Grange Park Opera
Grange Park Opera 2011
Grange Park Opera Rigoletto SPONSORED BY ICAP PLC
Rusalka SPONSORED BY ROSENBL AT T RECITALS
Tristan z Isolde SPONSORED BY JAMES HUDLESTON
Tosca SPONSORED BY CHI & PARTNERS
Bryn Terfel SPONSORED BY GEOFF & FIONA SQUIRE and a syndicate led by JAMES & BEATRICE LUPTON
Cover: Grant Wood (1891-1942) 1
ITH SPRING PRETTY MUCH established and a wonderful visit to Syria under Sally’s and my belt – with no major unrest there till we had been home for 24 hours – Wasfi has been kind and has not chased me for this foreword till the end of March. She has asked me to concentrate on change. There is a modest change to the car park - a festive Grange Park Opera flag alongside the greeting pavilion but much more ambitious are the alterations being made to the theatre.
Opposite is a photo of the south elevation in 1870 with 50 of the people who worked on the estate. What is now the theatre was then an orangery. The seven glazed panels with doors were removed in 1890 when my grandfather made the building into a picture gallery with 3 sash windows and 4 blanks. R J Smith, who built our theatre, are in the process of restoring the 1826 appearance with two of the seven panels containing doors which should ease the congestion when entering and exiting performances. This will mean you can step from the auditorium directly into the landscape, an
A dream Grange Park picnic Provided by Fortnum & Mason and drawn by Edward Bawden 2
unusual feature for an opera house. Only some of the work will be completed for the festival.
Moody’s thespian instincts and the practical drive and energy of his team.
Continuing this theme of change I will touch on new methods of communication which the opera company would ignore at its peril. The website is constantly improved and there is a monthly newsletter that is sent by email. I have a mobile phone which is switched on for outgoing calls only. I also have an email address but using it is another matter. Texting is not something I have yet mastered completely, but is clearly a part of the essential grammar of my grandchildren. My facility for electronic communication really ended with the Fax – so nice to see handwriting!
The Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt came to the last night and quoted from a 1910 speech of Sally’s great uncle Sir Winston Churchill "there is a treasure, if you can only find it, in the heart of every man . . . the treatment of crime and criminals mark and measure the stored-up strength of a nation, and are the sign and proof of the living virtue in it."
It is early days for Twitter and Flickr but Grange Park Opera tweets to more than 1,000 followers and is trying to establish its best use for the company. I don’t tweet and at my age it would be inappropriately twee.
Not all of you have tried Pimlico Opera’s prison performances but I have no doubt that this year’s production in March – in a women’s prison, HMP Send – of a stage version of that great movie Some Like It Hot, was one of the best. It was a great tribute to Michael
The prison performances are one of the very best things we do and bring a real boost to people who are locked up - in some cases serving long sentences. Pimlico Opera is continuing in Send with a new weekly drama group and then hopes to return next March with another blockbuster musical. You can help by making a donation and buying tickets. On the website there is a ‘Sugar Noticeboard’ with comments from the prisoners, the audience, a movie, and more.
Wasfi always says I’m obsessed by weather but I can’t resist saying that after an unprecedented second snowy winter, we are now suffering from a spring drought.
Sally and I look forward to seeing you all, though I’m afraid that Ellie, my four-footed friend, has decided in her thirteenth year that enough is enough. You can try contacting her by email firstname.lastname@example.org. She doesn’t tweet any more than I do.
Lord Ashburton’s Foreword looks forward. His aunt, the Hon. Aurea Baring (1892-1978), looks backwards to London Seasons in the 1890s, when three of our four composers Verdi and Puccini and Dvorak were alive. Wagner had died in 1883, but Aurea’s family could very well have attended the Philharmonic Society concerts that Wagner conducted in 1855. He was in London for the full four months of the Season. More of Aurea’s memories will appear in a Grange Park Opera book which will be published in 2012. HE LONDON SEASON began in May and lasted ‘til the end of July when everyone left to race at Goodwood, sail at Cowes, shoot grouse, visit friends or entertain them in their own homes. London was completely deserted ‘til the following May except for those who occasionally had to be there for one reason or another and who were looked after by what staff was left in charge. People who took a house for the season brought up their own linens and silver in most cases, and invariably their own horses and carriages. Our silver was taken to Alresford in two horse waggons and put on the train, and carriages and horses and coach men went up by the same means. The houses we took were generally in a square. All big houses had mews at the back to accommodate the stable contingent.
On arriving at the door the footman rang the bell and enquired if the lady was in. If she was, Mummy went in to see her. If the answer was no, she gave the footman one of her calling cards and two of Pups, who by custom left one for the husband as well. One corner of the cards were turned up to show one had called in person. After lunch a footman in knee-breeches and with powdered hair always sat in the hall in a high-backed chair so there was no delay in the door being opened and the guest was taken upstairs. If there was a lift it was always worked by the footman as they had to be worked by hand. After tea a drive was usually taken round Hyde Park and people got out and saw their friends. The most fashionable place to congregate was between Stanhope and Grosvenor Gates.
Mummy spent the morning writing, painting and reading, like she did at home. Shopping was done in a carriage, probably the brougham, with a footman as well as the coachman on the box dressed in the family’s livery and black top hats with cockades at the side. Clothes were changed for more elaborate ones before lunch and in the afternoon calls were made on friends and acquaintances. The carriage used in this case was the Sociable, an open four-wheeled carriage having two seats facing each other and a box-seat for the driver.
Dinners were long and elaborate, possibly of seven courses each with different wines and dessert to follow. Very often there were two kinds of alternatives in a course, such as thick and thin soup, two kinds of fish and so on. Going to the Opera was very fashionable, even with people who were not musical, as it was a magnificent sight as women wore lovely dresses and magnificent jewellery.
Fortnum & Mason started up in 1707 and were ‘patronised by the nobility and gentry’ The entertainment of grouse–shooting to which Aurea refers, happened on a lavish scale. The biggest grouse shooting house parties would be held in the North of England and Scotland and because of the unpredictable weather, comfort foods and delicacies would be required. Fortnum & Mason offered an extraordinary selection. Their printed material from around 1930 was also extraordinary with ingenious illustrations by Edward Bawden (1903–1989). Peyton Skipwith Entertaining à la carte, Fortnum & Mason and Edward Bawden Malcolm Yorke Edward Bawden & his circle, The Inward Laugh
A sideways wink from Wasfi WAS - WE ARE - very very fortunate to have found people with the grace and charm of John & Sally Ashburton. For 14 years they have been perfect patrons and given a great amount to a great many people – including myself. Seated in the front row of The Wedding, Sally’s very pale violet hat with grey and white feathers caused a lot of comment. Grace – charm – chic.
In this 14th year we face our biggest challenge (even bigger than the faltering economy): staging our first Wagner opera. It is nerve–racking. Why? (i) Its length (ii) the challenge of casting it – only a handful in the world can sing it (iii) the sense that you are touching the Blessed Sacrament. James Hudleston is the sponsor and I hope he is pleased Reverenza Rusalka, our first ever revival, is supported by Ian Rosenblatt and his generosity continues next year. On May 8 his Rosenblatt Recitals presents Juan Diego Florez at the Royal Albert Hall. The Grange Park family has 150 of the best seats. What a nice man he is Reverenza At Nevill Holt we hope for another sell-out run: Tosca sponsored by CHI & Partners. They have been faithful since 2004 Reverenza. The walled gardens look wonderful there and David Ross positioned an epic Nic Fiddian– Green horse’s head by the theatre looking over the valley to Rockingham Castle. It couldn’t be more dramatic. Rigoletto is our blockbuster and Michael Spencer (ICAP) is also a bit of a blockbuster Reverenza Opposite I have broken down our activities into some numbers which I hope give a sense of what we do, what we are trying to do and how it is all paid for. We are totally dependent on personal gifts. Simon & Virginia Robertson, Geoff & Fiona Squire, John & Anya Sainsbury have been exceptionally generous. Reverenze
In an old Fortnum & Mason catalogue I found this witty observation: ‘One of the most important things that the human race learns by growing older is prudence in selecting the very best of the joys available. Young men believe that happiness can be found by mixing violently together gin, whisky, motor-racing, seven pints of bitter and whole back row of the chorus of Cinderella. The older, wiser
man settles for the leading lady and a bottle perhaps of Château Lafite Rothschild – or, at the very most, two.’ Opera seems to be one of those joys that comes with growing older. For some younger people it is not lack of prudence, that prohibits them but price. We have worked hard on Musical Chairs – free tickets for young people who could otherwise not come to the opera. Our experience of distributing these tickets is not dissimilar to the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which funds free tickets at the Royal Opera House for people who haven’t been before. To find the right recipients is far trickier than simply selling the tickets. We struggled until we used Twitter. Norman Lebrecht tweeted it and an angelic host of poor keen would-be opera goers contacted us from as far afield as Edinburgh (we help with transport costs – within reason). Now we have the hang of it, we will try to double our numbers in 2012. We are always asking you for something and it is important you know that we try to give something back. We gave opera tickets for auction to charities: Southampton Hospital Red & White Appeal (a treatment centre for leukaemia and blood disorders), British Youth Opera, Naomi House (a children’s hospice in Winchester), Home Start Winchester, Hampshire Youth Clubs, Action Medical Research, Treloars Trust, Omid (a charity for disadvantaged young women in Tehran) and The Eden Project.
Your views on the website, tweets, e-newsletter are appreciated. 700+ people responded to a survey which we have used to determine the number of performances of each opera. The results looked like this: 2102
Queen of Spades Idomeneo Butterfly Carmelites Eugene Onegin I Puritani Don Quichotte ?Peter Grimes La Traviata
382 398 449 295 510 442 373 366 527
6 th 5 th 3 rd 9 th last! 2 nd
7th 8 th 1 st place
2,000+ people came into prison ≈60% of them hadn’t been into prison before (and 170 prisoners saw the show)
17,300 tickets were sold These results confirm that we do climb to the upper shelves of the opera library and continue to follow Niall Fitzgerald’s advice that criticism = risk = development ∴ ok.
694 new tickets buyers at The Grange & Nevill Holt Help spread the word. If you love it, tell your friends
Gazprom Marketing & Trading have agreed to sponsor the next two Russian operas Reverenze
London ‘gatherings of the generous’ were held at The Reform Club (Reverenze Edward & Mandy Weston), at Lansdowne Walk (Reverenze Hamish & Sophie Forsyth), at 8 Clifford Street with 18th–century murals on the staircase (Reverenza Louise Verrill) and Michael Portillo gave us his house Reverenza (even though he needed it back). Ed & Lulu Siskind’s party Reverenze was exclusively for young people whom we hope to ensnare in our operatic web.
56,000 watched a Grange Park video on YouTube 70,000+ hits on the website 1,000+ people follow Grange Park on twitter
72.5% of this is spent on the artistic programme (ROH is 73%)
53.6% of income is ticket sales In last autumn's booklet, we presented our own dates alongside Glyndebourne’s and Garsington’s. Quite radical. I was asked why I was publicising our rivals. Opera isn't a sport with a winner and a loser. If somebody goes to Glyndebourne and has a good time, they might try our place. And vice versa. So I close with best wishes from the Grange Park family to Garsington in their new home and to Glyndebourne for it 77th festival.
