norwegian fishing boat miles beyond home. Daland, the captain, tells his crew to rest out the storm and leaves the watch in charge of a young steersman, who falls asleep singing of his sweetheart. A red-sailed galleon mysteriously appears and drops anchor nearby. Its captain stands alone on deck. He was cursed by the Devil when he vowed to sail around the Cape of Good Hope. Now he is doomed to sail the seas forever until he finds a woman who will be faithful to him till death. He is allowed to land only once every seven years to search for her. He is the Flying Dutchman. The Dutchman does not disclose his identity but tells Daland that he is willing to hand over a large portion of his treasure for a safe harbour. He then offers to marry Daland’s daughter, Senta, and in return he will hand over his entire wealth. Daland is shown the treasure and accepts the offer happily. Daland and his crew prepare to lead the Dutchman to a safe harbour and the two boats set sail on calm waters.

sings a ballad instead, passionately declaring that she yearns to be the one to save the Dutchman. Erik enters to announce that Daland’s ship has returned, and the women leave to welcome the sailors. Erik is anxious. He grasps Senta, declares his love and tells her of a dream he has had in which she embraced the Flying Dutchman and sailed off with him. Senta is excited by this dream. Erik leaves in despair. Daland arrives with the unknown captain. There is an immediate connection between Senta and the stranger and Daland asks Senta if she would marry his guest. Daland leaves. Alone, the two share their thoughts. The Dutchman hopes his living hell will end. Senta expresses her longing and pity for him and rapturously accepts his proposal of marriage. Daland returns and rejoices in their union. ACT 3 Daland’s boat and the Dutchman’s ship are docked at the quay. The women have come along with food and drink for the Dutch ship but despite their teasing calls there is an eerie silence. Frightened, they give the food to the Norwegian men.

DINNER INTERVAL ACT 2 Daland's house The legend of the Flying Dutchman is well known and his picture hangs on the wall of Daland’s house. Senta, Mary and the women of the town are sewing. The women sing songs of love and tease Senta about her sweetheart, Erik. They ask Mary to sing the song about the wandering Dutchman. She refuses. Senta


Sailors suddenly appear on the Dutch ship and sing of their cursed captain. The villagers are horrified and go. Senta runs to the quay with Erik in pursuit. He is distraught that Senta is going to leave him. The Dutchman thinks he has been betrayed, renounces salvation and orders his crew to set sail. Senta pleads with him to stay. The Dutchman explains that she need not fear the damnation of those who betray him, since she did not say her vows to him before God.

D ut


s th


s h i p s ai


hro ws t he ta



an m h ’



to the n i f s l ea e s


a w a y, S e

THE CUNNING LITTLE VIXEN is the third production to have been generously sponsored by TULCHAN COMMUNICATIONS FOX CUBS supported by The Wolves


Elizabeth Mischler Jack Webb Pauline Huguet Thomas Goodwin Samuel Guy Nuno Silva


Illustrations by Stanislav Kolibal 1961

Jennifer Bonwitt India Brooking Suzannah Egleston Jade Foord Ellen Lazell Joe Murrell Alethea Norman Rhodes Victoria Scott Nicola Townsend Oliver Williams

OPER A IN THREE AC TS Text by the composer from R Tesnohlidek’s stories First performance Brno, 6 November 1924 Performances at Grange Park on June 17, 20, 23, 25, 28, 30, July 4 Sung in Czech with surtitles


1854 1928

the cunning little vixen


André de Ridder


supported by Francis & Nathalie Phillimore

supported by an anonymous donor Conductor FORESTER

David Alden

Ailish Tynan

Robert Poulton

supported by Malcolm Herring


Gideon Davey

Frances Bourne

supported by Anonymous MFH


Wolfgang Goebbel LIGHTING DESIGN




Lorna Heavey Video / Projection Design



Carol Rowlands David Stout

supported by Sir Stuart Rose

Wynne Evans

supported by Mrs Peter Cadbury

Timothy Dawkins

supported by Dr Jonathan Holliday & Dr Gwen Lewis

Gary Griffiths

supported by Mrs Ian Jay WOODPECKER HEN FROG

Amy Sedgwick Cressida van Gordon Jake Henson

english chamber orchestra


Synopsis The Cunning Little Vixen The innkeeper, schoolmaster, parson and friends are stalwarts of village life. They go about their daily business. In parallel runs the magical world of nature. And from time to time the two collide. ACT 1 How Bystrou ška was caught Surrounded by the magic of the forest, the Gamekeeper takes a nap. While he sleeps the Cricket and the Grasshopper make music together, and a young Frog tries to catch the Mosquito. It misses and by accident wakes up the Gamekeeper. The Frog has attracted the attention of Bystrouška, the vixen cub. The Gamekeeper catches her and takes her home. She is mourned by the Blue Dragonfly. Bystrouška at the Gamekeeper’s farm At the Gamekeeper’s, Bystrouška exchanges stories with the Dog. She defends herself against his sexual advances, and the children’s baiting. She is tied up. Night falls and in her dreams she is a young girl. Dawn comes and she is a vixen again. Bystrouška the politician Bystrouška uses her oratorical skills to draw the hens into her grasp. She fails and threatens to bury herself alive in disgust at their conservative outlook. The Cock is sent to investigate and is despatched. And in turn so are all the hens. Bystrouška runs away Fearing retribution at the hands of the Gamekeeper and his wife, Bystrouška bites through her leash and escapes into the forest. ACT 2 The Vixen steals the Badger's home Running free, Bystrouška notices the comfortable home of the Badger and ruthlessly evicts him.

At the inn the Gamekeeper, Schoolmaster and Priest enjoy themselves. The Gamekeeper teases the Schoolmaster about his lack of success as a lover. The Schoolmaster in return baits the Gamekeeper about the escape of the Vixen. The Schoolmaster is drunk and has trouble finding his way home. He mistakes the Vixen, hiding behind a sunflower, for Terynka, his distant beloved. The Parson, separately wends his way home and he remembers an incident of his youth when he was wrongly accused of seducing a girl. Both men are startled by the Gamekeeper. The Vixen’s courtship; The Vixen’s love and marriage The Vixen meets a handsome Fox. She tells him how she was brought up by the Gamekeeper and how she escaped. They fall in love. Everyone is gossiping and they are obliged to marry. The animals of the forest join in the merrymaking. DINNER INTERVAL


ACT 3 Bystrouška outwits Harašta a poultry dealer The Gamekeeper thinks Harašta has been poaching. Harašta tells him that he is about to marry Terynka. The Gamekeeper leaves a trap for the Vixen. Bystrouška's family is growing. With her mate and her litter she makes fun of the trap. How Bystrouška died When Harašta returns Bystrouška pretends to be lame and lures him into the forest. He trips and while he nurses his

injuries Bystrouška and her family demolish the chickens. Harašta shoots the Vixen. The Schoolmaster is tearful at the news of Terynka’s marriage to Harašta. The Gamekeeper, feeling his age, sets off home. The young Bystrouška The Gamekeeper contemplates the beauty of the scene around him and remembers the day of his own wedding. At peace with nature and himself, he falls asleep. In his dream the creatures of the forest appear, including a little vixen, the spitting image of Bystrouška. When the Gamekeeper tries to catch her he succeeds only in catching a frog. His gun falls to the ground.


A sunny work of old age by John Tyrrell The trio of operas which Janácek wrote in close succession – Katya, Vixen, Makropulos – are meditations on death and rebirth. In Vixen, death is set firmly within the context of the annual and daily cycle. On the eve of his seventieth birthday, Janácek seems to have come to terms with death. Vixen was the sunniest work of his old age and has a sunny origin – a cartoon character. THE MORNING EDITION OF Lidové noviny would be brought round by newspaper boys, I’d go to a news stall for the afternoon one. When Bystrouška was coming out I'd open the paper first thing on the way home to see if there was another instalment, and if there was I’d rush home and read it quickly before giving it to the master, who anyway was working and only got round to the papers in the evening. I was reading it in this way once – it was when there was a picture of Bystrouška [the Vixen] walking with Zlatohrbítek [the Fox] and carrying a flower. I burst out laughing at seeing them cuddling up together like that. I thought no-one could hear me laughing aloud: the mistress was out, and the master in his study. But suddenly he appeared at the kitchen door. ‘Woman, what’s so funny?’ ‘Bystrouška, sir.’ ‘What Bystrouška?’ ‘Don’t you read it? It’s by Tesnohlídek at the Lidové noviny.’ I handed him the newspaper, he looked at the picture, read the text, and began to smile, and I said to him: ‘Sir, you know so well how animals talk, you’re always writing down those bird calls – wouldn’t it make a marvellous opera!’ He didn’t say anything. But he began to collect every instalment of Bystrouška. And what didn’t happen next! He went to see Mr Tesnohlídek, and Mr Tesnohlídek visited the house, they came to an agreement, and the master began to study animals for Bystrouška. At six in the morning he would get up, drink his Karlsbad water . . . and go off to the Lužánky park to hear how the birds sang, how the trees rustled, and how the bees buzzed. He would return full of the joys of life and say: ‘How can you people go on sleeping?’ This account of the origin of Janácek’s seventh opera comes from Marie Stejskalová, the Janáceks’ servant for 44 years. Her memoirs, published in 1959, show her to be an observant and reliable witness and there is no reason to doubt the role that she has given herself in the opera’s conception. The initial impulse could however have come equally well from any other of the many readers of Lidové noviny (Brno’s popular and liberal daily paper), or perhaps even from Janácek’s acquaintance on the editorial board: he himself was a regular contributor. At any rate Janácek


seems not to have noticed that Bystrouška instalments until Stejskalová pointed out to him. If she remembered the right picture this incident took place in June 1920, towards the end of the serial publication of Bystrouška in fifty-one parts, from 7 April to 23 June. Tesnohlídek’s tale owed its existence to a collection of some two hundred line drawings which the Lidové noviny bought from the painter Stanislav Lolek in 1920. Rudolf Tesnohlídek (1882-1928), employed by the paper since 1908 as a law reporter and feuilletonist, was instructed to produce a text to accompany the pictures. His initial reluctance to do so is ironic: among his novels, children’s books and volumes of poetry, it was his only work to acheive real popularity or critical success (it won a state prize in 1923), and is still regularly republished in Czechoslovakia. Bystrouška reflects neither Tesnohlídek’s basic pessimism (he took his own life a few years later), nor the rarefied nature of his poetry, but is instead a genial account of the adventures of a vixen cub. On 1 June 1921 Janácek gave the first public indication that he was considering writing the opera, in his feuilleton published in the Lidové noviny about a goldfinch (the first of several in which he notated birdsong). It ends ‘Why all these words on the rough tones of the goldfinch . . ? In the first place I liked him (or her), And second, I’m collecting suitable companions for Liška Bystrouška.’ ‘Wish me luck with Liška Bystrouška!’ he wrote in a postscript to an undated letter (probably mid-December 1921) to Max Brod. Marie Stejskalová dated the beginning of the work to 22 February 1922 – as did Janácek, when he added this date to the others on his final page of the manuscript score – and earlier that month he had written to his young mistress and muse Kamila Stösslová that he begun the opera. But it was only in May 1922 that he approached Tesnohlídek and as late as 22 August 1922 that he wrote to Brod saying that he was making a preliminary libretto and had it all in rough except for the last act. Tesnohlídek called his novel Liška Bystrouška. Liška is a vixen in Czech: Bystrouška is her name, a composite