Of the shortfall that arises
32% came from Annual Donors (gifts < £1,000)
(The support form is on the website and you can donate online)
34% from 64 individuals making larger gifts 6% from Trusts 10% from Corporate Supporters
310 young people get to the opera
80 Musical Chairs (free seats) 177 people contributed to these Musical Chairs 140 Meteors & Asteroids (discounted seats) 90 schools seats (including 20 for the Malcolm Arnold Academy near Northampton which is sponsored by David Ross) In memory of my cat Tiger and chairman William Garrett’s cat Fatz who both died in the autumn aged 19 years They are buried next to one another in Wiltshire And a hamster joined them recently
375 people are employed at the festival
5,600 glasses of champagne consumed – by the audience (Laurent Perrier have increased their contribution to the post–performance parties Reverenza) 7
James Hudleston Simon & Virginia Robertson ICAP plc Rosenblatt Recitals Geoff & Fiona Squire William Garrett Hamish & Sophie Forsyth Mr & Mrs W Friedrich The Linbury Trust James & Beatrice Lupton Duca di Bronte Laurent- Perrier Champagne Relais & Chateaux Jane & Paul Chase–Gardener David McLellan Caroline & Geoffrey de Jager Heike & Cameron Munro Mr & Mrs Richard Morse Francis & Nathalie Phillimore Elm Capital Associates Malcolm Herring Jeremy & Rosemary Farr Tom Busher & Elizabeth Benson Mr Happy 2 Anonymous donors
Grohe Ltd Sandbourne Asset Management Frederic & Laurence Barnaud Nic Bentley Samantha & Nabil Chartouni Michael Cuthbert Judith Lawless & Kevin Egan Peter & Fiona Espenhahn Mr & Mrs Grant Gordon Mrs T Landon Stephen Gosztony & Sue Butcher David &Amanda Leathers LONMAR GLOBAL RISKS LIMITED
Ruth Markland Ed & Lulu Siskind Paul &Rita Skinner 3 Anonymous donors An anonymous Wagner lover Rothschild Mrs Peter Cadbury Victoria Sharp CHI & Partners Richard Sharp Financial Express Sir Stuart Rose Ian & Clare Maurice Sir David & Lady Plastow Terence & Sian Sinclair Raymond & Elizabeth Henley Anonymous
Baring Asset Management The North West Londoners Christina & Timothy Benn Anthony Boswood Alastair & Robina Farley Roger & Kate Holmes Stephen & Isobel Parkinson Diane & Christopher Sheridan Francois Freyeisen & Shunichi Kubo Harvey McGregor QC Christopher Swan Charles Outhwaite Hiscox Adam & Company plc Mr & Mrs Robert Enslow Raymonde Jay Peter & Manina Dicks David & Simone Caukill Rosie Faunch John & Louise Dear Tessa & John Manser David Laing Foundation Tristan Wood & Sally Phillips 3 Anonymous donors
T he new theatre & the Endowment
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
Oliver & Cynthia Colman Michael Cuthbert Peter & Annette Dart Mr & Mrs Geoffrey de Jager Sandra & Damon de Laszlo Mr & Mrs Lionel de Rothschild Anonymous Alun & Bridget Evans Iain R Evans Mr & Mrs James fforde Mr & Mrs T Floyd Hamish & Sophie Forsyth The Misses Ismay, Ottilie & Cecilia Forsyth Peter & Judith Foy Mr Mark N Franks Reita Gadkari Janet & John Gaymer Jacqueline & Michael Gee Trust Enrique Biel Gleeson Lady Shauna Gosling Mr & Mrs George Goulding Stephen Gosztony & Sue Butcher Nigel & Diana Grimwood
William Gronow Davis Mr & Mrs Charles Haddon–Cave QC Hayden Trust Mr & Mrs Raymond Henley Malcolm Herring Mr & Mrs John Hewett Dr Jonathan Holliday & Dr Gwen Lewis George & Janette Hollingbery The Holmes Family Hugh & Tamara Hudleston Nicholas & Jeremy Hunter Mr & Mrs David Hunter Mr & Mrs M J Isaac Hannah Jacobs Harriet Jervis Mr & Mrs J Jervoise Neil & Elizabeth Johnson Andrew & Caroline Joy Mr & Mrs Colin Keogh Dr R Hubert Laeng–Danner Rufford Foundation Mrs T Landon
Barbara Yu Larsson Mr & Mrs Malcolm Le May Peter Leaver & Thomas Sharpe Mr & Mrs Adam Lee Jeremy Gardner Lewis Susie Lintott & Louisa Church David & Linda Lloyd Jones Joe & Minnie MacHale Charles & Annmarie Mackay Mr & Mrs Michael Mackenzie Tessa & John Manser J P Marland Charitable Trust Wendy & Michael Max Anonymous Mr & Mrs Peter May Harvey McGregor QC Thomas Monk Martin & Caroline Moore Elizabeth Morison Mr & Mrs Richard Morse Dr & Mrs Julian Muir The Nawrocki family The O’Hea family Sue & Peter Paice
Fund donors 2 0 0 1 Tim & Therese Parker - recent addition Alexia Paterson William & Francheska Pattisson Mark & Rachel Pearson Nigel Perfect & Peter Tilley The Lord & Lady Phillimore Sir David & Lady Plastow Jan & Michael Potter Bruce & Lizzie Powell Mark & Veronica Powell Benjamin Pritchett–Brown Mr & Mrs Gary Ralfe Mrs Christopher Reeves David & Alex Rhodes Ros & Ken Rokison Mrs Faanya Rose Mrs Antony Rowe Mr & Mrs John Salkeld Mr & Mrs Anthony Salz Christopher & Anne Saul Mr & Mrs Richard Scopes Mr & Mrs Roderick Selkirk Mrs Christopher Sheridan Lord & Lady Simon of Highbury Edward M Siskind Paul & Rita Skinner Mr & Mrs Martin St Quinton Nicholas Stanley Donald & Rachael Stearns The Steel Charitable Trust The Stevenson CharitableTrust John & Lesley Stuttard Mr & Mrs R H Sutton Anonymous Mr & Mrs Bernard Taylor Gordon & Sue Thorburn The Titchmarsh Family Mr & Mrs Anthony Townsend Wendy & John Trueman Adair Turner & Orna Ni–Chionna The Hon Lucy & Michael Vaughan John & Lou Verrill - recent addition Lady Jane Wallop John & Carol Wates Miss Clare Williams Hamish & Elisabeth Williams Mark & Jane Williams The Hon Geoffrey & Mrs Wilson The Wolf Family - recent addition Mr & Mrs C H R Wunderly Caroline Wyld
T he Cunards
helped start the festival at Nevill Holt
Mr & Mrs Robin Bowie Patrick & Julia Carter Dr & Mrs Mark Cecil Mr Peter Fenwick OBE Hamish & Sophie Forsyth Colin & Sarah Forsyth Mr Martin George The Hardingham Trust Mr William Guinness 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 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 and two anonymous donors
T he Orches tra Fund
T he Scholars hip Fund
The Founding Donors Found in g Donors 1998 – 9 1998 •–1999
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 & Lady Davies
Mr Peter Foy Mr Simon Freakley Mr William Gronow Davis Mr Michael Hoare Mr & Mrs Donald Kahn Mr T Landon James & Béatrice Lupton Mr & Mrs Charles Mackay
Mr Harvey McGregor QC Greg & Gail Melgaard Mr & Mrs Hugh Peppiatt Mrs Lucinda Stevens Mr & Mrs Anthony Townsend Mr & Mrs Max Ulfane Mrs Marie Veeder Mr & Mrs Graham John West
Systems Union Group Ltd – Ashe Park Mineral Water – Baring Asset Management – British Steel Distribution – BT Alex Brown – Hays plc – Wilde Sapte – Barclays Private Banking – Catering & Allied – Coutts & Co – Biddle – Denton Hall – Houston & Church – Knight Frank – Leopold de Rothschild Trust – Well Marine Reinsurance Brokers
Mr & Mrs James Airy John & Jackie Alexander Mr & Mrs R Atkinson-Willes Miss Anne Beckwith-Smith Mr & Dr J Beechey Sheila Lady Bernard Mr Robert Bickerdike Mrs M R Bonsall Mrs Cherida Cannon Mr Patrick Carter Mr & Mrs Bernard Cazenove Mrs Justin Clark Mr & Mrs M Cooper-Mitchell Mr & Mrs R G Cottam Mr David Crowe Mr Nicholas de Zoete Ms K Deuss Gillian Devas
Mr & Mrs Gerald Acher Richard & Delia Baker Mr & Mrs Nicholas Baring Mr & Mrs Tom Bartlam Dori Bateson Mr Peter Bedford Mr & Mrs Robin Behar Mr Alan Bell Mr Keith Benham Mrs M Bennett Sir Christopher & Lady Bland Mrs Gerald Bland Mr & Mrs Simon Borrows Mr Graham Bourne Mr Peter Braunwalder Mr & Mrs Keith Bromley Mr Robin W T Buchanan Mr & Mrs Mark Burch Mrs James Butler Sir Euan Calthorpe Bt Mr & Mrs Michael Campbell Mr Maximilian Carter Sir Peter & Lady Cazalet David & Elizabeth Challen Mr Oliver Colman Cynthia Colman Dr P M de Z Cooke Mr & Mrs Brian Cornish Mr Peter Davidson
Mr Anthony Doggart Robyn Durie Mr & Mrs W L Eddlestone Stuart & Anne Fowler Archie & Henrietta Fraser Gen Sir David Fraser GCB OBE Mr & Mrs Wyatt Gates Lt Col David R Gilbert His Honour Judge Martin Graham QC Mr Robert B Gray Mr & Mrs J C Green Mr John Hammond Mr & Mrs Peter Hobbs Mr & Mrs G Hollingbery Mr Charles Irby Mr & Mrs Malcolm Isaac Mr Barry Jackson
Guy Boney & Bente Dawkins Mr Peter Dicks Mr & Mrs Malcolm Edwards Austin & Ragna Erwin Mr T Alun Evans CMG Alastair & Robina Farley Mr & Mrs J fforde Mr & Mrs Roger Fidgen Hamish & Sophie Forsyth Mr & Mrs Robin Fox Mr Andrew Frost Mr Stephen Frost Mr Nicholas R Gold Lady Shauna Gosling Mr & Mrs George Goulding Mr Verne Grinstead Mr Michael Gwinnell Mr Philip Gwyn Mr & Mrs Charles HaddonCave QC Mr & Mrs Philip Hallett Mr Clifford Hampton Mr Alan H Harrison Angela & David Harvey The Bulldog Trust Dr & Mrs James F Hill Mr & Mrs Hansgeorg Hofmann Mr Peter Holland Dr Jonathan Holliday
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
Mr J P Hungerford Robin & Pat Ilbert The Countess of Iveagh Mr & Mrs Evan James Mr Martin Jay Mr & Mrs David Jervis Mr J T L Jervoise Neil & Elizabeth Johnson Mr & Mrs A N Joy Ms Walia Kani Mr Vincent Keaveny Maureen & Jim Kelly Peter Kerfack & Russell Townend Mr & Mrs David Leathers Mr & Mrs Adam Lee David & Linda Lloyd Jones Mr Simon Lofthouse Dr Peter Lyndon-Skeggs Mrs Stuart Macnaghten The Hon Dwight Makins Mr & Mrs Charles Marriott Mr John Marden Mr William Mather Wendy & Michael Max Mr & Mrs P N J May Mr & Mrs T McMaddy Mr Nigel McNair Scott Mr & Mrs A S McWhirter
Mr John A Rickards Dr Janet Ritterman Mrs Martin St Quinton Mr Anthony Salz Anne Lady Scott Mr & Mrs Philip Snuggs Mr David F M Stileman Mr & Mrs Ian Streat Mr R H Sutton Mr Peter Tilley The Hon Mrs W Tufnell K Sandberg & T Watkins Mr & Mrs T Wightman Andrew & Emma Wilson Olivia Winterton Dr Nicholas Wright Mr Tim Wright Mrs Paul Zisman
Mr James Meade Leni Lady Miller Mr & Mrs Patrick Mitford Slade Miss Charlotte Moore Elizabeth Morison Mr Michael J Morley Dr & Mrs Julian Muir Lord Neill of Bladen QC Sir Charles Nicholson Bt John & Dianne Norton John Julius Norwich Mr & Mrs Michael Orr Major General & Mrs Simon Pack Mark & Rachel Pearson Ron & Lyn Peet Mr & Mrs Nicholas PhelpsBrown The Countess of Portsmouth Mr & Mrs David Potter Bruce & Lizzie Powell Mark & Veronica Powell Mr & Mrs Richard Priestley Mrs Barbara Rait Sir Peter & Lady Ramsbotham Mr Myrddin Rees MS FRCS Mr David Reid Scott David & Alex Rhodes Anonymous Mrs Eric Robinson
Clare Rowland Mr & Mrs James Sabben-Clare Sir Timothy Sainsbury Mrs John Salkeld Lady Salomon Mr Richard Scopes The Countess of Selborne Mr & Mrs Mark Silver Mr Paul Skinner Mrs David Smith The Hon & Mrs Jeremy Soames Mr J G Stanford Mrs Donald Stearns Mr R Kirk Stephenson Mr & Mrs Richard H Sykes Mr Anthony John Thompson Professor & Mrs G M Tonge Adair Turner & Orna Ni-Chionna Bill Tustin Mr & Mrs David Vaughan The Hon Mrs Lucy Vaughan Mrs Peter Vey Caroline Vroom Mr Hady Wakefield Lady Jane Wallop Dr & Mrs Oliver Wethered M Whalley & K Goldie-Morrison Mr F E B Witts Mr Charles Young