JANACEK LOVED NATURE perhaps more than anthing else. Whoever saw him gardening and watching intently the growth of all God's creatures, could only envy him his satisfaction and happiness. Cowslips, snowdrops, violets, gave hm no end of pleasure and he could not bear his garden to be without them. His greatest joy used to be caused by a pair of warblers and blackbirds when they came to nest in his garden. He followed them about

and became quite absorbed when watching them rearing their young. Blackbirds were his speciality. Bent, almost on his knees, he would follow their performances and the feeding of their young and their first efforts at flying. Someone, out of spite, let a lizard and a frog loose in his garden. When I suggested that he should get rid of them he answered: What an idea! I am glad to have them here . . . " OSVALD CHLUBNA


word from bystrý (sharp) and ouška (ears – diminutive ucha), thus ‘sharp ears’ – someone with keen hearing. Tesnohlídek wrote that originally his vixen was to have been Bystronožka (sharp foot, i.e. fleet of foot) but a compositor misread his handwriting in the first instalment, and so the Vixen remained Bystrouška (and further instalments were dictated to a typist). Janácek expanded the title to Príhody Liška Bystrouška - The Adventure of Bystrouška the Vixen. Max Brod’s German translation, and the English in its wake, gave the Vixen not sharp ears, but a sharpness in character: Das schlaue Füchslein (The Cunning Little Vixen) and this title, though an inaccurate translation of the Czech, has sounded so well that it has become the standard form. On 11 March 1923, just as Janácek was finishing Vixen, a letter to Max Brod tells us what was uppermost in his mind: thoughts of good and evil, about nature, about spring and old age. The letter begins by describing an incident in his home village: The mayor’s son in a fit of passion – his sweetheart had left him – would have killed all the wedding guests. He shot at them through the windows of the room where the wedding of this former sweetheart was taking place. He was brought to trial and sentenced. What of it? When he returned to the district after serving his term do you think that people avoided him? No. Just as if nothing had happened. They spoke with him and mixed with him just as before. For me it confirmed that ordinary people do not consider evil a lasting stigma. It happened – and is no more. Then follows a straightforward account of the plot, but the slant which Janácek has given it is emphasised at the end: ‘so bad and good follow one another again.’ Janácek also wrote that his Vixen ‘stole and killed, but at the same time is capable of noble feelings’. In his music he portrayed her sympathetically, but nevertheless refused to be sentimental about her death, which in no way provides the climax to the opera, but is dismissed after a few bars of orchestral commentary. The same letter raises another


major theme of the opera: the juxtaposition of old age with spring and its renewal of life. ‘The Gamekeeper and the Schoolmaster have grown old; the Priest has moved elsewhere. Spring is in the forest – but also old age.’ This sentiment is echoed in a letter to Kamila Stösslová (3 April 1923): ‘I caught Bystrouška for the forest and the sadness of the late years.’ From his annotations in the novel it is clear that Janácek was struck by the passing of the seasons and in the final form of the opera the seasons are carefully noted in the stage descriptions: summer and autumn (Act 1) passes to summer (Act 2) and back to autumn (Act 3). Within this yearly cycle there is the daily cycle.

Janácek made a few striking changes to the novel. Act 1 and the first half of Act 2 follows Tesnohlídek closely but thereafter the two diverge. Whole chapters fly past in a few bars and then a few lines of Tesnohlídek's wedding celebration is extended by Janácek to an exhilarating choral scene. Janácek radically changed Bystrouška's encounter with Harašta the poultry dealer. In the novel she sees Harašta coming up the hill laden with a basket of chickens. She pretends to be lame and so lures him into the woods, where he trips over a tree stump. While he is nursing his injuries she helps herself to the contents of his basket. Janácek includes in his version of this scene the Fox and their litter of cubs – it is they who demolish the chickens in Harašta's basket while Bystrouška engages his attention. There is another crucial alteration: Harašta has a gun and shoots her. This single stroke turns the work from a light-hearted tale for children into a serious work which, for all its comic touches, is able to include and comprehend death. ‘A merry piece with a sad end’, he wrote to Stösslová as he began work on it. There is much evidence of a serious attempt by Janácek to understand the new world of his opera. There is correspondence over the mating habits of foxes, and studies of animal calls. ‘I’m engulfed in nature,’ he wrote to Brod. ‘but I don’t drown in it.’ Most touching – and comic – is an expedition described by Jan Václav Sládek. Janácek turned up in a white suit. We all burst out laughing. ‘You’re more likely, Dr Janácek, to catch sight of a magpie on a willow, than a vixen, who can see everything.’ Janácek had to return and change into more unobtrusive clothes. We went through Ondrejnice valley along the stream and reached Babí hora. And indeed, as if to order, the vixen’s family emerged from the den and began to show off and play around. Janácek started twitching with excitement until finally he frightened the foxes away.

‘Why, Dr Janácek, couldn’t you keep still? You could have gone on looking!’ Janácek, completely exhilarated and happy, just brushed this aside with the words ‘I saw her! I saw her!’ The servant Marie Stejskalová reports that her master had much pleasure from the Brno premiere of the Vixen. He would come back from rehearsals laughing at how the singers were having to learn to crawl on all fours. It is said that at the dress rehearsal, when they had got to the end of Act 3, with the Gamekeeper dreaming of the young Bystrouška and instead of her, catching the little Frog, who sings to him: ‘I’m not the same one! That was grandpa. They told me all about you’, the master apparently wept. He said to the producer Zítek who was standing next to him: ‘You must play this when I die.’


Foxes by Charlotte Higgins From Uncle Remus to Nancy Mitford, the fox casts his spell. The town fox who survives on kebabs – do we love him or hate him? Fox–hunting? Charlotte Higgins is the Guardian’s chief arts writer and author of two books: Latin Love Lessons and It’s All Greek to Me. THE DOG-FOX PAUSES IN THE GARDEN, ears cocked, his back and brush straight as a plumb-line, fur matted and shiny with snow-melt. His arrow-head of a face turns and gazes straight at me, stares me out. Who owns this garden? Not I, it seems: the day-old snow reveals a wellworn highway of fox tracks, but no footprints. He turns away, briefly considers the wall at his right, and with an unhurried, powerful kick from his haunches he has it, an impossible six foot mounted with casual grace. He turns his back, picks his way primly atop the snow-clogged clematis branches, and bounds down, away, out of sight, free. In the asphalted, regulated, mechanised city the fox is a haunting presence, a fairytale creature from the wild woods. Now unhunted in the country, he prospers, multiplies and colonises towns. The fox is no respecter of human boundaries or human rules; and, bold though he is, he will not be tamed. The fox somehow makes a mockery of busy, anxious human endeavours. That delicate snout well conveys disdain. The country fox of my childhood was a different creature altogether: the shy habitué of thickets and copses and downs. The first fox I ever saw was a ruddy, purposeful streak across a woodland footpath; a breathtaking moment because so rare. But in those days, frosty mornings would see the hunt out, that clamorous chequerboard of red and black chess pieces moving slowly, it seemed from a distance, over a wintry hillside - but still the baying of the hounds audible. John Masefield wrote Reynard the Fox between December 1918 and April 1919. In those days, he could accurately assert that fox hunting was the national sport, more popular, and less respecting of class or gender, than football, rugby or cricket. His long, two-part narrative poem is now unfashionable, but on publication was a wild success, running to numerous editions and set as a school text well into the 1950s. The first part, a kind of reworking of Chaucer’s General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, minutely describes the local people assembling for the meet. The second describes the break-neck chase, mostly from the fox’s perspective. In an essay of 1920, he wrote:


“No fox was the original of my Reynard, but as I was much in the woods as a boy I saw foxes fairly often, considering that they are night-moving animals. Their grace, beauty, cleverness and secrecy always thrilled me. Then that kind of grin which the mask wears made me credit them with almost a human humour. I thought the fox a merry devil, though a bloody one, then he is one against many, who keeps his end up, and lives, often snugly, in spite of the world. The pirate and the nightrider are nothing to the fox, for romance and danger.” Later on, after the second world war, he described the poem as “an attempt to understand the mind of a shy wild animal when sorely beset” - but also as a kind of war poem, the fox a symbol of the “free soul of humanity, then just escaped from extinction”. The poem’s account of the fox’s dash - in its imagery recalling Masefield’s days as a sailor - is thrilling: Like a rocket shot to a ship ashore, The lean red bolt of his body tore, Like a ripple of wind running swift on grass, Like a shadow on wheat when a cloud blows past, Like the turn at the buoy in a cutter sailing, When the bright green gleam lips white at the railing, Like the April snake whipping back to sheath, Like the gannets’ hurdle on fish beneath, Like a kestrel chasing, like a sickle reaping. Like all things swooping, like all things sweeping, Like a hound for stay, like a stag for swift, With his shadow beside like spinning drift. Masefield was a passionate lover of the hunt - but also of the fox. He cannot kill Reynard, who finds his peace after a stupendous chase. That duality is reflected, lightly and brightly, in Nancy Mitford’s The Pursuit of Love, by the hunting-mad (and Masefield-mad) Radlett family. Their cousin Fanny, the narrator of the novel, relates: “The Radletts loved animals, they loved foxes, they risked dreadful beatings in order to unstop their earths, they read and cried and rejoiced over Reynard the Fox, in summer they got up at four to go and see the cubs playing in the pale-green light of the woods; nevertheless, more than

anything in the world, they loved hunting. It was in their blood and bones and in my blood and bones, and nothing could eradicate it, though we knew it for a kind of original sin. For three hours that day I forgot everything except my body and my pony’s body; the rushing, the scrambling, splashing, struggling up the hills, sliding down them again, the tugging, the bucketing, the earth, and the sky. I forgot everything, I could hardly have told you my name. That must be the dread hold that hunting has over people, especially stupid people, it enforces an absolute concentration, both mental and physical.” In this inter-war rural society of bluff, vehemently anti-intellectual country squires, most of them doughty survivors of the trenches, prowess at hunting captured the chief rural virtues of the day: courage, stamina, shrewdness, athleticism, grace, fearlessness. Foxhunting is something by which one can be measured - man or woman. In The Pursuit of Love, the awkward Fanny falls well short of the ideal set by her glamorous absent mother, the Bolter. Bringing her back from a hunt one day, the groom, Josh, remarks: ‘”There’s no human being like her, that I’ve ever seen . . . Hands like velvet, but strong like iron, and her seat - ! Now look at you, jostling about on that saddle, first here, first there...’” In his Memoirs of a Fox-hunting Man, Siegfried Sassoon recalled of his pre-first-world-war childhood: “It is no use pretending that I was anything else than a dreaming and unpractical boy. Perhaps my environment made me sensitive, but there was an ‘unmanly’ element in my nature which betrayed me into many blunders and secret humiliations.” When he first sees a fox, on his second-ever day out hunting, he makes a dreadful fool of himself in front of the idolised Denis, a “proper little sportsman” a couple of years older. “When Denis stood up in his stirrups and emitted a shrill ‘Huick-holler,’ I felt spontaneously alarmed for the future of the fox. ‘Don’t do that; they’ll catch him!’ I exclaimed.” In Molly Keane’s late masterpiece, Good Behaviour (1981), she describes a similar milieu to that summoned up in Mitford and Sassoon, in this case Irish and laced with a good deal of venom. The governess, Mrs Brock, encourages reading and knits divinely - but these are “cissy” habits quite out of accord with the brutish rural virtues that are loyally upheld by the family nannie. “Nannie showed nothing but cold amusement when asked to admire these voluptuous clouds knitted with such speed and skill. She felt Mrs Brock’s time would be better employed in organising wholesome outdoor sports for the boys. Nannie herself still bowled to them with a hard ball and had often been heard to shout above any chlidish uproar: “Now, now, do stop this quarrellin’ , boys, and let’s have a nice talk about huntin’.”