The Clsupporters ip per ofCĹ€a s s 2011 Nevill Holt Mr & Mrs Charles Bennion Kate and Philip Douglas The Everard Foundation Richard & Celia Foulkes Richard & Sally Godwin-Austen Anonymous Lady Morris Mrs Adam Page Anonymous Ian and Murie Ronald Barry & Anne Rourke Hugh & Angela Sinclair The Hon Mrs Wheeler-Bennett
David Barker QC Mrs Lesley Blood Mrs M J Bowen Mr David Bromage Michael Butterfield Denis & Ronda Cassidy Michael Cazenove Mr & Mrs Richard Cazenove Mrs M Charnock Dr & Mrs E R Craven Michael C A Eaton Dirk Fitzhugh Mr & Mrs Victor Green The Hon Erskine Guinness Mrs Madeleine Heggs
The supporters St owawa y s 2011 of Nevill Holt Mr David C Hunter Mrs Anthony Huntington Victoria Joel & Steven Bobasch Mr J Denys Johnson Keith & Lucy Jones Bob Lancaster Mrs Caroline Lawson-Dick Lady Lever Mr & Mrs Pieter Mommersteeg Dr Chris Morley Sir Claus Moser KCB CBE FBA Guy & Sarah Norrie Dr Kirsten Palmer & Mr Byron Harford Sir John & the Hon Lady Parsons Ian Pasley-Tyler
Sir James & Lady Perowne Barry & Nikki Rivers Nigel & Viv Robson David & Liz Staveley Sian Stonehill Mr John Swallow Nick & Jenny Tarratt Pru Tatham David & Janet Thomas Tom & Di Threlfall Heather & Andrew Wallis Major & Mrs JVA Watts-Russell Ian & Judith Williams and two anonymous donors
T he GĹ€ a ss C eil in g Societ y 201 1 Keith & Lucy Jones Mrs Isla Baring Clare & John Barker
Laurence & Frederic Barnaud
Mr & Mrs Henry Lumley
Mrs Elizabeth Mason
William & Felicity Mather
Mrs Jenny Bland
Ian & Clare Maurice
Simon & Sally Borrows
Dena & Gordon McCallum
Consuelo & Anthony Brooke
Madeleine & Stephen McGairl
Mr & Mrs Charlie Caminada
Roger & Jackie Morris
Mark & Rosemary Carawan
Heike & Cameron Munro
The One Style Co. Taiwan
Pierre & Beatrice Natural
Samantha & Nabil Chartouni
The Hon Sir Christopher Clarke
Stephen & Isobel Parkinson
Ian Clarkson & Richard Morris
Sir Desmond & Lady Pitcher
The Countess of Portsmouth
Patricia Baines Trust
Mr & Mrs David Pritchard
John & Louise Dear
Mr & Mrs Michael Rice
Nigel & Viv Robson
Barry & Anne Rourke
T V Drastik
David Russell & Angela Gallop
Martin & Eugenia Ephson
Mr & Mrs David Salisbury
Stuart Errington CBE DL
The Tansy Trust
The Kilfinan Trust
George & Veronique Seligman
Niall & Ingrid FitzGerald
Lord & Lady Sharman
Mrs Jill Goulston
Lord & Lady Simon of Highbury
Wendell & Andrea Harris
Brigitte & Martin Skan
Mrs Marveen Smith
Mr & Mrs Robin Herbert
Prof & Mrs Peter Sonksen
Fiona Squire & Geoff Squire OBE
Caspar & Cathy Ingrams
Donald & Rachael Stearns
Mr David Taylor
Simon & Alison Jeffreys
Professor & Doctor Chris Thompson
Anthony Johnson and six anonymous donors
Th e Schooŀ of Hi �ocrates 201 1 Ms Pam Alexander & Dr Roger Booker Mrs Genie Allenby & daughters Jean Amos Camilla Baldwin Maj Gen & Mrs J Balfour Nigel Beale & Anthony Lowry Roger Birtles Longina Boczon Mrs Nan Brenninkmeyer Roy & Carol Brown Lady Brown Anthony Bunker Clive & Heleen Butler Mr & Mrs Julian Cazalet Mr & Mrs Peter Clarke Mrs Carolyn Conlan Dr Neville Conway Giles Currie Mrs Arthur Davies Michael & Anthea Del Mar Miss Helen Dorey FSA Michael C A Eaton Jeremy & Rosemary Farr Mr & Mrs Simon Fisher Mr & Mrs Harry Fitzalan Howard Michael & Anne Forrest Mr & Mrs Geoffrey Fuller Mr & Mrs David Gamble Lindsey Gardener Mr & Mrs Wyatt Gates David & Margaret Gawler Mr & Mrs P A Goodson M Granziol Marcus & Susan Grubb Michael & Genevieve Higgin Will & Janine Hillary
Hansgeorg & Leonor Hofmann Christopher & Jo Holdsworth Hunt Lucy Holmes & Alexandra Wood Simon & Melanie Holmes Robin & Judy Hutson Mr Charles & Lady Iona Ind Judith & Peter Iredale Ian & Noelle Irvine Morag & Peter James Mr John Jarvis QC Margi & Mike Jennings Hilary Jones Ralph & Patricia Kanter Dr Ingo & Dr Maria Lucia Klöcker William & Mary Knowles Liz & Roger Kramers Diana & Terence Kyle Mr & Mrs Andrew Lax Mr Gerald Levin Mr Robert Linn Ottley Anthony & Fiona Littlejohn Mr John MacGowan Mr & Mrs Alistair Mackintosh Mr & Mrs David Maitland Wendy & Michael Max Ms K & Ms S McLeland William Middleton-Smith Vivienne Alexandra Monk Mr & Mrs Peter Morgan Ian & Jane Morrison Colin Murray Mr & Mrs Piotr Nahajski Mr & Mrs Jeffrey Nedas Michael & Guillemette Nicholson Guy & Sarah Norrie Mr & the Hon Mrs J Ogilvie Thompson
Dr Cecily O'Neill Liz Peace CBE & Nigel Peace Jonathan & Gillian Pickering Tricia Guild & Richard Polo Mrs Sally Posgate Dominic & Katherine Powell Hugh & Caroline Priestley Grant & Shirley Radcliffe Dr Martin Read & Dr Marian Gilbart Read Elizabeth & Nigel Reavley Tineke Dales David & Hilary Riddle Zsalya Mr George Sandars Carolyn Saunders Mr & Mrs Dhruv Sawhney Thomas & Phillis Sharpe Nigel Silby Dr Anthony Smoker Mr & Mrs Andrew Soundy Alastair & Elizabeth Storey Sir Nigel & Lady Teare Mr & Mrs Hugh Tidbury Mrs Peter Wake DL Chris & Miranda Ward Johanna Waterous & Roger Parry Kevin & Sonia Watson Christian Wells Mr & Mrs Edward Weston Nigel Williams Nicholas & Penny Wilson Mr & Mrs Richard J Woolnough David & Liz Wootton Mr & Mrs Peter Wrangham
and three anonymous donors
The Scħooŀ of Arch im ed es 2011 Jackie & John Alexander Lady Allan Lady Armstrong Mr John Arney Mr & Mrs Nick Backhouse Roger & Lisa Backhouse Richard & Jean Baldwin Paul & Janet Batchelor Mr Peter Bell Mr & Mrs Mark Benson Adrian Berrill-Cox Mr & Mrs Peter Bevan Mike & Alison Biden Anthony Bird The Hon Mrs Diana Birtwistle Admirer of Charles Wallach Mr David Blackburn Halldora Blair Elisabeth & Bob Boas Mr & Mrs Anthony Bodie Mrs Margaret Bolam John & Lillie Boumphrey Mr & Mrs Graham Bourne Neville & Rowena Bowen Mr & Mrs Julian Bower The Hon Robert Boyle & Mrs Boyle Robin & Penny Broadhurst Robin & Jill Broadley Mr Richard Bronks Dorothy & John Brook Mr & Mrs A C Brooking Stuart & Maggie Brooks Mr Christopher Brown Mr & Mrs Hugh & Sue Brown Mr & Mrs Charles H Brown Mr Nicholas Browne Mr & Mrs D M Bullough Lt Col & Mrs Michael Burridge Richard Butler Adams Russ & Linda Carr Max & Karina Casini Mr & Mrs Jason Chaffer Luke & Emily Chappell Mr Shane Chichester Julia Chute Mrs Ann Clark Diana Clarkson Michael & Angela Clayton Mrs Susie Clegg Mr & Mrs J Colwell Liz & Mike Cooper-Mitchell Richard & Corin Cotton Alan & Heather Craft Mr Carl Cullingford
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PAT R O N
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THE HOME TEAM
P R O D U C T I O N M A N AG E R
in alphabetical order Emma Cheung Scott Cooper Bernard Davies Lizzie Holmes Wasfi Kani OBE Michael Moody Sue Paice Rachel Pearson Emilia Pountney Annabel Ross Claire Routh Helen Sennett Caroline Sheahan Rebecca Thomas Jan Tuffield
Alison Ritchie SETS
All Scene All Props Tristan & Isolde, Tosca Visual Scene Rigoletto, Rusalka
T EC H N I C A L S TAG E M A N AG E R
Declan Costello DEPUTIES
Sylva Parizkova Niall Mulcahy Sean Wright
E N D OW M E N T F U N D B OA R D
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S TAG E T EC H N I C I A N S
R E P E T I T EU R S
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James Pitkin Alex Perry John Sherrard Ricky Copp Ronnie Actil Tom Perkins Niamh O’Meara Thomas Veullet-Draper student
L A N G UAG E COAC H
Gerhard Gall Tristan & Isolde Giuseppe De’Ligia Rigoletto Karel Janovicky Rusalka YO U N G A S S I S TA N T S
Maximilian Hoehe Tristan & Isolde Genevieve Raghu Rigoletto Dan O'Neill Rusalka T H E P L AC E
Richard Loader Sue Paice John & Victoria Salkeld (roses & more) David Manston (sweet peas) Peter Paice & Derek Lintott (tents) Steve Penn (trains) Jill Hardy (front of house) T H E R E S TAU R A N T
Jack Gardener assisted by Celine Ragouilliaux Food Kaye Thompson, Creative Catering Champagne Laurent-Perrier Décor Alexander Creswell P H OTO G R A P H S
S TAG E M A N AG E R S
Judith Cound Rigoletto, Rusalka Aisling Fitzgerald Tristan & Isolde Vickki Maiden Tosca D E P U T Y S TAG E M A N AG E R S
Sarah Tryfan Tristan & Isolde Samantha Kerrison Rigoletto Iain Mackenzie–Humphreys Rusalka Erin Shepherd Tosca ASMs
Ellie Williams Tristan & Isolde Laura Burgess Rigoletto Frances Beaumont Rusalka Ellen Baines Rusalka student ASM
P R O P S S U P E RV I S I O N Tristan & Isolde
Marcus Hall Props WIGS
Darren Ware Campbell Young P R OJ EC T I O N D E S I G N Rusalka
Mark Armstrong S O U N D D E S I G N Rusalka
Alastair Muir Claire Routh
LIGHTING PROGR AMMER
Joanna West (Leader) Megan Pound Peter Hembrough Fiona Chesterman Nikki Hutchings Nancy Roberts
C H I E F E L EC T R I C I A N
Dan Last DEPUTIES
Jim Bristow Dan Young
P R O D U C T I O N E L EC T R I C I A N
Lou Bevan Joanna Lee Alice Butcher Louisa Burns
Wesley Hiscock COS T U M E S U P E RV I S O R S
Yvonne Milnes Tristan & Isolde, Tosca Caroline Hughes Rigoletto Gabrielle Dalton Rusalka DEPUT Y
EG G C U P S
Penny Akroyd Paul Bamber Jane Barber Sue Brown John Feast Pru de Lavison Andrea & Wendell Harris Inge Hunter Charmian Jones Angela Larard Susie Lintott Sue Paice Caroline Perry Hugh & Jane Powlett Carolyn Ranald Clare Read Jo Seligman Katharine Sellon Di Threlfall Clare Whitfield
WA R D R O B E M I S T R E S S
Alyson Fielden Assisted by Rebecca Hopkins DRESSERS
Charlotte Osman W I G S & M A K E- U P M I S T R E S S
Jason Glover Dan Manente Mike Briggs
P R O D U C T I O N M A N AG E R
Alison Ritchie T EC H N I C A L S TAG E M A N AG E R
Declan Costello H E A D O F S TAG E
C E L LO
Brian Mullan Natalie Rozario Claire Constable BASS
C H I E F E L EC T R I C I A N
Kate Saxby Liz Bradley
S I T E M A N AG E R
Fi Smith Bingham DEPUTIES
Tim Taylorson Daniel Parkin
A S S I S TA N T L X & S TAG E
WA R D R O B E
Mark Lacey Karen Hobbs
A DV I S O RY CO U N C I L
VO L U N T E E R S
Sir David Davies (Chairman) Gerry Acher CBE Miles d'Arcy Irvine Dame Vivien Duffield CBE Jacob Grierson Donald Kahn James Lupton Viscount Norwich David Ross Victoria Sharp The Hon Jeremy Soames
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COS T U M E A S S I S TA N T S
Jessica Tiller Cutter Amanda Brothwell Sewer Sue Long Sewer Cheryl Alleyne student Holly Steer student
AT N E V I L L H O LT
Elizabeth Marini Joanne Charlton US H E R S
Ben Cross Fred Baring Ed Vey Bertie Schiff
T H E O RCH E S T R A O F H O R N N E VILL H O LT Jon Hassan M A N AG E M E N T Strand Musicians
(www.strandmusicians.co.uk) T R U M P E T Fraser Tannock Ruth Woodhams TROMBONE
Andrew Cole T I M PA N I
Mark Taylor Fortnum & Mason sample party dishes 1950s drawn by Edward Bawden As well as providing ‘necessary equipment’ they also had available houses, marquees, toastmaster, liveried Indian servants . . .