The original cartoon of the Cunning Little Vixen in the newspaper Lidové Noviny by Stanislav Lolek, 1920


To nannie’s infinite satisfaction, Mrs Brock is dismissed when one of her young charges is found reading, oh the horror, poetry. During the ghastly interview in which she is asked to leave the house, “Mrs Brock looked round the room. Foxes’ masks (neatly labelled: FOUND - KILLED THE POINT - THE DATE -) were grouped, memories of glorious moments, on the walls. Some stood out sharply on their wooden shields, small pricked ears and deathly snarls; others hung down on faced leather couples, ears back, tongues lolling and curling. All the pictures were of foxhunting, foxhounds, or masters of foxhounds. The living terriers, snoozing in their baskets, had their backs turned to her. Everything in the room belonged to a different and more glorious race from Mrs Brock.” Mercifully, literary foxes are generally of more use running free than pinned to country-house walls. The fox is legendarily cunning: in Aesop’s fables he is clever and sometimes cruel. In The Fox and the Goat a fox is trapped down a well and struggling to get out. A goat appears, and enquires whether the water is good. “Yes it is,” says the fox. “Come on in and try it for yourself!” The goat does so; the fox climbs on him to scramble out of the water, leaving the goat defenceless. The moral: look before you leap. In The Fox and the Crow, the crow is in possession of a choice piece of cheese. The fox flatters her and demands to hear her beautiful voice. The crow opens her beak to utter her unlovely, hoarse “caw” and drops the cheese. The moral: don’t listen to flattery. The pattern is turned on its head, though, in the stories of Brer Rabbit - Joel Chandler Harris’s Uncle Remus, His Songs and Sayings (1880). In these African-American folk tales, the apparently weak and defenceless Brer Rabbit (on one level, at least, a metaphor for the black slave) constantly outwits the more powerful Brer Fox. In the story called Mr Rabbit Grossly Deceives Mr Fox, Brer Rabbit tells Miss Meadows “en all de gals” that Brer Fox “wuz de ridin’-hoss fer our fambly”. He then tricks Fox into carrying him to Miss Meadows’ party - thus transforming Fox into beast of burden and symbolically taking his women. In Japanese folklore, foxes are sinister and poetic, and can transform themselves into people - look for their tails, which they cannot change, and you will find them. Once


the young nobleman Abe no Yasuna, on his way to visit a shrine, found a man hunting foxes to use their livers for medicine. He fought the hunter and set free the lovely white fox he had trapped. Afterwards, a beautiful woman called Kuzunoha appeared, and they married. She bore a son, and some years later, as she was admiring some chrysanthemums in the garden, the child caught sight of her tail. At that, she left her home and returned to her life in the forest - but gave her child the ability to understand the language of animals. Another fox-woman is described in the story Lady into Fox by David Garnett (1928). A husband and wife are out walking. They approach a hunt, and he finds himself half-dragging her towards it, so reluctant is she to encounter it. Suddenly he turns back and there is no wife there, just a little red fox. . . . His wife's sullenness and bad temper continued that day, for she cowered away from him and hid under the sofa, nor could he persuade her to come out from there. . . . All that morning he kept her close, but in the afternoon let her loose again in the garden. But seeing how disgustedly she looked while he was by, never offering to run or to play as she was used, but only standing stock still with her tail between her legs, her ears flattened, and the hair bristling on her shoulders, seeing this he left her to herself out of mere humanity. When he came out after half–an–hour he found that she was gone, but there was a fair–sized hole by the wall, and she just buried all but her brush, digging desperately to get under the wall and make her escape. He ran up to the hole, and put his arm in after her and called to her to come out, but she would not. As soon as he had drawn her forth she whipped round and snapped at his hand and bit it through near the joint of the thumb, but let it go instantly They stayed there for a minute facing each other, he on his knees and she facing him the picture of unrepentant wickedness and fury. Being thus on his knees, Mr Tebrik was down on her level very nearly, and her muzzle was thrust almost into his face. Her ears lay flat on her head, her gums were bared in a silent snarl, and all her beautiful teeth threatening him that she would bite him again. The blood ran very freely from his hand but he never noticed that or the pain of it either, for all his thoughts

Bebe Daniels, 1930 (akg-images)

were for his wife. ‘You would not do this if you were not in anguish, poor beast, you want your freedom. I cannot keep you, I cannot hold you to vows you made when you were a woman... Poor beast, poor beast, I love you, I love you. Go if you want to, but if you remember me, come back. I shall never keep you against your will...’

Then he got up quickly and went to the door of the garden that opened into a little paddock against a wood. When he opened it she went through like an arrow, crossed the paddock like a puff of smoke and in a moment was gone from his sight.” Like the urban fox - and like Janacek’s Vixen she will not be tamed.



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OPER A IN THREE AC TS Text by Francesco Maria Piave after Victor Hugo’s Le Roi s’amuse First performance Teatro la Fenice, Venice, 11 March 1851 Performances at Nevill Holt on July 9, 11, 12, 14 given by our Rising Stars Sung in Italian with surtitles







Daniel Slater DIRECTOR




Cathal Garvey Assistant Conductor

supported by David & Mary Laing

Adam Green James Edwards

supported by an anonymous donor

Angela Davies DESIGNER

Laura Mitchell


Karina Lucas


Fran Garcia


Paul Sheehan


Peter Willcock


Ronald Nairne


Johanne Cassar



Synopsis Rigoletto Rigoletto's daughter, Gilda, is in love with a man she saw in church. It transpires that he is taken with her – and any number of other girls. Rigoletto hires an assassin Sparafucile to clean up the mess but the plot goes wrong. Rigoletto's obsessive scheming leads to the death of his beloved daughter. DINNER INTERVAL


For months the Duke has been stalking a lovely girl. He knows where she lives and has seen that a man visits her every night but he doesn't know who she is. The Duke is a notorious womaniser and woos the Countess Ceprano in front of her husband. Rigoletto is in the Duke's pay and taunts Ceprano who is part of the Duke's social circle. Another member of this circle is Marullo who has revenge on Ceprano's behalf by sharing with the others some unlikely gossip – Rigoletto has a lover. They all laugh and use the information to plot against Rigoletto. Monterone accuses the Duke of seducing his daughter and curses him. Rigoletto’s house On the way home Rigoletto meets the assassin Sparafucile. He reflects their similar position in society as outsiders. Both are paid to destroy others: Rigoletto with words, Sparafucile with weapons. Rigoletto's daughter Gilda lightens his mood. Worried that the Duke’s circle would like to destroy him, he orders Gilda never to leave the house alone. Unknown to him, it is the Duke himself who is the threat. He has been stalking Gilda. Rigoletto leaves to investigate a noise outside and the Duke, who has been waiting, slips in and bribes Gilda’s minder Giovanna.


The Duke's place The Duke is fearful for Gilda and feels, for the first time, a tenderness – combined with more base feelings. His friends arrive and tell him they have kidnapped Rigoletto's "lover" and brought her here. The Duke realizes the mistake and rushes to find Gilda. Rigoletto is frantic and searching desperately for his daughter. The Duke’s friends will not help him and he assumes that Gilda must be with the Duke. First Rigoletto curses and then pleads with them explaining that Gilda is his daughter and not his lover. When Gilda appears she is distressed. The others leave and Gilda tells her story. She is still desperately in love with the Duke. Monterone is on his way to prison and repeats his curse. Gilda asks her father to show mercy on him. ACT 3

At Sparafucile’s Rigoletto has brought Gilda here to show her the Duke's true character. The Duke is in disguise visiting Maddalena, Sparafucile’s sister. Gilda is horrified. Rigoletto tells her to leave and wait for him away from here. For safety, she must disguise herself as a man.

The Duke is amazed to learn that Gilda is Rigoletto's daughter. Still in hiding, he hears Gilda confess that she is in love with a mysterious young man who has been following her. He seizes the moment and confesses his own love – but gives a false name: Gualtier Maldè, a student. They are interrupted.

Rigoletto and Sparafucile strike their bargain: Sparafucile will kill the man who is with his sister and Rigoletto will collect the body at midnight.

There are people approaching: Ceprano, Marullo and others. They are about to execute their plot: to abduct Rigoletto’s ‘lover’. They lie in wait for Rigoletto and when he arrives, they trick him and blindfold him.

Gilda disobeys her father and returns to the fateful place. She overhears the argument between Maddalena and the assassin Sparafucile and decides to give up her own life. She knocks at the door saying she is a beggar. Sparafucile tells Maddalena he will kill the beggar at the door and deliver him to Rigoletto.

Rigoletto tears off the blindfold. Gilda has been taken.


Maddalena has fallen for the nameless visitor in her bed (the Duke) and pleads with her brother not to kill him.

Katz’s Delicatessen, Max Ferguson Private Collection / Bridgeman Art Library

Rigoletto comes back to collect the body of the Duke. As he gloats over his treasure he hears the familiar voice of the Duke. He tears open the sack and finds his daughter. She is alive. She asks her father to bless her and forgive the Duke. She dies.


"My best opera": Verdi's Rigoletto by Rupert Christiansen Each of Verdi’s operas improves on the one he composed previously. By the time he wrote Rigoletto, Verdi understood how ‘to make music reveal the meaning of the words’, rather than simply using text to fit a general structure. Rupert Christiansen has been opera critic of the Daily Telegraph since 1995. He is the author of Prima Donna and The Faber Pocket Guide to Opera. ‘SOME MEN ARE BORN GREAT’ Malvolio ruminates in Twelfth Night, ‘some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them’.

Prelude to Rigoletto’s final bitter cry at the discovery of his thwarted revenge, plot and music, character and action are integrated into one richly coloured but seamless fabric.

Giuseppe Verdi belongs firmly in the second category. He was a slogger not a natural, who made the most of his talent through hard work and acquired craft rather than innate genius. Verdi was always ready to learn and to change, but he wasn’t the sort to take daring short cuts into the unknown: stubborn and dogged by temperament, he needed to work problems through step by step. Thus almost each of the thirty–seven operas he wrote between Oberto in 1839 and Falstaff in 1893 improves in some respect on the one that he had composed previously* – a technical imbalance or crudity will be corrected, a grace note will be added or a new effect attempted – amounting to a half–century of aesthetic development which constitutes one of the most far–ranging journeys in the history of music. Along this road, Rigoletto stands high, ranking by common consent as one of the crucial turning–points in Verdi’s career.

What’s the secret? The great critic Gabriele Baldini believed that it lay in the way that Verdi had come to understand how ‘to make music reveal the meaning of the words’, rather than simply using text to fit a general structure: one can sense this most vividly in the extraordinarily powerful confrontation between the unnerved Rigoletto and the mocking courtiers in the third scene. One could also point to the consummate balancing of comic and ironic elements with outbursts of blackest, doom–laden tragedy, or the remarkably original evocation of atmosphere, as in the eerie orchestral painting of Sparafucile’s seedy dive and the gathering storm, set against the brilliantly casual handling of ‘La donna è mobile’ (a banal hit–tune which perfectly embodies the Duke’s insouciance), the sharp differentiation of personalities in the quartet, and the sure pacing of the catastrophic climax. All this – and much more – offers anyone writing an opera invaluable lessons in the art of making music theatrically meaningful. Verdi knew he had got it right – four years after its premiere (and after the composition of Il trovatore and La traviata), he wrote to a friend that Rigoletto was ‘my best opera’.

It was composed in 1850–1, shortly after he had for various reasons dropped an idea of drawing an opera from Shakespeare’s King Lear – like Rigoletto, a drama focused on a lost daughter and an angry father. This aborted project was floated between Luisa Miller (1849) and Stiffelio (1850), in which Verdi had been busy loosening the conventional boundaries between recitative, aria and finale, and exploring sensitive problems of sexual ethics in settings closer to modern life than the romantic or medieval locales of most of his early operas. Yet both Luisa Miller and Stiffelio are tentative and experimental, lacking in stylistic coherence, and only when he moves on to Rigoletto does Verdi seem completely focused in his intentions: from the short, electrifying

The libretto is based on a play which Verdi had only encountered in book form – Le Roi s’amuse (best translated as ‘The King has fun’), by the French poet and dramatist Victor Hugo. First performed in 1832 at the Comèdie– Française in Paris, it had created such a scandal at its première that it was immediately banned from the stage by a government anxious to avoid any incitement to revolution – set in the court of the French King François I and following a degree of historical truth, the play amounted to a pretty damning indictment of monarchical morals.

*An exception might be Verdi’s eighth opera, the wretched Alzira (1845), written in haste while he was ill.

Circulated in printed form, it went on to create a stir throughout Europe: Verdi thought it ‘perhaps the greatest


Verdi in the garden of his villa at Sant'Agata c1899 He planted a tree to commemorate each of his operas

drama of modern times’, and believed that by adapting it in collaboration with his friend, the experienced librettist Francesco Maria Piave, he simply ‘couldn’t go wrong’. Nor did he. But there was to be another run–in with his old enemy the censor first. The opera had been commissioned by the Teatro La Fenice in Venice, a city then under stern Austrian occupation, and the Chief of Police there was dismayed by the choice of Hugo’s ‘repulsively immoral and obscenely trivial’ play. Verdi and Piave weren’t easily cowed. They wanted to follow the plot of Hugo closely, their chief alteration

being to make Rigoletto more sympathetic than Hugo’s Triboulet, whose vindictiveness is even more psychotic than the Duke’s airy venality. The Chief of Police wasn’t satisfied with this small injection of moral uplift, and only after much aggravation and to–ing and fro–ing, did Verdi agree both to change Hugo’s setting in the French royal court to a small Italian duchy (Verdi chose Mantua, in which Triboulet, François and Blanche are re–named Rigoletto, the Duke of Mantua and Gilda), and to moderate Hugo’s implication that the Duke rapes Gilda in a locked room after the abduction.