Raoul Dufy (1877 - 1953)
Richard Berry Beth Randell Richard Dilley Michael Kidd Hugh Seenan VIOLIN 1
Stephanie Gonley (leader Rigoletto, Rusalka) Simon Blendis (leader Tristan) Helen Paterson Nicholas Wright Bartosz Woroch Alison Dods Clare Thompson Martin Gwylim-Jones Alison Kelly Robert Yeomans Emil Chakalov Shana Douglas
Jonathan Barritt Lydia Lowndes-Northcot Sophie Renshaw Jessica Beeston Stephen Wright Clare Fox Rebecca Breen
Kate Hill Robert Manasse Nicolas Bricht
Neil Brough Simon Munday Ross Brown
John Anderson Philip Harmer Jane Marshall Ruth Contractor
Colin Sheen Ian Moffat Andrew Waddicor
Richard Milone Ruth Funnell Christopher Bevan Kate Robinson Julia Burket Imogen Richards James Dickinson Alison Gordon Cindy Foster Patrick Roberts
C E L LO
Lionel Handy Dietrich Bethge Brian Oâ€™Kane Tim Lowe Julia Graham Alexandra McKensie Ben Stevens BASS
Paul Sherman Ben Russell Steve Rossell Lucy Hare
Anthony Pike Jill Turner Alan Andrews James Burke BASSOON
Paul Boyes Lizbeth Elliot Claire Webster Emma Harding
TUBA T I M PA N I
Jeremy Cornes PERCUSSION
Tim Barry Scott Bywater HARP
Angela Moore G E N E R A L M A N AG E M E N T
Pauline Gilbertson Charlotte Templeman Ben Gould
TH E EN G LISH CHA M BER O RCH E S T R A
At ť ĥe oþera
Wynne Evans Truffaldino
Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts The Prince, Rosie Bell His Princess
Javier Borda The Cook
Clive Bayley The King
Rebecca Cooper Fata Morgana
Derek Welton Farfarello
a 큐 Grange Pa rk 2010
The L ove for 3 Ora nges
Vuyani Mlinde Tchelio
Sug ar a 큐 H M P Send 2011
Victoria Ward Sugar, Rob Gildon Joe/Josephine, Duncan Patrick Jerry/Daphne, Deryck Hamon Sir Osgood Fielding
Hye-Youn Lee Butterfly, Jesus Leon Pinkerton, Andrew Ashwin Sharpless
Mada ma Butterfly
a 큐 NevillHol큐 2010
Wynne Evans Itallian tenor, Sally Johnson Italian soprano
Susan Gritton Countess, Roderick Williams Olivier
Tim Dawkins Major Domo, Stuart Kale Taupe
Andrew Kennedy Flamand and others
34 Matthew Best La Roche
a 큐 Grange Pa rk 2010
Quirijn de Lang The Count, Sara Fulgoni Clairon
Claire Rutter Tosca, Peter Auty Cavaradossi, Robert Poulton Scarpia, Henry Waddington Sacristan
a 큐 Grange Pa rk 2010
In their seventh year of sponsorship RIGOLE T TO has been generously supported by
I C A P plc
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 Grange Park on June 2, 4, 10, 12, 16, 19, 21, 24, July 1 Sung in Italian with surtitles by David Edwards
G IUSEPPE VERDI
R igo l e t to Rigoletto
Toby Purser Conductor Supported by Ruth Markland
La donna e mobile
Supported by Stephen & Isobel Parkinson GILDA’S ARIA
Supported by Diane & Christopher Sheridan
Supported by Jane & Paul Chase–Gardener
Supported by Ed & Lulu Siskind
Supported by Sir Stuart Rose
Supported by Mr Happy
Supported by Sir David & Lady Plastow
Giuseppe De’ Ligia
Countess Ceprano Borsa
THE BODY BAG
Supported by Mrs Jill Goulston
THE DUKE’S ARIA
Supported by Duca di Bronte
E NG LISH CHAMBER O RCHESTR A
Police Station secretary The LA police
Supported by Victoria Sharp
Supported by Alastair & Robina Farley
Supported by Raymond & Elizabeth Henley
Supported by Mrs Peter Cadbury
Supported by Christopher Swan
Supported by Mr & Mrs Robert Enslow
Supported by John & Louise Dear
Supported by Peter Dicks David & Simone Caukill Keith Jones, Nigel Robson, Barry Rourke 57
ACT 1 - For months the Duke has been stalking a lovel y girl. He knows where she lives and has seen that a man visits her every night but knows no more about her. The Duke is a notorious womaniser and woos the Count ess Ceprano in front of her husband. Rigoletto is in the Duke's pay and taunts Ceprano who is part of the Duke's circle. Ceprano's frien d Marullo has reven ge on his frien d's behalf by sharing some unlikely gossip â€“ Rigoletto has a lover. They all laugh and use the infor mation to plot again st Rigoletto.
On the way home Rigoletto meets the assassin,Sparafucile. He reflects on the similarity of their statu s in socie ty as outsiders. Both are paid to destroy others: Rigoletto with words, Sparafucile with weapons. Rigoletto's daughter Gilda lightens his mood. Worried by the threat posed by the Duke's circle, Rigoletto tells Gilda she must never leave the house alone. Unknown to him, the Duke has been stalking Gilda and is waiting outside. Rigoletto leaves to investigate a noise and the Duke slips in. He is amazed to learn that Gilda is Rigoletto's daughter. Still in hidin g, 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 â€“ but gives a false name: Gualt ier MaldĂ¨, a student. They are inter rupted. People are approachin g: Ceprano, Marullo and others. They are about to execute their plot: to abduct Rigoletto's
Monterone accuses the Duke of seducing his daughter and curses him.
R ig ol e t t o t t o e l o g i R
tto wait for Rigole in e li ey Th lover. k him ves, they tric ri ar he en wh an d him. an d blin dfold dfold. s off the blin Rigoletto tear taken. Gilda has been DINN ER INTERVAL is ke's - The Du ke ACT 2 At the Du an lda an d feels fearfu l for Gi with ss â€“ combined ne er nd te l ua unus ar rive . His friends gs in el fe r se ba ped ey have kidnap th at th ce un an d an no ght lover an d brou et cr se s o' tt Rigole her here. e an d ises the mistak The Du ke real Gilda. ru shes to find g antic, searchin Rigoletto is fr . Nobody r his daughter fo y el at er sp de es that an d he su rmis will help him the Du ke. Gilda is with pleads es an d later Rigoletto cu rs lda is He ex plains Gi l. al em th th wi r. When d not his love his daughter an e distressed. Th is e sh s ar pe Gilda ap her d Gilda tells others leave an ely in still desperat is e Sh y. or st Du ke. love with the his way to be Monterone is on e.Gilda peats his cu rs re d an ed ut exec on the to show mercy er th fa r he ks as Du ke.
ACT 3 At Sparafucile's - Rigoletto has brought Gilda here to show her the Duke's true nature. In disguise the Duke is visiting the prostitute Maddalena, Sparafucile's sister. Gilda is horrified. Rigoletto tells her to leave and wait for him out of town. For safety, she must disguise herself. Rigoletto and Sparafucile strike their bargain: Sparafucile will kill the man who is with his sister and Rigoletto will collect the body at midnight. Maddalena has fallen for the nameless visitor in her bed (the Duke) and pleads with her brother not to kill him. Gilda disobeys her father and has retur ned. She overhears the argum ent between Maddalena and Sparafucile and decides to give up her own life. She knocks at the door sayin g she is a beggar. Sparafucile tells Maddalena he will kill the beggar at the door and deliver him to Rigoletto. Rigoletto comes back to collect the Duke's body. He gloats over his treasure. But he hears a familiar voice He tears open the sack and finds his daughter. She is alive. She asks her father to bless her and forgive the Duke.
‘My best opera’ : Verdi's Rigoletto
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. OME MEN ARE BORN GREAT’ Malvolio ruminates in Twelfth Night, ‘some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them’. 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. 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 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.
exception might be Verdi’s eighth opera, the wretched Alzira (1845), written in haste while he was ill.
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’. 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 Comédie–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. Circulated in printed form, it went on to create a stir throughout Europe: Verdi thought it ‘perhaps the greatest 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.
Costume designs for Rigoletto at La Scala, Milan
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 today? Perhaps the most celebrated answer 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. 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 those ornate costumes and Palladian halls and evoking 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 clarity. Verdi too had known the pain of losing a beloved daughter, albeit one who was only fourteen moths 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?
‘Ai nostri monti ritorneremo . . . ’ [to our mountains we shall return] Il Trovatore
The Orsanti were travelling performers from Verdi’s region, the Parma Appennines, driven to the wandering life through economic hardship. They might be comedians, artists, musicians, magicians but most popular were the animal trainers with monkeys, dogs, birds, bears and camels. Orsanti were a common site in every European city in the 19th century. London’s Orsanti based themselves around Clerkenwell and were some of the first Italians to arrive in London in the 1800s. Many Orsanti came from the mountains above the Ceno and Taro Valley along which Verdi would have travelled en route to Genoa.
O uomini ! O natura ! Vil scellerato mi faceste voi ! O mankind! O nature! It was you who made me evil and corrupt!
Michael Fontes writes of a time when a woman had to choose between buying a man, what we call marriage, and selling herself to men, what we call prostitution.
N PARI SIAMO Rigoletto tells us what he thinks of himself. He reflects that his own profession is not so different from that of a common assassin: he has much in common with Sparafucile. He realizes that he is a bad lot. He is cruel and hypocritical: he mocks Monterone, whose daughter has been seduced by the Duke, yet he’s terrified the same fate may befall him through his own daughter, Gilda. He is at once vicious, pimp and vicarious assassin, and noble, a father who touches us with the depth of his affection for his daughter Gilda.
Vous êtes tous bâtards’ (Your mothers all slept with their footmen; you are all illegitimate), a comment which could be seen as a fair dig at of the mother of the new King, a king who was later, in April 1845, generous enough to elevate Hugo to the peerage. Hugo, was, two months after his elevation, found by the outraged husband in flagrante delicto, in an adulterous embrace with Leonie Biard. By an exquisite irony the supporter of early feminism, as a peer of France, walked free, while Leonie was sent to prison for two months.
He deserves every microsyllable of the terrible curse, which so troubles him, delivered by the tormented father, Monterone. After all he is effectively the Duke’s pander: he’s quite ready to help the courtiers abduct the woman he thinks is the Countess Ceprano. Also, though in general his weapon is his tongue rather than his dagger, he doesn’t hesitate to hire Sparafucile to kill the Duke for 20 scudi.
Hugo felt violently that women were being badly treated, that things hadn’t improved much since biblical times. The Bible provides startling insights into the role of women in the ancient world. Were they more faithful than the women of today? Perhaps not: Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies says Proverbs 21, 9. They weren’t always very easy to get on with either: Better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house; Proverbs again. The tone is irredeemably male-chauvinist, but before we conclude that the Bible is the first refuge of the misogynist don’t forget what it has to say about men: The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net, Micah 7, 2. The Bible shows that early Jewry was a male-dominated society in which, for instance, a father could decide how his daughter earned her living: Do not prostitute your daughter, to cause her to be a harlot, lest the land fall into harlotry, and the land become full of wickedness, Leviticus 19, 29.
Verdi appreciated that Hugo’s central figure, too hot for the Parisian authorities, for on the day after the first performance the play was banned for what turned out to be fifty years, was a new sort of stage hero, one whose dramatic importance lay as much in his nastiness and his vices, as in the vulnerabilities which make him interesting and endearing to us. Verdi was attracted to Hugo’s play through its attack on what Hugo saw as some of the great wrongs of the age. ‘It contains extremely powerful positions . . . The subject is great, immense, and has a character that is one of the most important creations of the theatre of all countries and all Ages.’ That subject was the self-interested behaviour of the people with influence and position, and, in particular, the treatment of women in the male–dominated world of the court, and by extension in 19th-century society. Le Roi s’amuse is set in the 16th-century court of a philandering François I, and immediately after the first performance Hugo was accused of lèse-monarchie, of disrespect for the newly-restored King, Louis-Philippe. In the play, Triboulet (Rigoletto) goes so far as to say to the courtiers, ‘Vos mères aux laquais se sont prostituées:
Hugo’s case was that things were not much improved for a woman in 19th century Europe. In many ways she was little better than a slave: a woman couldn’t easily get an education, or have a career, or vote, or choose whom she married. All her property was forfeit to her husband on marriage, so men held most of the resources, and not many women had independent means of subsistence. In England many professions were closed to women: women could not become doctors before 1865; the first woman dentist qualified in 1895; the first woman architect in 1898. Oxford University started admitting women to lectures from 1884, but they were not awarded
Italian courtesan, Virginia Oldoini, Countess di Castiglione (1837 – 1899) known as La Castiglione Age 17, she married Francesco Verasis, Conte di Castiglione and achieved notoriety by becoming Napoleon III’s mistress with whom she entered the social circle of European royalty
degrees until 1920, so effectively many important ways of earning a living were closed to them. At least 80% of women were extremely poor, of course, and good jobs were hard to come by. Women could work on farms and in factories, but the hours were long, the work hard, and the pay scant. Inevitably many found that, like many illegal immigrants today, they had nothing which sold so well as their youth and their beauty.
prostitution to alleviate her poverty: The holy law of Jesus Christ governs our civilization, but it does not yet permeate it. They say that slavery has disappeared from European civilization. That is incorrect. It still exists, but now it weighs only on women, and it is called prostitution. It weighs on women, that is to say, on grace, frailty, beauty, motherhood. This is not the least among man’s shames.
Hugo presents the problem very bluntly ‘La femme est obligée de choisir entre acheter un homme, ce qui s’appelle le mariage, ou se vendre aux hommes, ce qui s’appelle la prostitution.’ (A woman has to choose between buying a man, what we call marriage, and selling herself to men, what we call prostitution). No wonder women have fought for equal status in the job market.
At a time when the idea wasn’t fashionable Hugo argued for strict equality. L’homme n’est pas à lui seul l’homme : l’homme plus la femme plus l’enfant, cette créature une et triple, constitue la vraie unité de l’unité humaine. Toute l’organisation sociale doit découler de là. (Mankind is not just man, but man woman and child. This three-fold unit is what truly makes up Man, and it is on this unit that we should base our entire social organisation).
In Les Misérables Hugo says of Fantine, who has sunk to
Is Rigoletto, Hugo’s creation as well as Verdi’s, right
to blame everything on human nature? Most human societies across history give evidence of nearly all species of human wickedness: murder, torture, extortion, incest, rape. The man who called prostitution the oldest profession may have been counting hunter-gathering a trade, for the two must have co-existed since the earliest times. Alexandre Parent-Duchâtelet in his monumental work, De la Prostitution dans la ville de Paris (1836), described prostitution as ‘an evil of all times and all countries, innate in the social structure of mankind’, and the signs are that he had looked into the matter carefully. Hugo is interesting on the power which women hold over men. La femme a une puissance singulière, qui se compose de la réalité de la force et de l’apparence de la faiblesse. (Women have a very special hold over men, which stems from a combination of real strength and apparent weakness). The power of female weakness is an important theme in Rigoletto. Gilda’s fragility is a point of vulnerability in the hunchback more acute than his physical deformity. It provides the means by which the tragedy impinges on him, and the feature about him which reconciles us to the vicious sides of his character.
The vulnerability of woman in a man’s world is thus the nub of the drama, and the princely court, either of Paris under François I, as in the play, or of Mantua under the Duke, as in the opera, is only a mirror of 19th-century Europe as understood by Hugo and Verdi. In primitive times, when wealth was measured in pelts, rude huts and cattle, men could sensibly be judged on their ability to amass these things: a woman who was stirred by a man with bulging muscles and thick black hair on the soles of his feet couldn’t go far wrong. Such a man would not only have a sperm count off the meter but would also be able to provide food and comfort for his wife and the numerous children he engendered. These days it’s often the old who have the most money, and who will therefore be the best providers, so young women have to persuade themselves to be attracted by creaking joints, wrinkled faces, lists of the times when pills have to be taken - and take much of their fun elsewhere. Many modern women consider that the battle is still joined. Governments all over the western world have passed Equal Pay Acts - the UK in 1970, France in 1972 - yet women’s pay still lags behind men’s: the Annual Survey of Hourly Earnings in 2010 showed women’s average hourly wage at £13.73 to men’s £16.25. Women may be more concentrated in lower-paid work, but even for similar work they often receive less, despite their statutory right to equal pay. In their manifesto for a post-feminist age, Smart Girls Marry Money: How Women Have Been Duped Into the Romantic Dream – And How They’re Paying For It, Elizabeth Ford and Daniela Drake challenge traditional ideals and assumptions about love and marriage. They present a compelling case, arguing that mercenary marriages make the best sense for future happiness. Many girls don’t need persuading. Anna Nicole Smith, the subject of a recent opera at Covent Garden, claimed that age didn’t matter to her. In the National Enquirer in April 2006 she wrote ‘Age doesn’t matter, look at Ashton and Demi. Wow! Go Demi! Go Ashton! Go age difference!’ Smith had been 26 when she married the 89-year-old billionaire, J. Howard Marshall, in 1994. She reportedly never lived with him, and he died 13 months after the marriage. Of course if your billionaire isn’t old enough to be likely
Kath Walker illustration
Victor Hugo's funeral
to expire immediately, you can always (wait until he’s unfaithful and) divorce him. Victor Hugo was making an ironic point when he made the King (the Duke in the opera) describe himself as a poor student (un écolier, très pauvre), but Gilda takes him at face value and foolishly embraces the fashionable myth, forgetting that she’d be better off with a rich newspaper owner. Hugo did much to make it hard for the rich and famous, for the people in power, to ignore the position of the unfavoured and the destitute. The prostitutes of Paris appreciated the contribution he made to improving their social status, the general regard in which they were held. On the day of his extraordinary state funeral, June 1 1885, when he was taken through the streets of Paris – some said the crowds numbered two million - in the corbillard des pauvres (the simple hearse of the poor
people), as he had himself requested, there is an urban myth that the prostitutes all wore black and gave their services for nothing, their equivalent of a happy hour. Prostitution is an evil of all times and all societies, and we can’t congratulate ourselves on having cured it in our own. Today, human trafficking across national frontiers primarily involves buying women and children for prostitution, and has been described as the largest slave trade in history. The US Department of State estimates that there are more slaves in the world now than ever before, and that each year approximately 800,000 people are sold as slaves across national frontiers, about half of whom are minors and about 80% women or girls. This is discounting the large numbers sold as sexual slaves within their own countries. This trade in young prostitutes has become probably the fastest-growing criminal industry.
Verdi's iPod The era of the musical boxes took off around 1820 and spans the life of Verdi whose operas were frequently featured on these popular devices. Alison Biden is archivist of the Musical Box Society of Great Britain www.mbsgb.org.uk and owns a number of these bewitching boxes.
HOUGH THEY LIVED BEFORE THE AGE of the musical box, Handel, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven all wrote music specifically for mechanically operated instruments. Papageno in The Magic Flute plays something that sounds like a musical clock. A century later Puccini struggled to find an authentically oriental-sounding musical theme for Turandot and hit his target when he heard what was probably the Chinese Imperial Anthem on a friend’s musical box that was probably made for export to China. It all began in 1796 when a Swiss watchmaker, Antoine Favre patented a miniature device for producing music by means of plucked steel teeth which he had developed for the embellishment of watches and jewellery. It only took a few years after his patent for the principle to be adapted and developed into an ‘instrument’ consisting of tuned steel teeth first mounted individually then as a comb, plucked by thousands of minute wire pins in a revolving cylinder, the whole inside a wooden box. The whole concept itself is related to organs and clocks that played themselves by means of a programme of music ‘pinned’ or wired on a revolving barrel. Cylinder musical boxes were the result of hundreds of hours of painstaking precision work and began as a cottage industry based in Ste Croix and Geneva. Switzerland soon became the biggest producer. People would use musical boxes as an accompaniment to singing or dancing. To our ears, early boxes sound quiet but with their lids closed, standing on a good sounding box, itself on a wooden floor, the volume of many of the later boxes was more than adequate for the purpose.