A licence to perform was a close call, but such was Verdi’s reputation that it would have been extremely embarrassing to the authorities had it not been granted, and the première went ahead in March 1851, to great and immediate public acclaim. The press, however, generally hedged its bets, finding it all either bewilderingly novel in style or distasteful in its subject matter, or both. When it arrived in London in 1853, the distinguished critic Henry Chorley got it spectacularly wrong (as critics sometimes do), judging it to be ‘Verdi’s weakest opera … puerile and ridiculous, full of vulgarity and eccentricity and barren of ideas.’ Rigoletto was just too original, too hard–hitting and too morally uncomfortable to fit into anyone’s box of aesthetic expectations. Audiences less constricted by preconceptions of what an opera should be responded viscerally, and over the ensuing hundred and fifty years, Rigoletto has never diminished in popularity or impact. What can it mean to us today? Perhaps the most celebrated answer to that question was provided by Jonathan Miller’s 1982 English National Opera staging, which knocked me for six when I first saw it at the London Coliseum – and where it was still looking fresh when last revived a couple of years back. All the productions I had seen until then – Zeffirelli’s at Covent Garden, for example – had been weighed down and beautified by a heavy pseudo–Shakespearean Renaissance guise. Yes, this was of course the epoch which Verdi had envisioned, but there’s nothing like a strong updating to make you reassess precisely what a composer’s deepest intentions were. Miller placed the action in 1950s New York, more specifically in the Mafia–dominated area of Manhattan known as Little Italy, where money isn’t often made on the right side of the law and power has nothing to do with democratic consent. The Duke becomes a capo in the Mob, Rigoletto his hit–man, and Sparafucile’s dive is down in the meat–packing district. By banishing all those ornate costumes and Palladian halls and evoking instead a world closer to the movies of Sinatra, Brando and de Niro, Miller reminded us of the corrupt milieu and vindictive violence which are at the opera’s heart. Rigoletto became


a tale of the Waterfront, of Mean Streets and Goodfellas – one in which decent people get sucked into a vortex of crime and vice, one in which the scum rises to the top and innocence is a joke. Rigoletto isn’t a love story, in which good and evil are clearly demarcated; it’s a portrait of a decadent and corrupt society, where dog eats dog. Yet Miller can’t make Rigoletto’s role altogether convincing in this context: one keeps wondering what the Duke sees in him, and why he hasn’t been knocked off years ago, which in turn raises the interesting question of how the figure of a court jester can be translated into contemporary terms. Today we have no direct equivalent of the jester, who by definition was constantly at the ruler’s side and who played to a coterie audience of courtiers, in a delicately complicit relationship which could break down at any moment if a jest proved too barbed. Rulers in the Renaissance era understood the value of the jester, inasmuch as his repartee gave them useful insight into what people were really thinking of them aside from their flattery, but jesters were not immune – they always risked going too far and falling from favour. One famous example was Archibald Armstrong, a favourite at the court of King James I of England. Armstrong became rich on his wits until James felt that he was over–reaching himself by stirring up antagonism with the Prince of Wales. Armstrong escaped with his head: others weren’t so lucky. Criticism of powerful political figures in western societies is now made at a distance though the media of press and television, to a broad public, in societies where freedom of speech is guaranteed and abuse doesn’t emit the same whiff of dangerous lèse–majesté. We can enjoy the jesters of Private Eye and Have I got news for you in the comfort of our own homes, without any thrill of fear that laughing may land us in jail. But in countries ruled by criminal dictators, satire of the type that Rigoletto trades in must still be an explosive quantity: does Robert Mugabe have a jester, one wonders? Verdi’s identification with Rigoletto was intense – few other characters in his operas can boast quite such a complex psychology, conveyed with so much passion and

Pasta drying in the streets, Naples, 1897 Stapleton Collection / Bridgeman Art Library

clarity. Verdi too had known the pain of losing a beloved daughter, albeit one who was only fourteen months old when she died. Did he also see himself as a sort of jester? So many of his early operas have a cutting if covert political edge, taunting the loathed Habsburg regime which would

dominate northern Italy until the 1860s. Flaubert once said of his most famous creation, ‘Madame Bovary, c’est moi’? Could Verdi have said the same of Rigoletto?


Biographies DAVID ALDEN Director Vixen was born in New York City and studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He received the Bavarian Theatre Prize for Individual Artistic Achievement, marking his association with Bavarian State Opera where productions include Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Poppea, Rinaldo, Rodelinda, Ariodante, Tannhäuser, Pique Dame, Lulu, Calisto, Forza del destino and Ring des Nibelungen. In UK his work includes Poppea, Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria, Elektra (WNO), Mazeppa, Simon Boccanegra, Ballo in Maschera, Ariodante, Damnation de Faust, Tristan und Isolde (ENO). His US work includes Wozzeck, Fidelio (The Met NY) and productions for San Francisco, Chicago, Houston, Dallas. Recent work includes Turco in Italia (Staatsoper Berlin), Radamisto (Santa Fe), Calisto (ROH), Ercole l’amante (Nederlandse Opera), Poppea (Barcelona Liceu), Lucia di Lammermoor, Peter Grimes (ENO) and Jenufa for which he won an Olivier award. STEPHEN BARLOW Conductor Norma Organ Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, and founder of the University Bach Choir. After studying at Guildhall School of Music, he made his début conducting Rake’s Progress for Glyndebourne Touring Opera. He has since conducted most of the major orchestras and opera companies in the UK and Europe. His international career started in Vancouver and has taken him all over the world. Recent recordings include Joseph James’ Requiem with Sumi Jo and his own children’s composition Rainbow Bear with his wife Joanna Lumley as narrator. Most recent projects include his opera King (Canterbury Cathedral), Mendelssohn’s Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lisbon), ROH Young Singer’s Gala Concert (Covent Garden), Bluebeard’s Castle (Auckland), Rake’s Progress (Reisopera), Rusalka, La Boheme and Falstaff (Grange Park), Faust, Nabucco (Australia), and Sweeney Todd (Royal Festival Hall). Plans include the première of his Clarinet Concerto (supported by the Bowerman Charitable Trust) and Capriccio and Pique Dame at Grange Park. Supported by the Sharp family ROSIE BELL ensemble was born in Carlisle and studied philosophy and literature at Edinburgh University before undertaking postgraduate vocal studies at Trinity College of Music and graduated in 2007. She was recently in West Side Story (Pimlico Opera / HMP Wandsworth). Forthcoming engagements include Contessa (Musique Cordiale, London and Seillans). YVETTE BONNER Atilia Macrina Eliogabalo Opera includes Hermione Agyptische Helena and Esmeralda Bartered Bride (Royal Opera), Vixen (Aix-en-Provence), Tina Flight (Vlaamse Opera), Clarine Platée (Athens), Oscar Ballo in Maschera (Castleward) and Fleurette BarbeBleu (Grange Park). World premières include Sarah After Life (Michel Van Der Aa) and Alice Alice in Wonderland (Knaifel) at Netherlands Opera, and Grace by Joep Franssens. Yvette has also sung with ENO, WNO, Opera North, Garsington and Houston Grand Opera. Supported by Bridget & Alun Evans


CLAIRE BOOTH Anicia Eritea Eliogabalo recent débuts include BBC Proms and performances with Oliver Knussen and Pierre Boulez at Edinburgh and Lucerne festivals. Opera includes 1st niece Grimes (Opera North), Anne Truelove Rake’s Progress (in concert with CBSO), Pakriti in the world première of Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream (Netherlands Opera), Despina Cosi (Nantes Opera), Mélisande Pélleas et Mélisande (Opera Theatre Company, Dublin), Nora Riders to the Sea (ENO). Other recent appearances include George Benjamin’s Into the Little Hill and Birtwistle’s Down by the Greenwood Tree (London Sinfonietta at the Linbury Theatre), world première of Knussen Requiem for Sue (conducted by the composer with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra). Supported by Mr & Mrs W Friedrich FRANCISCO JAVIER BORDA Tiferne Eliogabalo read History of Art at the University of Navarra and studied at the Hochschule für Musik, Vienna and Guildhall School of Music and performed Figaro, Bartolo, Leporello, Masetto, Inigo L’Heure Espagnol, Collatinus Rape of Lucretia, Gendarme Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Angelotti Tosca, Dulcamara. Other repertoire includes Sarastro, Osmin Entführung, Basilio Barbiere, Sparafucile, Frate Don Carlo, Seneca Poppea and Gremin. Francisco is a Samling Scholar and participated in the Martina Arroyo Program and the Internationale Bachakademie masterclasses with Helmut Rilling. FRANCES BOURNE Fox Vixen studied at Trinity, Cambridge and Royal Academy of Music. Appearances include Cherubino (Grange Park), Jane Micha Hamel’s Snow White, Pitti Sing Mikado (Nationale Reisopera), central role in Rachel Portman’s The Water Diviner’s Tale (BBC Proms – premère)‚ Rosina Barbiere (Opera Holland Park), Hansel Hansel & Gretel‚ Hermia Midsummer Night’s Dream and Stephano Roméo et Juliette (Opera North), Armando Grand Macabre (La Monnaie), Sorceress Dido & Aeneas and Puck in Weber’s Oberon‚ Junon Acteon (Aldeburgh)‚ Judith Weir’s The Consolations of Scholarship‚ Handel’s Oreste (Linbury‚ Covent Garden). Plans include Waltraute in the Reisopera Ring Cycle and Gymnasiast/Groom/Theater-Garderobiere Lulu (Geneva). Signed copies of her CD The Truth about Love are at the Grange Park Shop. Supported by Anonymous MFH SINEAD CAMPBELL-WALLACE Flavia Gemmira Eliogabalo studied at the Conservatory of Music in Dublin and at National Opera Studio where she was supported by the Friends of Covent Garden. Recent engagements include Anne Trulove Rake’s Progress (Aldeburgh Festival and Garsington Opera), Giulietta Capuleti e Montecchi (Grange Park Opera at Nevill Holt / Pimlico Opera), Micaela Carmen (English Touring Opera). Other operatic appearances have taken her to the Buxton Festival, the ROH Linbury Theatre, the Classical Opera Company, the Batignano Festival, and the Wexford Festival. Plans include title role Alcina (Opera Theatre Company Dublin). JRV ADC MLV

DAMIAN CARTER ensemble is in his third season at Grange Park. Since graduating from the Birmingham Conservatoire in 2005 he has worked with British Youth Opera, Carl Rosa, Buxton Festival and a five month tour of L’Elisir D’Amore with Swansea City Opera. Roles include Belcore L’Elisir, Pish-Tush Mikado, Ubalde and Aronte Armide, Strephon Iolanthe, Corporal Daughter of the Regiment, Captain Onegin. JOHANNE CASSAR Giovanna & Countess Ceprano Rigoletto studied at the Conservatoire Superieur de Paris and the Guildhall School of Music. Her opera includes La Marraine Cendrillon (Reims, Dijon, Cherbourg, Bordeaux), Concepcion L’heure espagnole, Cercatrice and Converse Suor Angelica (Monaco), Despina Cosi and Cybèle Atys (Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris), Urbain Les Huguenots (excerpts at the Nice Opera House where she won the prestigious French Competition), Second Boy Zauberflöte (GSMD). She was recently Maria in West Side Story (Pimlico Opera / HMP Wandsworth). ASHLEY CATLING Zotico Eliogabalo studied at the Guildhall School of Music and National Opera Studio. Roles include Ernesto Pasquale (New Zealand)‚ Ottavio (Opera Zuid)‚ NankiPoo (Nationale Reisopera)‚ Fenton Falstaff, Apollo Orfeo‚ Kudryas Katya, Gianetto Gazza ladra, Tamino Little Magic Flute (Opera North)‚ Ferrando Cosi and Nadir Der Stein der Weisen (Garsington)‚ 1st Armed Man Zauberflöte (Glyndebourne tour)‚ Tamino (Castleward)‚ Fledermaus (Dublin)‚ Normanno Lucia di Lammermoor (Opera Holland Park)‚ John Millar Jnr Friend of the People (Scottish Opera)‚ Gawain in Lynne Plowman’s Gawain & the Green Knight (Music Theatre Wales) and Lurcanio Ariodante, Oronte Alcina (ETO). MARTIN CONSTANTINE Director Norma studied at University College London and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Directing credits include Giasone (Early Opera Company), Silent Twins (Almeida), Scenes from an Ordinary Life (ENO), Smugglers (Shanty Theatre), Elixir of Love (Grange Park), Oh! What a Lovely War (Playing for Time), The Man with the Flower in his Mouth, Fat Stock Show (Chichester Festival), Reunion, Dark Pony (King’s Head), Aeroplane Bones, Gringos, Summer in the City, Bath Time (Bristol Old Vic, Pleasance, Southwark Playhouse, BAC). He recently completed an adaptation of Ishiguro’s The Unconsoled (National Theatre Studio) and is Associate Director of Pentabus Theatre. PAUL CURIEVICI Flavio Norma | ensemble is a postgraduate student at the Guildhall where he covered Don Eusebio L’Occasione Fa Il Ladro and chorus of Zauberflote, La Vie Parisienne (Offenbach), and The King Goes Forth To France. Recent work include chorus for Opera Holland Park (Magic Flute, Tosca) and BYO (L’Elisir D’Amore, La Rondine) and his Barbican solo debut in Judith Weir’s The Vanishing Bridegroom.