Detail of mechanism in cylinder box
Opera was a popular source of music for boxes and the
relationship between musical boxes and opera became symbiotic, each fostering the success of the other. Music from the most popular operas became the ‘musthave’ box and familiarity with the music stimulated the demand for more performances and new works. Cylinder boxes typically play between two and twelve airs, depending on the size of the cylinder. Arias from operas were found in mixed collections but opera overtures often received special treatment in ‘overture’ boxes. These have wider diameter cylinders to hold the programme of notes needed for longer musical pieces, and often extra powerful and/or additional motors to drive them for a longer period. Sometimes referred to as ‘longue marche,’ a typical movement with four such motors could play for three to four hours non-stop! In order to transpose a piece to the musical box the arranger would take into account the fixed playing time of the revolution of the cylinder, and the limited number of notes on the musical comb. Once a tooth is plucked, it vibrates and produces the note. Although the vibrations can be stopped by using a damping mechanism, there is no method of altering the playing length of a note. Thus the ear and mind are tricked into hearing quavers, semi-quavers, etc. by the use of shortened lapses of time between the plucked notes; sustained notes require expression through invented runs and trills to fill in the time they would otherwise last. Although each tuner would have a standard comb as his own benchmark, there was no industry-wide standard and each box had its own particular character. Whilst some manufacturers are renowned for the exquisite tone, or the brightness of their combs, others are acclaimed for the fine quality of their musical arrangements. Although there were dozens of competing manufacturers, each making a variety of models with different tuning scales, they may well have shared (or possibly copied from each other) the more successful arrangements of tunes. Sometimes music would be chosen specifically to show off the skill of a manufacturer’s arranger.
A cylinder box
from the tenor until the last minute.
Musical box tunes show a distinct bias in favour of the ‘Italian’ style, and some of the composers who are highly popular today feature far less than one would expect. This may be because the music of a more Germanic style did not lend itself so well to musical box reproduction.
In 1887 Ellis Parr patented a musical disc and the decade 1895 – 1905 saw this new mechanism take the lead from the cylinder model. The biggest three manufacturers were the German Polyphon and Symphonion, and the American Regina mass–producing cheaper boxes with removable discs. You could build a collection of discs for your machine and ensure you always had the latest hit to impress your friends. Larger coin–operated machines were made for cafés, bars and dance halls. Both cylinder and disc boxes were produced in declining numbers to the outbreak of World War I when they were superseded by the gramophone. It took more than 60 years for something better to be invented. A dsic box
The repertoire found on boxes reflect changing musical tastes. Donizetti’s Belisario (1836) was ‘rediscovered’ after its overture, played on a musical box, was broadcast on a radio interview in the mid-1960s. The most popular tune, by far, on musical box cylinders and discs, is The Last Rose of Summer, from Flotow’s Martha (1847). The next most popular tune, though way behind, is Home Sweet Home. This is an example of musical ‘traffic’ flowing the other way. It was included in so many box programmes because of the success of a 1874 novel by Amy Catherine Walton Christie’s Old Organ, or Home, Sweet, Home. Her book was inspired by the tune (which comes from Henry Bishop’s 1823 opera Clari or The Maid of Milan) but it was only the popularity of her book that brought about the popularity of the tune.
Given his zealousness over performance rights, it would be surprising if Wagner did not receive some recompense for his music to appear on boxes. The Wedding March from Lohengrin is one of the 30 most popular tunes on boxes. Of the thousands of titles available on paper rolls for the 58 note Aeolian mechanically operated organ, Wagner’s music is by far the most common (172 titles). He demanded that Parsifal only be available as a boxed set of eight, rather than as individual rolls.
Boxes were dedicated to the works of a single composer. Bellini and Verdi were particular favourites. Half of all the instances of Verdi’s music on musical boxes is from Il Trovatore, with La Traviata accounting for much of the rest. There are 30 Verdi operas found on boxes. Beethoven succeeded in a law suit to be awarded 50% of the royalties of performances of his Wellington’s Victory or The Battle of Vitoria composed specifically to be performed by a mechanical orchestra, the Panharmonicon. The issue of copyright on musical boxes though is hazy. Verdi was so nervous that La donna e mobile would be in/on such a devise before the first night, that he kept it
T he L iebes t od
Supported by Malcolm Herring
T he L ove Pot ion
Supported by Stephen Gosztony & Sue Butcher
T he Tris t an chord
Supported by an anonymous donor
T he Prel ud e
Supported by Raymonde Jay
T he shepherd 's pipe
Conductor Supported by Caroline & Geoffrey de Jager
Tris t an's ha llucin at ion s
Supported by Anthony Boswood Supported by Charles Outhwaite
Hun t in g horn s
Supported by John & Carol Wates Sarah Field Mark Kesel Gillian Jones Dave Oxley Simon de Souza Graeme Boyd Daniel Serafini
DIRECTOR & DESIGNER Supported by Terence & Sian Sinclair
Wolfgang Goebbel LIGHTING DESIGN
eng lish chamber o rchestr a
T his production is very generous ly supported by
Op era i n 3 a ct s
Text by the composer based largely on the romance by Gottfried von Straßburg First performance Munich, 10 June 1865 Performances at Grange park on June 3, 11, 17, 22, 25, 30, July 3 Sung in German with surtitles by Jonathan Burton, by arrangement with the Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Ri cha rd Wa gn er 1813 - 1883
Tris ta n &I s o l d e Sa ilor
Kin g Ma rke of Cornwall
Supported by Roger & Kate Holmes
His nepħewTrista n Richard Berkeley-Steele An Irish Princess Her a t t enda nt
Bra n gä ne
Trist a n's serva nt
Helm sm a n
Supported by David McLellan
Tristan’s head is supported by an anonymous Wagner lover His body is supported by Mr & Mrs Grant Gordon His legs are supported by Peter & Fiona Espenhahn His tonsils are supported by Tom Brown
Isolde’s head supported by Samantha & Nabil Chartouni Isolde’s body supported anonymously Isolde’s legs supported by Judith Lawless & Kevin Egan
Supported by Francis & Nathalie Phillimore
Supported by Jeremy & Rosemary Farr
Andrew Rees Supported by Harvey McGregor QC
Supported by The North West Londoners
Supported by Tristan Wood & Sally Phillips
Th e chil d Trista n Christopher Gleed
Ireland has defeated Cornwall in war. The Irish prince Morold, his weapons blessed by the princess Isolde, travels to Cornwall to claim tribute from King Marke. His nephew, Tristan, kills Morold and sends his head (instead of the claimed tribute) to Ireland. But Tristan has been wounded and only Isolde, who had blessed Morold’s weapons, can heal him. Disguised as a minstrel, Tantris, he allows his boat to be swept onto the coast of Ireland. Isolde nurses him and is gripped by an unspoken love – even when she realises his identity. She knows she should kill him to avenge Ireland’s disgrace - but she cannot. She cures him and allows him to return home. Tristan was also seized by love for her. Some time later King Marke, whose own wife has died, is persuaded by his courtiers to claim Isolde as his wife, and Tristan is sent to Ireland to accompany her. Isolde is mortified that Tristan is doing this.
ACT 1 En route from Ireland to Cornwall ristan is captaining the vessel but has refused to speak to Isolde. His loyal Kurwenal mocks Isolde about the slaughter of Morold.
She tells Brangäne that Tristan has betrayed their love. Brangäne suggests they use a potion to re-ignite their love. It was amongst the remedies given to them by Isolde’s mother. Instead Isolde asks for a potion of death. Cornwall is in sight and Isolde sends a message to Tristan: she will only allow him to present her to King Marke if he first comes to see her. She asks Brangäne to prepare a death potion for them both; thus Tristan will pay for his betrayal of Isolde. Tristan explains his aloofness: ‘where I have lived, custom dictates that he who accompanies the bride home must keep his distance from her’. He senses the drink of ‘atonement’ is poisonous – but welcomes it. The two wait for the poison to take effect and they confess their love. Brangäne tells them that she substituted a love potion for the death potion and the lovers are oblivious to all else.
ACT 2 King Marke’s palace Isolde has arranged an assignation with Tristan while her husband is hunting. Brangäne warns Isolde that Melot, Tristan’s supposed friend, has laid a trap; during the night hunt King Marke will catch the lovers together. Brangäne won’t signal to Tristan that it is safe to approach. Isolde is impatient and does it herself. Isolde and Tristan are together and eagerly welcome the world of Night - the world of passion and ecstasy. The world of Day keeps them apart. Brangäne warns them to be careful. Kurwenal rushes in to warn them. King Marke interrupts the lovers. He is not angry but begs Tristan to explain and reminds Tristan that after the death of his first wife, it was Tristan himself who had urged him to re-marry and set about finding a worthy bride. Neither of the lovers will tell Marke about their past encounter and Tristan asks Isolde if she will follow him into the world of Night. Tristan challenges Melot and allows himself to be wounded so he might finally be released from the agony of Day.
ACT 3 Tristan’s family home in Brittany The wounded Tristan has been brought here by Kurwenal. He has sent for Isolde who alone can drag Tristan back from Night to Day. When the shepherd spots her boat he will change his soulful tune to a happier one. When Kurwenal tells Tristan that Isolde is on her way he is ecstatic. Tristan curses the potion that kept them both from death. The shepherd changes his tune. Tristan pulls off his bandages, calls her name and dies in her arms. Marke has been told the truth by Brangäne and arrives with Melot to forgive the lovers. Kurwenal mistakenly construes Marke’s approach as vengeful, kills Melot, and dies defending Tristan’s body. Marke laments the death all around him. Isolde describes the ascent of Tristan’s soul and the waves sweeping around her. Transfigured, she joins Tristan in death.
previous page: A cup of Water and a Rose c 1630 Francisco Zurbaran (1598 - 1664) following page: mainly Edward Bawden (1903 - 1989)
set by Wagner around the time of Tristan Act 2
Im Treibhaus (In the Hothouse) by Mathilde Wesendonck trans Uri Liebrecht
Crown of leaves arching high, Canopies of emerald, Children, come from distant parts, What is it that breaks your hearts? Silently your branches bow, Tracing symbols in the air, The mute witness to your suffering, A sweet fragrance rises there. Yearning with desire You stretch your arms out wide And, captive to delusion, hug Emptiness, the barren void. I know that well, poor plant, It is one fate we share; Though glowing light surrounds us, Our homeland lies elsewhere. And as, happily, the sun deserts The empty light of day, He who knows real anguish Finds, in the dark, a silent hideaway. The silence grows, a rustling web Fills the darkened space with dread: Along the edges of the leaves I see heavy droplets quiver.
from Symposium by Plato trans Benjamin Jowett
Once we were circular beings with four hands and four feet The primeval man was round, his back and sides forming a circle; and he had four hands and four feet, one head with two faces, looking opposite ways, set on a round neck and precisely alike; also four ears, two privy members, and the remainder to correspond. He could walk upright as men now do, backwards or forwards as he pleased, and he could also roll over and over at a great pace, turning on his four hands and four feet, eight in all, like tumblers going over and over with their legs in the air; this was when he wanted to run fast. The Gods thought us too powerful and dangerous like that, so they cut us in half (â€˜like sorbâ€“apples ripe for picklingâ€™) and, ever since, the halves have been rushing wildly about trying to find each other.
times Richard Wagner began his autobiography Mein Leben (My Life) in 1865, the month after the long–delayed première of Tristan & Isolde. It was the beginning of the torrent of words that have been published about him. In the sea of unedifying memories float bizarre themes of pets, interior decoration and lavish robes (for himself). As he dashed about Europe to escape creditors, he met up with the giants of the day.
22 MAY Wilhelm Richard Wagner born in Leipzig. His mother Johanna was the daughter of a baker and his legal father Carl Wagner a clerk in the police service. Carl died in November and Richard was promptly adopted by actor / playwright Ludwig Geyer who could have been his father 10 OCTOBER Verdi born to Luigia, a spinner, and Carlo, a landowner and innkeeper, near Parma. AUGUST 1814 Johanna marries Geyer and moves to his home in Dresden 1821 Geyer dies. 1822 Mother and sisters move to Prague but Richard stays in Dresden to continue his schooling paid for by Geyer’s brother
1833 Age 20 chorus master at Würzburg theatre 1834 Meets actress Wilhelmine (Minna) Planer 1836 Travels to Königsberg in search of work
and in November marries Minna who is performing there. Minna has a 10 year old daughter, Nathalie who thought for many years that her mother was her sister. Minna lived with Richard on and off for 28 years but they couldn’t have children. My Life Another fruitful source of irritation, which often led to the outbreak of violent quarrelling between us, was the arrangement of our future home . . . the economical ideas of my bride filled me with impatience. After a few months, Minna leaves him.
JUNE Wagner leaves Königsberg to escape creditors and alone makes his way to Riga to become music director of the opera OCTOBER Minna returns to the marriage My Life As we were still childless, and we were obliged as a rule to enlist the help of a dog in order to give life to the domestic hearth, we once lighted upon the eccentric idea of trying our luck with a young wolf which was brought into the house as a tiny cub . . . We gave him up after a few weeks.
1839 Sacked from position as conductor in Riga and flees creditors . Eventually sails with his wife
and Newfoundland dog Robber for London And then a most disturbing incident occurred - we missed Robber . . . Our distress . . . We kept constant watch at the window until, of a sudden, we joyfully recognised Robber strolling unconcernedly towards the house. Afterwards we learned that our truant had wandered as far as Oxford Street in search of adventures To Paris; meets Meyerbeer, Heine, and Robber is stolen My Life My exchequer was again in a sorry plight
Debts force Wagner into journalism. Meets Franz Liszt, (1811 – 1886) virtuoso pianist, composer and central figure of 19th century music. He championed the work of many composers including Wagner
1842 To Dresden where he is appointed conductor at court opera. Rienzi a success,
followed by Dutchman (1843) Tannhäuser (1845) Minna (1809 - 1866) in 1853 with their dog Peps
1845 Begins Meistersinger and Lohengrin 1846 Grant from Dresden opera authorities enables him to pay off debts.
Meets 16 year old Hans von Bülow who will figure large in his life
Begins libretto of Der Ring des Nibelungen Meets 18 year old Karl Ritter. Wagner’s debts were as famous as his music and Karl’s mother Julie started a fund with Jessie Laussot, wife of a Bordeaux wine merchant and mistress of Richard JUNE Delivers a speech aligning himself with the republicans against the monarchy
Wagner conducts the music of the future c 1870
1849 MAY A warrant is issued for his arrest and he 1853 Begins composing Rheingold. flees Dresden with wife, dog and parrot. First to Liszt in In Paris meets 16 year old Cosima, illegitimate daughter Weimar, then Paris, then Zürich. He stays in Switzerland for 12 years My Life Our two pets Peps (a dog) and Papo (a parrot) of course helped very much to increase the mutual understanding between myself and my wife. The failed German revolution stimulated emigration and over 10 years over a million people left Germany and settled in the United States.
1850 End of love affair with Jessie Laussot in Bordeaux returns to Minna in Zürich. Dire financial
straits AUGUST première of Lohengrin in Weimar under the baton of Liszt. Wagner still banned from Germany so not able to attend. He spent the evening with Minna My Life at the Schwan Inn watching the clock as the hands went round . . . I always felt somewhat distressed, uncomfortable and ill at ease whenever I tried to pass a few pleasant hours in the society of my wife
of Countess Marie d’Agoult and Franz Liszt
AUGUST Act 1 of Walküre. SEPTEMBER Finishes Rheingold and encounters the works of Schopenhauer. Sends him Nibelungun poem. My Life I was living in great retirement at this time, my sole relaxation being to take long walks and, as usual with me when hard at work at my music, I felt the longing to express myself in poetry. This must have been partly due to the serious mood created by Schopenhauer, which was trying to find ecstatic expression. It was some such mood that inspired the conception of a Tristan & Isolde. Karl Ritter had laid before me a sketch for the dramatic treatment of this subject. DECEMBER to Liszt Since I have never enjoyed in life the actual happiness of love, I want to erect another monument to this most beautiful of all dreams
1855 Spends 4 months in London to conduct for 1851 Given an annual allowance equivalent to half the Philharmonic Society during which I had the pleasure his Dresden salary by Julie Ritter. The arrangement of a fairly animated conversation with Queen Victoria continues for 8 years. Rigoletto première in Venice
Meets Otto Wesendonck whose considerable fortune has been made in a silk business in New York. Otto pays off Wagner’s creditors. Completes first version of poems for Walküre and Rheingold and reads all four poems to his Zürich friends.
and her Consort. Meets fellow pupil of von Bülow, Karl Klindworth whose adopted daughter Winifred would marry Wagner’s only son . . . and Berlioz was in town.
1856 Finishes Walküre. Begins Siegfried My Life A special tie between her [Minna] and our friends
[Wesendoncks] had been formed by the introduction of a very friendly little dog into our house, which had been obtained by the Wesendoncks as a successor to my good old Peps. He proved such a good and ingratiating animal that he soon gained my wife’s tender affection. . She invented, apparently as a pendant to Peps, the name Fips. . . I never was able to become so attached as to Peps and Papo.
Otto Wesendo nck reaching for his wallet
1857 APRIL Otto Wesendonck places a cottage on his new
estate at Wagner’s disposal and refurbishes it but there are delays. Wagner is typically ungrateful My Life I began to wonder whether it was worthwhile occupying this new piece of land at all At Easter he makes a rough sketch for Parsifal JUNE to Liszt I may safely assume that a thoroughly practicable work such as Tristan will be will soon bring in decent revenues and keep me afloat for a while
The cottage put at Wagners disposal by Otto Wesendonck
Otto & Mathilde's villa. Wagner and Mathilde would meet in the greenhou se
JULY Otto & Mathilde move into their villa . . . which had now been embellished by stucco-workers and upholsterers from Paris. At this point a new phase began in my relations with this family, which was not really important, but nevertheless exercised considerable influence on the outward conduct of my life. It seems Wagner spent so much time in the villa that the servants took instructions from him regarding meal times, heating, lighting. This displeased Otto and necessitated a certain measure of precaution in an intimacy which had now become exceedingly close. These precautions were occasionally the source of great amusement to the two parties who were in the secret. Finished Act 2 of Siegfried and sets aside his Ring for Tristan.
SEPTEMBER Hans & Cosima are married and spend part of honeymoon with Wagners. My Life We had a good deal of music together as in Bülow I had at last found the right man to play Klindworth’s atrocious arrangement of my Nibelungen scores
Completes first version of poem for Tristan & Isolde and gives it to Mathilde Wesendonck. OCTOBER Begins composing Tristan. NOVEMBER My Life I was interested in the expected crisis of the American money market . . . the consequences of which, during a few fatal weeks, threatened to enda nger the whole of my friend Wesendonck ’s fortune. . . my friend went away to make arrangements with various foreign bankers. The years immediately preceding were prosperous and many had taken risks with investments. As soon as market prices began to fall there was financial panic Begins Wesendonck Lieder for female voice and piano on Mathilde's poems Mathilde Wesendonck (1828 - 1902)
Der Engel (The Angel) Early in my days of childhood, Angels, I oft heard it said, Left the blissful joys of Heaven For the light of Earth instead. When its prayer at its most fervent Begs for nothing but release, Then the angel will come down to Raise it up to Heaven’s peace. Once an angel flew down to me; He, on wings that shimmer, soft, Leads me far away from suffering, Gently bears my soul aloft. DECEMBER 23 Performs Träume (one of the two Wesendonck songs subtitled ‘studies for Tristan und Isolde’) with chamber orchestra under Mathilde’s window for her birthday. He does the same for Cosima with Siegfried Idyll 13 years later
JANUARY Completes Tristan Act 1. Trip to Paris to try to secure copyright for Tannhäuser before it was performed. Met up with Berlioz who read him his text for Les Troyens MARCH to Cosima von Bülow I am now spending the mornings setting my misery to music, but now I have no one with whom to make fun of it – with my good wife that is simply not possible APRIL 3 Wagner sends Mathilde a pencil sketch for instrumention of prelude to Tristan . . . accompanied by a note in which I explained to her seriously and calmly the feeling that animated me at the time. My wife intercepted the letter and gave a vulgar interpretation to my words. Richard makes Minna promise to keep quiet. She doesn’t, and goes to Germany for a cure - with the parrot. Wagner hopes these troubles will blow over but Mathilde can no longer visit him APRIL 7 to Mathilde MORNING CONFESSION Just out of bed . . . And so it went on throughout the night. In the morning I regained my senses . . Love! My soul rejoices in this love which is the well-spring of my redemption. Then the day came, with its miserable weather, the pleasures of your garden were denied me . . . The Wesendoncks take a trip to Italy for several weeks MAY Wagner begins Tristan Act 2 At the end of May Minna returns for a few days to look after household matters My Life I noticed by her manner that she no longer attached any importance to the recent domestic upheaval; the view she took of the matter was that there had been a little ‘love affair’ which had been put straight. As she referred to this with a certain amount of unpleasant levity, I was obliged to explain that in consequence of her foolish conduct towards our neighbour the possibility of our remaining on the estate was a matter of the most serious doubt. He also told her he would no longer live with her. Minna returns to her cure and Richard works on Act 2 in glorious summer weather. JULY My Life I fetched my wife . . . During my absence my servant had thought fit to erect a kind of flowerbedecked triumphal arch to celebrate the return of the mistress of the house. She insisted on the decoration remaining up for several days. Mathilde hears about this and is devastated and they must obviously leave Asyl. My Life I wished myself in the most distant desert AUGUST 17 Minna accompanies Richard to the train My Life I never once looked back or shed a tear on taking leave of her. He meets up with Karl Ritter travels over the Simplon Pass and on to Venice – for the first time
My Life Karl lost his hat out of the carriage owing to an enthusiastic movement of delight; I thought that I must follow suit, so I too threw my hat out . . . the aspect of the gondolas quite shocked me . . . these peculiar vessels draped in black He moves into part of a Giustiniani palace My Life the grey-washed walls of my large room soon annoyed me, as they were so little suited to the ceiling which was covered with a fresco which I thought was rather tasteful. I decided to have the walls of the large room covered with hangings of a dark-red shade, . . here I would complete Tristan . . and wonderful Venice was to be attacked by music. Karl Ritter’s mother continues to provide financial support) and Karl listens to Tristan as it emerges. AUGUST Cosima von Bülow, unhappy in her marriage, asks Karl Ritter to help her drown herself in Lake Geneva SEPTEMBER to his wife Minna in Zwickau I am of course living in furnished accommodation. My landlord, who is Austrian, was delighted to house such a famous name. . . Give my regards to good old Fips and even that stupid parrot Mr Jacquot – do not stop loving me SEPTEMBER to Mathilde I hope to get better for your sake! [he has dysentery] To keep you for myself means the same to me as keeping myself alive for my art. To live with it - as a comfort for you - that is my task. Here shall Tristan be completed. And I shall return with it to see you, to console you, and to make you happy! Here shall you bleed to death, here shall your wounds be healed and closed. From here the world shall learn of the sublime and noble distress of supreme love, the lamentations of most sorrowful bliss. Sees Donati’s comet, has a carbuncle on his leg
1859 MARCH Tristan Act 2 is finished. Venice is in turmoil and he hastily departs. My Life It was now necessary to make new decisions . . . where I was going to compose the third act APRIL to Mathilde This Tristan is turning into something dreadful. That last act! I’m afraid the opera will be forbidden - unless the whole things is turned into a parody by bad productions. Completely good ones are bound to drive people crazy. Arrives in Lucerne. Makes several visits to Wesendoncks. Otto buys the copyright for Nibelungen EARLY AUGUST completes Tristan SEPTEMBER In Paris he finds a villa, spends a fortune on restoration and decoration and summons Minna (whom he hadn’t seen for a year), Fips and the parrot.