CHRISTIAN CURNYN Conductor Eliogabalo was born in Glasgow and studied York University and then harpsichord at Guildhall School of Music. In 1994 he founded the Early Opera Company for whom he conducted national tours of Flavio and Susanna, Agrippina (New York), Ariodante (Covent Garden Festival), Partenope (Buxton / Aldeburgh Festivals). Guest engagements include Cesti Il Pomo d’Oro, Handel Aci, Galatea e Polifemo (Batignano), Platée (Lisbon), Semele (British Youth Opera / Budapest Chamber Opera / Scottish Opera), Tamerlano (Scottish Opera), Poppea, Orlando (Opera Theatre Company, Dublin), Handel’s Saul (Opera North), Figaro (Grange Park). Recent engagements include Partenope (ENO), Britten’s The Beggar’s Opera (Linbury Theatre ROH). Plans include Dido & Aeneas (ENO), and his debut with Chicago Opera Theater. GIDEON DAVEY Designer Vixen Previous work with David Alden include the Ring Cycle in Munich which they created after the death of Herbert Wernicke, Radamisto (Santa Fe / ENO), Forza del Destino (Munich), costumes Il Riturno d’Ulisse in Patria (Munich, Copenhagen, WNO), Don Giovanni (Koln), Alcina (Komische Oper Berlin), Der Ziegeunerbaron (Vienna Volksoper), Giasone (Spoleto Festival USA). Current and recent work includes Troilus & Cressida (St Louis), Tancredi (Theater an der Wien), both with dir. Stephen Lawless, Armide (Theatre des Champs Elysees dir. Robert Carsen), costumes Robin Hood, Rosenkavalier (Tokyo), Traviata (Dresden), Pagliacci and Von Heute auf Morgen (Fenice Venice), Romeo & Juliette (Munich) all with dir. Andreas Homuki, Acis & Galatea (Innsbruck), Macbeth (Malmo). ANGELA DAVIES Designer Rigoletto Having trained at Cardiff College of Art and Nottingham Polytechnic Angela won the Linbury Prize for Stage Design. Opera credits include Falstaff (Grange Park), Magic Flute (Graz), Gazza Ladra (Garsington), Powder Her Face, Snatched by the Gods/Broken Strings (Almeida Opera). Theatre designs include, Mahabharata (Sadler’s Wells), The Father (Chichester), The Odyssey (Bristol Old Vic/Lyric), The Magic Carpet (Lyric Hammersmith), Twelfth Night and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bristol Old Vic), Hamlet / Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (West Yorkshire Playhouse). With Shared Experience theatre company her credits include Bronte (Lyric Hammersmith), After Mrs Rochester and Dolls House (West End). Current work includes Cenerentola (Garsington) and Life’s a Dream (Donmar). TIMOTHY DAWKINS Badger & Parson Vixen won a scholarship to the RCM and has sung with Scottish Opera, Opera North, ENO and Glyndebourne. Roles include Leporello Giovanni (Batignano), Speaker Zauberflote (Columbia Artists USA tour), Le Spectre in Thomas’ Hamlet (Chelsea Opera Group/QEH), Sparafucile Rigoletto (Longborough), Budd Albert Herring (Aldeburgh), Tom Ballo, Don Ferrando Fidelio, Jake Wallace Fanciulla, Colline Bohème (Opera Holland Park), Mephistopheles Faust (Festival Theatre Edinburgh). Previously for Grange Park, Timothy has sung Ashby Fancuilla. Supported by Dr Jonathan Holliday & Dr Gwen Lewis


JAMES EDWARDS Duke of Mantua Rigoletto studied at RNCM and Royal Academy of Music. He joined the ROH Young Artists Programme and sang there Apprentice Meistersinger, Pong Turandot, Albazar Turco in Italia, Messenger Aïda and Roderigo Otello. Other work includes title role Albert Herring (Salzburg Landestheater), Novice Billy Budd and First Commissioner Carmelites (ENO), Pinkerton Butterfly (Raymond Gubbay, Albert Hall), title role Rake’s Progress, Pirelli Sweeney Todd (Gothenburg), Hoffmann Tales of Hoffmann (Mid Wales), Gustavus Ballo (Cork), 1st brother Seven Deadly Sins (Royal Ballet).

Park (Almeida), The Hypochondriacs, Betrayal (Glasgow Citizens), Elisabeth II (Time Out Award 1993 – Best Director & Designer), The New Menoza, Eve of Retirement (Gate), The Park, Back to Methuselah (RSC). He has designed Damnation de Faust (Dresden), Ring (Tokyo), Xerxes, Simon Boccanegra, Mazeppa, Rienzi, Masked Ball (ENO), Clemenza di Tito (Glyndebourne), Wozzeck, Mahagonny (Scottish Opera), Elektra (WNO), Giulio Cesare (Paris), King Lear, The Tempest (RSC), My Fair Lady starring Edward Fox (UK tour). Plans include design André Chenier (Bregenz).

WYNNE EVANS Cock / Schoolmaster Vixen studied at the GSMD and the National Opera Studio. For WNO roles have included Duca Rigoletto, Rodolfo Bohème, Alfredo Traviata, Le Chevalier Dialogue of the Carmelites, Tamino The Magic Flute, for Opera North, Prunier La Rondine, Fenton Falstaff and for ENO, Alfredo Traviata and Cavaradossi Tosca. He has appeared with Scottish Opera, Chelsea Opera Group, Castleward Opera, Almeida Opera and Opera Northern Ireland. In 2004 Wynne replied on behalf of the Welsh Rugby team to the New Zealand Haka at the Millennium Stadium and is now a regular at Wales Internationals. He returns to Grange Park in 2010 in Capriccio, Love for Three Oranges and to WNO as Cassio and Nemorino . Supported by Mrs Peter Cadbury

SARA FULGONI Adalgisa Norma has sung Carmen at Santa Fe, Toulouse, ENO, WNO, Geneva, Valencia and Beijing Music Festival. Other important roles include title role in Tobias Picker’s Therèse Raquin (Dallas), Hänsel (San Francisco), Judith Bluebeard’s Castle (Canadian Opera, WNO and Barcelona), Béatrice Béatrice et Bénédict (WNO, Netherlands), Waltraute Götterdämmerung (De Vlaamse Opera, ENO). Recent highlights include Orlofsky Fledermaus. Kundry Parsifal (WNO), Baba the Turk Rake’s Progress (Rome, Bologna), Sorceress Dido & Aeneas (La Scala), Margret Wozzeck (La Monnaie). At the Royal Opera House she has appeared as Federica Luisa Miller, Maddalena and Sorceress Supported by Sir David & Lady Plastow

JOAO FERNANDES Nerbulone Eliogabalo is a regular soloist with William Christie / Les Arts Florissants, Marc Minkowski / Les Musiciens du Louvre, Hervé Niquet / Le Concert Spirituel, and Christophe Rousset / Les Talens Lyriques. Opera includes Giove Calisto (ROH), Claudio Agrippina (New York City), Bellone Indes Galantes (Paris Opera), Tiferne Eliogabalo (Monnaie, Innsbruck Festival), Orcan Les Paladins (Châtelet), Huascar Indes Galantes (Zurich), Alfonso Cosi, Seneca Poppea (Lyon), Corésus / Le Ministre de Pan Callirhoé by Destouches and King Arthur (Montpellier). Plans includes Togno Spinalba in Lisbon

FRAN GARCIA Marullo Rigoletto was born in Spain and studied at the Academia Villa-Lobos, Juventudes Musicales and RSAMD. He has appeared as Colas Bastien e Bastienne (Centro de Arte Lirico), Figaro, as a soloist with the Joven Orquesta del Norte de Portugal and Scottish Opera Orchestra, Happy Fanciulla (Grange Park), Masetto (Compañia Lirica Andaluza) Giovanni and Belcore Elisir (ETO).

DAVID FIELDING Director/Designer Eliogabalo studied at Central School. Recent work includes Aegyptische Helena (Metropolitan Opera New York). At Grange Park directing/design credits include Thais, Enchantress, Rinaldo, Turn of the Screw, Gambler. Other directorial credits include Turk in Italy (ENO), Schweigsame Frau, Capriccio, Daphne, Idomeneo, Aegyptische Helena, Liebe der   Danae, Intermezzo, Arabella (Garsington), Otello (Düsseldorf), Intelligence

Bluebeard Grange Park Opera 2008 Director Stephen Langridge Designer George Souglides


CATHAL GARVEY Chorus Master is from Ireland where he studied before attending the Moscow Conservatory. He has acted as Chorus Master on over 40 productions for Opera Ireland, Opera Theatre Company, Anna Livia Opera Festival, Opera South and Lyric Opera Productions. As a conductor, Cathal has appeared with Ireland's major orchestras.

117 Philip Langridge Bluebeard, Yvette Bonner Princess Hermia

VIOLETTA GAWARA ensemble was born and studied in Poland. At the Warsaw Autumn Festival she appeared with every major Polish orchestra and recorded for Polish Radio. Roles include Proserpina L’Orfeo (English Bach Festival / Banqueting House, London), Idamante Idomeneo (Hampstead Garden Opera), Grisette Die Lustige Witwe (Pavilion) and Sesto Clemenza (Operatique). JAMES GILBERT ensemble completed an MA in music at Huddersfield. Roles include Papageno (Kijani Festival, Kenya), Ben The Telephone, Splendiano Djamileh, Aeneas Dido & Aeneas, Angelotti Tosca. As a chorus member he has sung for Opera Holland Park, Chisinau National Opera, Buxton G&S Festival. WOLFGANG GÖEBBEL Festival Lighting Designer has worked throughout the world in theatre, dance and opera with artists from diverse disciplines and backgrounds. He has worked on opera productions with major companies of Paris, Berlin, Tokyo, San Francisco, Houston, New York City, Dallas, London, Genève, Barcelona, Moscau, Athens, Rome, Milano, Torino, Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Hamburg. Plans include Die Soldaten (New York), Ring (Hamburg), Lucia di Lammermoor (Brussels), Karl V (Bregenz), Tote Stadt (San Francisco and London), Rusalka (Brussels and Graz). CRESSIDA VAN GORDON Hen Vixen | ensemble was a cellist and completed her singing studies at RNCM last summer. Whilst there her roles included Mrs Peachum Threepenny Opera, Fox Cunning Little Vixen and Countess Figaro. She recently understudied Mother Hansel and Gretel (Opera North). GABRIEL GOTTLIEB ensemble studied at Cambridge and RSAMD. Recent work includes Papageno (Guildford Opera), Olin Blitch Susannah (Hampstead Garden Opera), chorus in Carmen (Raymond Gubbay at Royal Albert Hall). He sings regularly with the Monteverdi Choir and BBC Singers.

ADAM GREEN Rigoletto Rigoletto was born in Harrogate and studied at St John’s Cambridge, Royal Academy of Music and National Opera Studio. Opera includes Aeneas (Opera North, Opera du Lille, Aix en Provence, ENO), First Mate Billy Budd (Harding / LSO), Burgess Peter Grimes (Salzburg, Berlin with Rattle / Berlin Phil), Sergio Fedora, Naval Officer Manon Lescaut (Opera Holland Park), Judge Korngold’s Das Wunder der Heliane with Vladimir Jurowski, Giovanni (Berbiguieres Festival), Barber of Seville (WNO) and Brockes Passion in Valencia with Kenneth Weiss. RECIPIENT OF AN ENDOWMENT FUND SCHOLARSHIP GARY GRIFFITHS Dog / Innkeeper Vixen is from Wales and initially trained as an actor at Mountview. He is currently at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Recent engagements include Belcore Elisir (British Youth Opera in Tuscany), solo appearances at Wigmore Hall, Barbican, Kings Place with Iain Burnside and at the Ludlow English Song Weekend with Simon Lepper. He recently won the MOCSA Young Welsh Singer of the Year Competition and attended the Steans Institute for Young Artists at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago. Supported by Mrs Ian Jay JOHN HUDSON Pollione Norma studied at GSMD and was a company principal at ENO 1993–2004 where roles included Macduff Macbeth, Rodolfo Bohème, Ottavio Giovanni, Alfredo Traviata, des Grieux Manon, Leicester Mary Stuart, Nadir Pearl Fishers, Ernesto Pasquale, Steersman Flying Dutchman, Tamino Magic Flute, Duke Rigoletto, title role Ernani (also Nationale Reisopera, Netherlands), Pinkerton Butterfly, Turiddu Cavalleria Rusticana, Cavaradossi Tosca and returned in 2007 for Radames Aida. For WNO he has sung Alfredo and Don José Carmen (also West Australian Opera), for Scottish Opera, Rodolfo, Don José, Manrico Il Trovatore, Duke Rigoletto, Radames, Cavaradossi and Pinkerton. For Opera Holland Park he sang the title role Andrea Chénier and at Reisopera, Jacapo Foscari I due foscari. Recent engagements include Cavaradossi and Don José (Gubbay/Royal Albert Hall) and Dick Johnson Fanciulla (Grange Park Opera). Supported by Sir Edwin Nixon who included us in his will

La Fanciulla del West Grange Park Opera 2008 Director Stephen Medcalf Designer Francis O'Connor


119 Cynthia Makris Minnie, Olafur Sigurdarson Jack Rance, John Hudson Dick Johnson

RICHARD IMMERGLUCK ensemble has recently finished his BMus at Guildhall School of Music & Drama studying under Robert Dean. Recent roles include Figaro Barber (Unexpected Opera), Frank Fledermaus, chorus Falstaff, Fanciulla del West (Grange Park), Traviata and L’Amore dei Tre Re (Holland Park). ROBERT INNES HOPKINS Designer Norma Recent work includes Billy Budd (Santa Fe), Set for Romeo And Juliet, Twelfth Night (Open Air Theatre, Regent’s Park), Carmen (Bolshoi), Lohengrin (Geneva Opera), The Member of the Wedding, Senora Carra’s Rifles (Young Vic), The Pain And The Itch (Royal Court), Rigoletto (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Our Country’s Good (Liverpool Playhouse), Carousel (Chichester Festival Theatre), Betrothal in a Monastery (Glyndebourne) and Die Soldaten (Ruhr Triennale / 2008 Lincoln Center Festival). Robert was awarded Opernwelt Set Designer of the Year 2007 for Die Soldaten. Previous designs for Grange Park includes Capuleti e Montecchi (2001), Bohème (2003). SALLY JOHNSON Clotilde Norma / ensemble trained at RNCM and has worked with leading opera houses including Glyndebourne and Scottish Opera. Roles include Musetta, Elvira and Tatiana. She has appeared at Bridgewater Hall, at the BBC Proms and most recently recorded for Sony BMG singing Gilbert and Sullivan favourites. EMMA JOHNSTON ensemble was born in Preston and recently graduated from RNCM. Roles include Sandman / Dew Fairy (cover) Hansel & Gretel (Opera North), Frasquita Carmen (Clonter Opera), Vixen Cunning Little Vixen (Woodhouse Opera), Yum Yum Mikado (Phoenix Opera, Opera Della Luna), Adele Fledermaus (Phoenix Opera) and Esmerelda Bartered Bride (Preston Opera). CAROLINE KENNEDY ensemble has a degree in French & Drama and an MMus from RSAMD where she continues her studies. Her appearances there include Onegin, Cosi, Dialogues des Carmelites and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny at the Edinburgh International Festival. She has sung with Bampton Classical Opera in the chorus of Romeo and Juliet at Buxton Festival and St. John's, Smith Square. AURORE LACABE ensemble studied at Trinity College of Music. Her recent roles include Rosina Barber of Savile Row, Olga Onegin, Mercedes Carmen, Mère Marie Dialogues des Carmélites, Siebel Faust and Dido Dido & Aeneas. Plans include Dorabella Cosi at Greenwich Theatre.


JAMES LAING Giuliano Eliogabalo studied at RCM. Roles include Raphael Tobias and the Angel (ETO, Young Vic), Oberon Dream, Fox / Coachman Pinocchio, Shepherd L’Orfeo and Spirit Dido & Aeneas (Opera North), Refugee Flight (Glyndebourne), Medoro Orlando (Early Opera Company), Armindo Partenope (Les Azuriales), Ascanio Ascanio in Alba (Classical Opera Company) and Other Shakespearean Dreamers (Liceu, Barcelona). Plans include Oberon Dream (Garsington). EDWARD LEE ensemble was born in Aldershot and currently studies at Guildhall School of Music with David Pollard. He has appeared with British Youth Opera and the Aldeburgh Festival.

NINA LEJDERMAN ensemble graduated from Royal Academy of Music. Professional solo engagements include Handel’s L’Allegro under William Christie, Bach B-minor Mass with Trevor Pinnock and chorus in Dardanus under Laurence Cummings. Recently, Nina sang in masterclasses with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. TOM LISHMAN Festival Sound Designer In the West End work includes Pete & Dud, Medea, Badiel & Skinner Unplanned, Brief Lives, Twelve Angry Men, The Rivals, Vita & Virginia, Hobson’s Choice. He designed sound for many pieces at Chichester Festival, for Ashes to Ashes (Royal Court), I Was Looking at the Ceiling and then I saw the Sky (ROH Linbury Studio), Tom’s Midnight Garden, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Treasure Island and Horrible Histories (Birmingham Stage Company), The Prayer, Othello, Flyin’ West, Unfinished Business, Long Time No See and Anansi Trades Places (Talawa), A Tainted Dawn and Bill Shakespeare’s Italian Job (Edinburgh Festival), South Pacific, Thais, Elisir, Magic Flute (Grange Park), soundscapes for world DVD launches of Harry Potter films and two radio plays: A La Villa Bab Azzoun and The Way of All Women. KARINA LUCAS Maddalena Rigoletto trained at the Royal Northern College of Music and the National Opera Studio. Appearances include Sara Tobias & the Angel (Young Vic), title role Pinocchio and Third Lady Zauberflote (Opera North), Nymph Rusalka and Wowkle Fanciulla del West, Leila Iolanthe (Grange Park), Dorabella Cosi (Nevill Holt), Witch Macbeth (Scottish Opera). KATHERINE MACRAE ensemble is Scottish and grew up in Chicago. She studied at RAM and GSMD. Work includes St Albans Opera, Musicall Compass (Linbury Studio ROH), Opera East and recitals at New York Steinway Hall, Salle de la Cite des Arts, Paris. Plans include Papagena (Guildford Opera) and a recital at the Foundling Museum.

STUART MCDERMOTT ensemble studied Physics at Imperial College London, and went on to study voice at the Royal Academy of Music with Philip Doghan and Iain Ledingham, supported by the Simon Fletcher Charitable Trust. He has previously sung chorus for Opera Holland Park and Opera by Definition. ANDREW MCINTOSH ensemble studied at Trinity and RAM. Recent engagements include Dancairo Carmen (Pegasus, Linbury), Sciarrone Tosca, BBC2 series The Choir, Alidororo Cenerentola, Silvano Ballo in Maschera (Surrey Opera), title role Porgy & Bess (RPO at Barbican) and Tom Rakewell Rake’s Progress (Southbank). With Grange Park, Andrew has appeared in Falstaff and La Fanciulla. CARL HENRIC MALMGREN ensemble trained at the Guildhall with Adrian Thompson. He has sung principal roles in The Beggar Student, Der Vogelhändler, Carmen, The Merry Widow, Kiss me Kate, South Pacific and La Rencontre Imprévue. He will sing Parpignol Boheme for Longborough Opera in July 2009 TOBIAS MERZ ensemble New Zealand born he studied at the Royal Conservatorium, The Hague. His stage appearances include Cosi (Opera Australia), Charpentier Messe de Minuit pour Noel (Royal Melbourne Philharmonic), Smetana The Two Widows and Zauberflote (New Opera Academy, Amsterdam), Bastien und Bastienne (Den Haag). This is his third season at Grange Park. LAURA MITCHELL Gilda Rigoletto won the Song prize at the 2007 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and joined the National Opera Studio Opera roles include Ilia Idomeneo, Helena Dream, Elvira Giovanni, Leila Pearlfishers, Countess Figaro and Elisa Tolomeo, Aldimira in Cavalli‘s Erismena, First Witch Dido & Aeneas, Ninfa / Proserpina Orfeo. Plans include Ismene Mitridate (WNO with Sir Charles Mackkeras). Supported by David & Mary Laing SIMON MILLS Lighting Design Rigoletto won the 1999 Variety Magazine Best Newcomer Award. Recent work includes Romeo & Juliet, Twelfth Night & Gigi, (Regent’s Park Open Air), Lohengrin (Geneva, Houston), Macbeth, (Malmo), L’Elisir d’amore (Opera North, WNO), Cinderella & Black Eyed Susan (Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds), Dumb Waiter (Trafalgar Studios), Onegin, Merry Widow (Scottish Opera Go Round), Il Ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria (WNO, Copenhagen and Munich), Faust Parts 1 & 2 (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh), Manon Lescaut (Norway, Oviedo), Handmaid’s Tale (Copenhagen, ENO and Toronto), Cunning Little Vixen (Bregenz, San Francisco, Geneva).

HYALMAR MITROTTI ensemble is Colombian and French, took degrees in Filmmaking and Theatre at Sorbonne before studying GSMD where repertoire included Perruchetto Fedeltà Premiata, Guglielmo, Uberto Serva Padrona. As a member of La Maitrise, he sang at Notre-Dame, Paris, and has appeared at SaintEtienne Opera and with Grange Park as Castro Fanciulla del West and Pistola Falstaff. Recent work includes Ali L’Italiana in Algeri and Nourabad Les Pecheurs de Perles. ERNESTO MORILLO Oroveso Norma was born and studied in Caracas, Venezuela. His appearances include Banquo Macbeth (Opera North), Colline, Ferrando Trovatore, Raimondo Lucia (Teatro Calderon Madrid), Pistola Falstaff (Teatro Nacional of Lima), Sparafucile Rigoletto (Treviso, Antibes), Mephistopheles Faust (Ljubljana), Aida (Parma), Colline (Padova, Caracus), Silva Ernani (Vienna), title role Attila (Vienna, Ljubljana), Nilakanta Lakmé (Japan, Slovene National Theatre Maribor), Zaccaria Nabucco (Massa Marittima Festival), Timur Turandot (Cremona-Brescia-Como-Ferrara-Fano-Pavia), Sarastro Zauberflote (Spain), Filippo II Don Carlo.. Supported by Dame Vivien Duffield GARETH MORRIS Borsa Rigoletto studied at Royal Welsh College of Music and RAM. Roles include Roberto Devereux (Valladolid), Tamino, Ferrando, Ottavio, Basilio, Curzio, Prunier, Dr. Blind, Sesto, Paris in von Suppé’s The Ten Belles, Normanno and Arturo Lucia, Ko-Ko Mikado. Most recent appearances include Bardolfo Falstaff (Nevill Holt / Pimlico Opera), Alfred Fledermaus (Opera della Luna) and Almaviva (Armonico Consort). RONALD NAIRNE Sparafucile Rigoletto studied at the RSAMD and RAM. He was a principal scholar at Paisley Abbey. Roles include Banquo Macbeth, Ramphis Aida, Kecal Bartered Bride, Osmin Entführung, Zuniga Carmen, Frere Laurent Romeo & Juliet, Sarastro, Masetto / Commendatore Giovanni. He appeared in the London premier of Judith Weir’s A Night at the Chinese Opera. ROSE NOLAN ensemble studied at the Royal Academy of Music and has worked at Scottish Opera. Roles include Sara Robert Devereux, Orlofsky Fledermaus, cover Tessa Gondoliers (Opera Australia), Hansel Hansel & Gretel (OzOpera). Oratorio includes Vivaldi Gloria, Charpentier Messe de Minuit pour Noel. TOM OLDHAM ensemble trained at the RNCM and Guildhall School of Music. Roles include Narumov Queen of Spades, Junius Rape of Lucretia, King Tartaglia L’Augellino Belverde, Simone La Finta Semplice and Pistola Falstaff. At 2007 Glyndebourne Festival he covered Judas


Matthew Passion. He performs and records regularly with the BBC Singers, Philharmonia Voices, London Voices, Groot Omroepkoor, Polyphony, the Geoffrey Mitchell Choir and the contemporary group Exaudi. DAN O'NEILL Assistant Director Eliogabalo Before working as a choreographer and filmmaker Dan was a founder member of the Featherstonehaughs and performed with many other leading dance companies including DV8 Physical Theatre, Second Stride, Toronto Dance Theatre and Extemporary. As a choreographer Dan’s work includes ATC’s Jeff Koons, Frantic Assembly’s Peepshow, Great Expectations (Bristol Old Vic), Monkey (Young Vic) and Escapade (South Bank Centre). Dan’s work for screen includes Desert Dreams (BBC), The Linesman (BBC/NPS), The Human Voice (Channel 4), IMZ nominated Showtime (SE Arts) and various short dance films and documentaries. His previous work at Grange Park includes Gambler, Fanciulla, Thais and recently choreographed West Side Story with prisoners of HMP Wandsworth / Pimlico Opera. DOMINIC PECKHAM ensemble studied at RSAMD and recent performances include Falstaff, Dve Vdovy (Scottish Opera), Momus Platée (English Bach Festival), Torquemada L’Heure Espangole (Scottish Opera Orchestra), Giovanetto L’Amore dei Tre Re (Opera Holland Park). He recently sang in Der fliegende Holländer at the Royal Opera House with Bryn Terfel in the title role. RENATA POKUPIC Eliogabalo Eliogabalo Croatian–born, Renata's recent appearances include Anna Les Troyens (Châtelet Paris), Vivaldi’s Montezuma (baroque festival in Beaune), Arsace Partenope, Idamante Idomeneo, Il Trionfo del Tempo (Akademie fur Alte Musik, Berlin), Irene Tamerlano (Teatro Real, Madrid), Cherubino Le nozze di Figaro (Théatre des Champs-Elysées), Statira L’Incoronazione di Dario (Garsington), Annio Clemenza di Tito (Opera de Lyon), Sesto Clemenza di Tito (Chicago), Pergolesi Stabat Mater (Les Talens Lyricques / Christophe Rouset), Bach B minor Mass (Montreal Symphony / Kent Nagano), Mendelssohn A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Orchestre National de France / Kurt Masur). In future seasons Renata will make debuts at Covent Garden and Los Angeles Opera. Supported by William & Kathy Charnley

Rusalka Grange Park Opera 2008 Director/designer Antony McDonald


ROBERT POULTON Forester Vixen spent his early career at Glyndebourne where roles included Ned Keene, Lido Boatman Death in Venice, Foreman Jenufa and Kuligin Katya. He sang Falstaff and Magnifico at Grange Park. Other roles include Magnifico (Liceu / Spanish tour), Mozart’s Figaro, Ramiro L’heure espagnole, Marcello, Tom Cat/Clock L’enfant et les sortilèges, Prus Makropulos Case, Golaud (Glyndebourne tour), Almaviva, Ned Keene, Leandro Love for Three Oranges, Animal Tamer/Acrobat Lulu, Chorebus Trojans, Gunther, Alfonso, Prince Arjuna Satyagraha (ENO), Magnifico, Father Hansel & Gretel, Leporello (WNO), Figaro (Scottish), Germont Traviata, Podesta Thieving Magpie (Opera North), Harasta Cunning Little Vixen, Punch Punch & Judy, Starek Jenufa (Amsterdam), Minskman Flight (GFO, Adelaide and Antwerp), Giovanni, Leandro, Prus (Opera Zuid), Ned Keene (Cologne, Bremen, Nantes, Copenhagen, Amsterdam) and Death in Venice (Salzburg). Plans include Marco Gianni Schicchi (ROH), Black Minister Le Grand Macabre (ENO). Supported by Malcolm Herring EMILIA POUNTNEY ensemble studied Music at Edinburgh University and Singing at Trinity College of Music. She appeared as Shepherd Boy Tosca in the recent Bond moive, Quantum of Solace, filmed on the lake theatre at Bregenz where Emilia has appeared in the chorus.

TOBY PURSER Conductor Rigoletto | Staff Conductor has worked with the BBC Philharmonic, Orchestra of Opera North, St. Petersburg Festival Orchestra. He is Principal Guest Conductor of Kammerphilharmonie Graz and Artistic Director / Founder of Orion Symphony Orchestra whom he conducted at the Royal Festival Hall. This year he gave a series of concerts and a recording with L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, guest-conducted Sinfonia Viva and conducted the prisoners of HMP Wandsworth in West Side Story (Pimlico Opera) He was chorus master in 2007 at Grange Park. SAMUEL QUEEN ensemble was an academic and choral exhibitioner at Gonville & Caius, Cambridge. Recent engagements include 2nd Soldier/Liberto Poppea (Longborough), Belcore (Hampstead Garden Opera) and understudying Sir Tristram / Sheriff Martha (Opera South). This is his second season at Grange Park.

123 Anne–Sophie Duprels Rusalka, Jeffrey–Lloyd Roberts The Prince

ANDRE DE RIDDER Conductor Vixen is Principal Conductor of Sinfonia ViVA and makes debut appearances this season with Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Stavanger Symphony Orchestra, Het Brabants Orkest and the operas in Copenhagen and Hannover. He is a regular guest with BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the Hallé. Opera includes Marriage of Figaro (ENO), world première of Gerald Barry’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, (ENO and Theater Basel), Henze’s L’Upupa (Salzburg Festival), Henze’s El Cimarrón (Teatro Real Madrid). In 2007 he conducted the premiere of Damon Albarn’s Monkey: Journey to the West. JULIA RILEY Alessandro Eliogabalo studied at RAM and National Opera Studio. Roles include Cherubino, Nancy Albert Herring, 2nd Lady Magic Flute (Glyndebourne tour), Giovanna Seymour Anna Bolena, Elvira Giovanni (English Touring Opera), Flora Traviata (Opera Holland Park), Nancy Albert Herring (Rouen and Opéra Comique in Paris), Queen Enrichetta Puritani ( Scottish Opera). Plans include Zulma L’Italiana in Algeri (Scottish Opera), 2nd lady Magic Flute (Toulouse). Supported by Mr & Mrs Richard Morse BRETT ROBINSON ensemble was born in South Wales, graduated in Law and Languages, and then worked as a Researcher, Director and Producer for BBC Radio and Television. Recent work includes Ariadne auf Naxos (Garsington Opera), Tamino (cover) First Priest and First Armed Man Magic Flute (Swansea City Opera). TOM RODEN Movement Norma is co-director of the dance theatre group New Art Club whose shows have toured in Europe, America and Asia. With collaborator Pete Shenton he has created work for Dance Umbrella, Scottish Dance Theatre, Ricochet and Probe. Their latest piece The Extra Ordinary World Of New Art Club transferred from the Edinburgh Festival to Soho Theatre. Other credits include Babette's Feast (Royal Opera House), Magic Flute, Hansel & Gretel (Opera North), Parasite (Reckless Sleepers), Onegin (British Youth Opera) and Elixir of Love (Grange Park).

CAROL ROWLANDS Owl | Forester’s Wife Vixen sang with Scottish Opera, first as a chorister then a principal. Roles there included title role Blitzstein’s Regina, Waltraute Walkure, 2nd Lady Flute, Marcellina Figaro, Page Salome. Other roles include Mrs. Sedley Peter Grimes, Mrs. Grose Turn of the Screw (Reisopera, Netherlands), Baba the Turk Rake’s Progress (ETO), Mother Jeanne Carmelites (WNO), Berta Barber of Seville (Holland Park), Babulenka Gambler (Grange Park), Judy Punch & Judy (Music Theatre Wales), Goneril Vision of Lear (Linbury ROH). CLAIRE RUTTER Norma Norma was born in South Shields and studied at Guildhall School of Music and National Opera Studio. Appearances include Fiordiligi (Dallas), Amelia Ballo in Maschera (Florida, ENO), Tosca, Elvira Ernani and Violetta (Den Norske), Anna Giovanni (Montpellier, Bordeaux, De Vlaamse, ENO, Strasbourg), Countess Figaro (Bordeaux), Lucia di Lammermoor (Royal Scottish National Orchestra), Mimi Bohème (Beijing Festival), Gilda (ENO, WNO), Abigaille Nabucco (Opera North), Alice Falstaff (Santa Fe). Current and forthcoming engagements include Tosca (Bordeaux), Aida (Sydney Opera House and ENO), Amelia Ballo (Helsinki), Donna Anna (Dallas). Supported by Andrea & PJ Beaghton JAMES SCARLETT ensemble was born in Bromley, studied Fine Art at Canterbury and then a post-graduate diploma at TCM. Opera roles include Tonio Fille du Regiment, Almaviva Barbiere, Ramiro Cenerentola and title role Comte Ory. Other roles include Nadir Pêcheurs de Perles, Michele Saint of Bleecker Street, Curzio Figaro, Mercury Orpheus in the Underworld. Recent appearances include Prince Nilsky Gambler (Grange Park), Florestan Bohemian Girl (Opera South) and Caius Falstaff (Pimlico Opera tour). AMY SEDGWICK Woodpecker Vixen | ensemble studied at Huddersfield and GSMD. Chorus work includes Barbe Bleu, Magic Flute, Falstaff and L’Elisir d’amore (Grange Park), Figaro, Cosi (Garsington). Roles include 2nd Lady Flute (Swansea City Opera), 3rd Lady Flute (Opera Nova), Fenena Nabucco (Kentish Opera), Meg Page (cover) Falstaff (Nevill Holt), Rosina Barber (St Albans Chamber Opera).

Falstaff Nevill Holt Rising Stars 2008 Original Director Daniel Slater Revival Director Hazel Gould Original Designer Angela Davies Revival Designer Giuseppe & Emma Belli


BENJAMIN SEIFERT ensemble studied at St Peter’s College, Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music. He has performed as a soloist at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Purcell Room and the Wigmore Hall. His operatic roles include Zaretsky Eugene Onegin Harlekin Ariadne auf Naxos, Don Giovanni and the Count.

Magic Flute (Graz Opera), Cunning Little Vixen (Bregenz Festival and San Francisco), Magic Flute (English Touring Opera), Bartered Bride (Strasbourg), 1001 Nights (Anvil, Basingstoke), Pénélope (Guildhall), Bohème (Scottish Opera and Opera Ireland), Eugene Onegin (French Institute Theatre). Theatre: Confusions (Salisbury Playhouse), Life Goes On (Basingstoke Haymarket), Grab the Dog (RNT Studio), The Mark (Soho Theatre Company). Plans include Welsh National Opera, Geneva and Stockholm.

MIRIAM SHARRAD ensemble graduated as a Bachelor of Arts/Creative Arts and her roles include Cornelia Julius Caesar, Dorabella, Niklausse/Muse and Meg Page Falstaff. In Australia she has made many radio appearances in cabaret and musicals.

DAVID STOUT Harasta Vixen was Head Chorister of Westminster Abbey and then studied Zoology at Durham, sang with the choir of St. John’s, Cambridge and studied at Guildhall School of Music. Recent engagements: Don Juan The House of the Dead (Palermo), Angelotti Tosca (Bregenzer Festspiele), Speaker and Dancaïre Carmen (WNO), Papageno Magic Flute (Grange Park), Marcello Bohème (Mid-Wales Opera), Marullo Rigoletto (Opera Holland Park). Current season/future plans include Schaunard Bohème (WNO and ENO), Ortel Meistersinger (WNO). Supported by Sir Stuart Rose

PAUL SHEEHAN Ceprano Rigoletto graduated from Exeter and Guildhall School of Music and sang in the chorus at Glyndebourne. He recently created the role of The Priest in a new opera based on the life of St Alban. Other roles include Figaro, Papageno, Schaunard, Hobson Grimes, Belcore, Nick Shadow, Ko-Ko Mikado, Peter Matthew Passion (Glyndebourne), Alfonso (Glyndebourne tour), Mission Control in Jonathan Dove’s TV opera Man on the Moon (Channel 4). NATALIE SINNOTT ensemble is currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music where roles / scenes include Leonora, Mercedes, Didon, Romeo, Dorabella, Rosmira, Kate Pinkerton and Suzuki. She was a finalist in the Towyn Roberts Competition televised on Channel 4 Wales. DANIEL SLATER Director Rigoletto studied at Bristol and Cambridge. Associate Director of the Nottingham Playhouse and Tricycle Theatre 1993-95. Artistic Director of Bristol Express new writing season 1993. Opera: Samson (Buxton), Lohengrin (Geneva), Falstaff (Grange Park), Betrothal in a Monastery (Glyndebourne), Don Pasquale (Geneva, Garsington, Caen), Giovanni (Grange Park), Manon Lescaut (Opera North), L’Elisir d'Amore (Opera North, New Zealand Festival Opera), Bartered Bride and Massenet’s Manon (Opera North),

LISA SWAYNE ensemble studied at RSAMD. She has sung the female solos for Video Games Live with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and chorus in Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall and performed Graham Hair’s Three Microtonal Songs at the International Computer Music Festival in Belfast. AILISH TYNAN Vixen Vixen was born in Mullingar, Ireland. In 2003 she won the Rosenblatt Recital Prize at Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Ailish was a member of the Young Artist Programme at Covent Garden where appearances include Papagena Zauberflöte, 1st Niece Peter Grimes, Xenia Boris Godunov, 2nd Nymph Rusalka and Woodbird Siegfried. She returned last season to sing Marzelline Fidelio and Gretel. Roles elsewhere include Valencienne Merry Widow, Susanna Figaro (Welsh National Opera), Ännchen Freischütz (Edinburgh Festival), Zerlina Giovanni (Seattle Opera), Sophie Rosenkavalier (Royal Swedish Opera). Plans include Héro Béatrice et Bénédict (Houston), Miss Wordsworth Albert Herring (Opéra Comique and Opéra de Rouen). Supported by Francis & Natalie Phillimore


KATE VETCH ensemble trained at Birmingham Conservatoire where roles included Isabella L’Italiana in Algeri, Cenerentola, Tancredi, Third Lady & Third Spirit, Sandman Hansel & Gretel. She has also worked with Opera Holland Park and BYO and recently appeared at Wandsworth Prison in Pimlico Opera's West Side Story. THOMAS WALKER Lenia Eliogabalo Recent opera roles include Jenik Makropulos Case (ENO under Sir Charles Mackerras), Ferrando (Holland Park), Alessandro Re Pastore (Innsbruck), Italian Tenor Rosenkavalier (Scottish Opera), Letchmere Owen Wingrave (ROH), Pelleas (OTC), Linfea La Calisto (La Monnaie with Rene Jacobs). Future plans include his return to Scottish Opera for Lindoro L’Italiana in Algeri and Ottavio Giovanni for Opera Holland Park. Supported by Christina & Timothy Benn ALEXANDER WALL ensemble was born in Leicester, was a chorister at Westminster Abbey and went on to study at RNCM. Roles there include Schoolmaster Vixen and Lensky Onegin. He has sung with Nationale Reisopera, and Opera de Nancy and toured UK with Carl Rosa. Other appearances include Fenton Falstaff (Opera Project) and Pasek Vixen (Longborough Festival). PETER WILLCOCK Monterone Rigoletto is originally from Worcestershire, studied at TCM and worked in opera education with Opera North and Royal Opera House. He premiered the role Fritz in Stephen McNeff / Phillip Pullman’s Clockwork (Linbury, ROH). Recent work includes extra chorus at ENO, soloist in the Yellow Point Christmas Spectacular (Vancouver) and G&S galas in the UK. Roles include Nettuno Idomeneo, Zuniga Carmen, Shlemil/Crespel/ Hermann Tales of Hoffmann, Leporello Giovanni, Billy Jackrabbit / Sid La Fanciulla del West This is Peter’s third season at Grange Park. BELINDA WILLIAMS ensemble read English at Warwick and studied at Trinity College of Music. Roles include: Popova The Bear (Greenwich Opera Ensemble), Baba the Turk Rake’s Progress (TCM) Hansel (Opera Minima) and Dorabella (Orchestra of St Pauls) and appeared recently at the Cheltenham Festival. FABIENNE WOOD Innkeeper’s Wife Vixen | esemble won Second Grand Prize in the Concours International des Jeunes Talents Lyriques and holds degrees from San Francisco Conservatory and Guildhall School of Music. Recent appearances include Laeticia in Menotti’s The Old Maid and the Thief for the Arcola Grimeborn Festival.


KEVIN WOOD ensemble was born in Stirling, Scotland and moved to London aged 10. He worked as a despatch rider for nine years and as a builder and won an amateur gold medal skiing in Courcheval. He was Action in HMP Wandsworth / Pimlico Opera production of West Side Story earlier this year. RECIPIENT OF THE DAVID–ALEXANDRE BORLOZ SCHOLARSHIP LAURA WOODS ensemble graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire. Work includes Ottavia Poppea, Maddelena, Quickly, Eboli, Amneris, Florence Pike (cover) and chorus Magic Flute, Boheme (BYO), chorus Trovatore and Fille du Regiment (Opera Holland Park). Plans include Flora Traviata (Riverside Opera). BEN WRIGHT choreographer Vixen | Rigoletto Recent choreographic work includes Twelfth Night (Donmar West End), In the Red and Brown Water (Young Vic), This moment is your life (2008 Place Prize), The Diminishing Present for his own company bgroup (, Midsummer Nights Dream and Romeo & Juliette (Opera North), Donna del Lago (Garsington Opera), Vie Parisienne, Fanciulla del West, Macbeth, Dead Man Walking and Faust (Malmo), Tobias & the Angel (Young Vic/ETO), Giovanni (Scottish Opera), As You Like It (Wyndhams), Odyssey collaborating with Rachel Krische and Interim with US artist Allyson Green for Danspace NYC. As a performer Ben toured the US with Sinner for Stan Wont Dance and has worked for Adventures in Motion Pictures, Ricochet, LCDT, Richard Alston and Amanda Miller’s Company Pretty Ugly. In 1995 he created the role of the Prince in Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake performing throughout the UK, London’s West End, Los Angeles, Broadway, Japan and Korea. Ben also created the part of the Golden Monkey in the original production of His Dark Materials at The National Theatre. PETRO WYCHRIJ ensemble was born of Ukrainian and English parents. He has sung and danced internationally with many Ukrainian ensembles. He gave up his carreer in Marketing to attend RNCM where he sang Siward in Martin Butlers Better Place and Chekalinsky Queen of Spades. Professional roles include Remendado Carmen, Slim Paul Bunyan, Vasek Bartered Bride, Rodolfo, Cardinal in the world première of Light Passing by Nicola Lefanu and Mayor Pied Piper (Opera North). Petro has sung with the chorus of English National Opera, Scottish Opera and the Buxton Festival and has helped run opera workshops for the RNCM and Opera North’s Education Department.




C AT EG O R I E S O F S U P P O R T 2 01 0

NOTE that tickets are for the use of the family of the registered individual and must not be sold on I would like to support Grange Park Opera

THE GLASS CEILING SOCIETY The proposed donation (£1,000) will be acknowledged in the programme. Members may wish to support us further with an application for tickets for the season and will be invited to gatherings associated with the development of productions, the festival and prison. THE SCHOOL OF HIPPOCRATES The proposed donation (£600 for one year) will be acknowledged in the programme. Members may wish to support us further with an application for up to 16 tickets for the season and will be invited to gatherings associated with the development of productions, the festival and prison. THE SCHOOL OF ARCHIMEDES The proposed donation (£325 for one year) will be acknowledged in the programme. Members may wish to support us further with an application for up to 8 tickets and will be invited to ONE gathering associated with the development of productions and the festival. THE SCHOOL OF PLATO The proposed donation (£175 for one year) will be acknowledged in the programme. Members may wish to support us further with an application for 4 tickets for the season. I would like to support the Opera at Nevill Holt THE CAPTAIN’S TABLE The proposed donation (£375 for one year) will be acknowledged in the programme. Members may wish to support us further with an application for up to 12 tickets for the Nevill Holt festival and 4 tickets for the Grange Park festival. You will be invited into the Great Hall for a glass of champagne after a performance to meet the cast and conductor. THE CLIPPER CLASS The proposed donation (£175 for one year) will be acknowledged in the programme. The Clipper Class may wish to support us further with an application for up to 8 tickets for the Nevill Holt festival and 2 tickets for the Grange Park festival. THE STOWAWAYS The proposed donation (£75 for one year) will be acknowledged in the programme. The Stowaways may wish to support us further with an application for up to 6 tickets for the Nevill Holt festival. I would like to join the Mailing List THE SCHOOL OF EUCLID (The Mailing List) £35 is the suggested donation and we will send you a list of available dates for both Nevill Holt and The Grange in February so that you can book promptly. The full calendar can viewed on the website from November. Donors to any of the above categories DO NOT need to join the Mailing List.

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When in Rome by Diva ACROSS ANSWERS all contain hidden anagrams of Roman deities. Example: For the solution CONJURE the entry in the diagram would be CJUNORE One deity consists of two words. Solvers must solve the clues and reveal the deities. DOWN CLUES comprise a definition and letter mixture of the solution, beginning at the beginning and/or ending at the end of a word in the sentence. Example: It is given out that all roads lead to Rome (5) answer DEALT The first correct solution opened on 30th August will receive two tickets for the 2010 festival Send solutions to : Grange Park Opera (Crossword), 24 Broad Street, Alresford SO24 9AQ

ACROSS 1 New release of Truman Show could be this dumb and how! (7) 5 Gyration creeps in rotation with spinning top (7) 10 Eleanor Marx ending in uptown New York (5) 11 Flight manoeuvre getting everyone turning on bend in Ross-shire (8) 12 It don’t say nothing when Mr Twist and Mr Bumble are in a clinch (3,3,5) 15 Nearly passed out in the vaults (5) 17 Boulanger wearing headphones? Québécois? (9) 19 Chap follows local route for field crop (5,4) 21 Gang pretend to capture skinhead (5) 23 Still hungry eating half of turkey – one that’s less fatty? (11) 27 Snoops round the tub for the family jewels (8) 28 Ozone’s top layer’s missing, admitting “harmful rays brought back skin lesion” (5) 29 In a mass of curls, Lisa, moving her head sideways, locates heavenly Maria (4,3) 30 Rescue party may do when man with record’s exposed (4,3)







DOWN 2 Driven on, like Ulisse - Bernini and Borromini in tow - breathing in the air of these immortals (10) 3 each year I set off from Trajan’s column, an excursion (5) 4 by Caracalla’s onyx baths, where the German tribes stopped during the sack of Rome, (6) 6 to end up, as Cardinal Pamphili did, and many French toads, (8) 8 but not, to wit, Napoleon II, last King of Rome (4) 9 at the Piazza Navona. I turn left by someone who gnaws on (6) 13,7 a huge platter of raw prosciutto e melone, that will weather the storm of battle (8) 14 descending , thus, the Spanish Steps, to where the Egyptian queen stood in triumph (10) 16,25 whence the call “Il pranzo è pronto, ecco! “, on our short cut to the Pantheon, drifts across (4,4) 18 then dies away as culture beckons. Aesop’s bust at the Villa Albani (6,2) 20 Etruscan art, Sextus Tarquinius and more, that allow (6) 22 the American to sample the delights of Trastevere up above the river (6) 24 and in the Sistine Chapel a nun kneels, to lift her head upwards (5) 26 murmuring “come me muove” before returning to her female cell (4)





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2008 puzzle HANGMAN The blue solutions are cowboys and the orange solutions are indians. The first letters of their clues gave DAVID BELASCO





17 18



21 22

23 25


2008 winner JOHN HENLY Other correct solutions: William Mather William Middleton-Smith, Pamela Grosvenor Jane Poulter, James Sehmer, Derek Mackay







Past winners 2007 Derek Mackay | 2006 James Sehmer 2005 William Mather | 2004 Pamela Grosvenor 2003 Jane Poulter | 2002 Tony Phillips 2001 John Grimshaw | 2000 John Henly 1999 Michael James Apt John

Grange Park Opera 2009 Programme  

Grange Park Opera 2009 Programme

Grange Park Opera 2009 Programme  

Grange Park Opera 2009 Programme