When Michael Thonet first introduced his bentwood chair in Vienna in 1859, little did he know that he had created what would become the first mass-produced chair in the world
Love affair with Cosima begins My Life I set out with Cosima alone for a drive in a fine carriage whose grey satin lining and cushions provided us with endless fun (though she is pregnant with Hans’ child). Wagner tries to have Tristan und Isolde produced in Vienna. Nobody would stage it so he wanted to mount a few concerts performing selections from my own works still unknown to the Viennese public. They needed copyists and Tausig mentioned Brahms [20 years Wagner’s junior] who, although he was so famous himself, would willingly take over a part . . . and a selection of Meistersinger was accordingly allotted to him. Brahms’ behaviour proved unassuming and goodnatured. A few years later Wagner wrote a tract berating Brahms – who did not respond
1863 Debts mounting. Moves to Penzing near Vienna. He hires a Viennese milliner Bertha Goldwag and
spends extravagantly on luxurious furnishings Acquires a dog called Pohl My Life one of the most affectionate and excellent animals that ever attached itself to me NOVEMBER Wagner visits Cosima and Hans in Berlin,
Prince Clemens Metternich was patron to Wagner and Thonet
1860 Meets Rossini in Paris OCTOBER Hans & Cosima’s first child Daniele is born. 1861 Political ban in Germany is lifted. Minna sends him leaves of the silver-spangled wreath . . . as a souvenir of their silver wedding day
Moves to Biebrich - briefly joined by Minna. Resumes work on Meistersinger. JULY Visits Minna in Dresden and final separation.
Hans von Bülow (1830–1894)
Thonet is regarded as one of the pioneers of industrial design
While Hans rehearses for his concert, Wagner and
Cosima take another carriage ride My Life We fell silent and all joking ceased. We gazed mutely into each other’s eyes and an intense longing for the fullest avowal of the truth forced us to a confession, requiring no words whatever, or the incommensurable misfortune that weighed upon us. With tears and sobs we sealed a vow to belong to each other alone. DECEMBER to his housekeeper Next Wednesday I shall be . . . arriving at Vienna North Station at eight o’clock. Franz is to collect me with the carriage . . . Now, my sweetheart, make sure the house is in good order . . . Everything must be neat and tidy and well-heated. Most important, see to my study . . . open the doors so that it gets nice and warm and spray it with perfume. Buy the best you can get. God, how I long to relax with you at long last. (The pink panties are ready, I hope??)
1864 MAY Flees Vienna (dressed in women’s clothes) pursued by creditors but saved from
APRIL Cosima and Richard have their first child Isolde MAY 15 The scheduled première of Tristan is delayed by bailiffs acting for Wagner’s creditors and a singer with a sore throat. MAY 28 Ludwig to Wagner You would cause me inexpressible happiness if you were to give me an account of your intellectual and spiritual development and of the external events of your life as well JUNE 10 At the National Theatre in Munich the première of Tristan is given – the first Wagner première in almost 15 years. It is conducted by Hans von Bülow (even though Wagner has run off with his wife) King Ludwig is present but his wife Duchess Sophie of Bavaria not allowed to attend out of moral considerations.
Ludwig II (1845 – 1886)
The model for Act 1 of Tristan (Ludwig II Museum, Chiemsee)
prison by the newly–crowned 18 year old Ludwig. Wagner is called to see him
JUNE Ludwig pays his debts, provides an income and Haus Pellet near Lake Starnberg. Cosima and the children visit and Hans arrives a week later by which time the two are lovers. Cosima conceives their first child Ludwig to Wagner The mean cares of everyday life I will banish from you forever. I will procure for you the peace you have longed for . . . Oh how I have looked forward to the time when I colud do this. I hardly dared indulge myself in the hope of being able to prove my love to you. OCTOBER Wagner moves to Munich and Cosima as good as moves in, calling herself his secretary. Hans and her children live in a nearby house.
The press are antagonistic. The indiscreet affair with Cosima has scandalized Munich and the court is suspicious of his influence on the king. JULY Begins dictating Mein Leben to Cosima DECEMBER Ludwig is forced to ask the composer to leave Munich for Switzerland
The model for Act 2
SEPTEMBER Ludwig lays the foundation stone for Neuschwanstein castle a temple of friendship for Wagner – who never stepped foot in it NOVEMBER to Charlotte Chaillon a dressmaker a firm order for a black satin costume that may be made up in various ways, so that it can be worn out of doors, with or without the cazavoika, and in the house, even as a negligée, producing a combination of several articles capable of complementing one another A cazavoika is a tight bodice and a skirt open from the waist downwards to reveal a decorative underskirt.
1866 JANUARY Minna dies in Dresden
MAY The Bülows visit Wagner separately and together at his new home Tribschen by Lake Lucerne. Cosima conceives their second child. Ludwig arrives, dressed as the knight Walther and offers to give up his throne and move in with Wagner.
1867 FEBRUARY 1 to Fräulein Goldwag [Instructions
for housecoats to be worn whilst finishing the Ring. One in pink satin and the other blue]. I need 12 yards, quilted with eiderdown and sewn in squares . . . lined with a lightweight white satin, and the width of the coat at the bottom had to be six lengths, i.e. very wide . . . a puffed ruche all the way round and the flounce must be particularly opulent and beautifully worked . . . a foot in width [with] three or four beautiful bows near the waist. The sleeves were to have puffed trimmings, opulent and there had to be a wide sash, ten feet long. Later that month, Cosima gives birth to Eva, their second child, but is living with Hans in Munich
1868 JUNE von Bülow conducts the première of Meistersinger in Munich
SEPTEMBER Cosima asks Hans for a divorce. She is again pregnant – with their only son, Siegfried NOVEMBER Cosima and her children move in Ludwig was officially notified and didn’t see Wagner for 8 years but continued to pay his bills
1870 In July Cosima’s divorce comes through and in August they marry 1871 NOVEMBER Lohengrin is performed in Bologna – the first Wagner opera in Italy. Verdi attended. It is conducted by Angelo Mariani who had refused to conduct the Cairo première of Aida and switched to the Wagner camp after falling out with Verdi over soprano Teresa Stolz.
1872 The theatre’s foundation stone laid at Bayreuth 1874JANUARY An order requesting something
graceful for evenings at home . . .The bodice will have a high collar, with a lace jabot and ribbons; close-fitting sleeves; the dress trimmed with puffed flounces - of the same satin material - no basque at the front (the dress must be very wide and have a train) but a rich bustle with a bow at the back, like the one at the front) . . . And so: richness of the material, width, ruches, flounces, bustles, ribbons - all to the good: but none of those basques attached by means of pins etc Ludwig agrees to pay for Bayreuth. Hans von Bülow attends the première of Verdi’s Requiem in Milan. He writes to his friends “Verdi, the omnipotent corruptor of artistic taste in Italy” and to the newspapers “Hans von Bülow did not attend the show . . . must not be counted among the foreigners gathered”
The Wagners hear the Requiem in Vienna. No comment.
The hall of mirrors at Chiemsee
AUGUST The guest list for the first performance at Bayreuth included Kaiser Wilhelm, King of Brazil, Nietzsche, Bruckner, Grieg, Tchaikovsky and Liszt. Verdi did not attend. Ludwig was still put out but attended the dress rehearsal. The festival was a financial disaster.
1878 Ludwig begins work on Chiemsee The cost of the bedchamber alone was more than the entire amount that Wagner received from Ludwig in their 19 year acquaintance.
1880 Wagner conducts the Parsifal prelude for Ludwig alone. It is their last meeting 1883 FEBRUARY 13 Venice Richard argues with Cosima about Carrie Pringle a flower maiden in Parsifal and dies of heart attack
1886 JUNE 13 Ludwig dies 1892 Von“aBülow makes a public apology to Verdi contrite sinner who wants to confess . .. Illustrious Master, I admire and love you” Cosima ran the Bayreuth festival until 1906. She died in 1930 age 92.
Richard & Cosima Wagner, May 9 1872, Vienna
Rusalka is generously supported by
LYRIC FAIRY TALE IN THREE ACTS Text by Jaroslav Kvapil after Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué’s Undine First performance National Theatre, Prague, 31 March 1901 Performances at Grange Park on June 15, 18, 23, 26, 28, July 2, 4
Th e m oon
is sponsored by Mr & Mrs Gerry Acher
Sung in Czech with surtitles
ANTONIN DVOR AK
RUSALKA A MERMAID
HER FATHER A MERMAN
His wedding banquet is supported by Stone, Vine & Sun His fish gutters are supported by John and Victoria Salkeld
LIGHTING DESIGN JEZIBABA A WITCH
Supported by Tom Busher & Elizabeth Benson
MOVEMENT A FOREIGN PRINCESS
Supported by David & Amanda Leathers
ASSOCIATE COSTUME DESIGN THE GAMEKEEPER
A KITCHEN HAND
Martin Collins Paul Chantry Pere Bodi Perez Jamie Sutton James McNamara Bethany Ramsey Victoria Rogers Katherine Kingston
Supported by Mr & Mrs Richard Morse
DIRECTOR & DESIGNER
e ng lish chamber o rch estr a
Supported by Cameron & Heike Munro
Conductor Supported by Caroline & Geoffrey de Jager
THREE SINGING NYMPHS
Supported by Francois Freyeisen & Shunichi Kubo
Supported by Timothy & Christina Benn
Belinda Williams Karina Lucas THREE DANCING NYMPHS
Supported by Rosie Faunch
Supported by an anonymous donor
Supported by Tessa & John Manser
Rusalka inhabits a pond deep in the woods. A prince, in pursuit of an elusive white doe, has sensed a mysterious attraction and often bathes in Rusalka’s pool. She is in love with him and asks the witch Jezibaba to give her a human body – but without the power of speech. The prince and Rusalka fall in love. At their wedding celebrations the prince is seduced by a Foreign Princess and betrays Rusalka.
At the lakeside, nymphs play childish games. Rusalka once played happily with them watched over by her benign father – a Merman. But Rusalka is no longer happy. She has fallen desperately in love with a young Prince who swims in the lake She longs to leave the water, to become visible, to acquire human form and feeling. Rusalka confesses her secret to the Merman. He tries to warn her but realises that nothing can hold her back. He tells her that Jezibaba, the witch, can perform the necessary spell to transform her into a woman. Jezibaba agrees, but the price and conditions are severe. Rusalka will have all the attributes of womanhood except speech. She will be dumb to all other humans. Furthermore, if she is rejected by her lover, then she will be an outcast – forever caught between earth and water – and her lover will be condemned to eternal damnation. Rusalka blindly accepts everything and, once the spell is pronounced, prepares to meet the Prince. Once again, a mysterious and elusive white doe has drawn the Prince to the lakeside. He dismisses his huntsmen, and waits by the water’s edge. Rusalka appears and, although she cannot speak, he is confident that his love will conquer all difficulties. He leads her to his palace. MAIN INTERVAL 70 minutes ACT TWO
At the palace, preparations are underway for the wedding feast. The kitchen hand and gamekeeper fear the Prince has been bewitched by his silent and mysterious bride. They gossip about the ‘real’ princess visiting the palace:
previous page Luca Pignatelli (b 1962) opposite Craigevar Castle 1972, Edward Bawden (1903–1989)
she may rescue him from this unsuitable marriage. The prince is indeed already growing weary of Rusalka’s silence and timidity. The Princess loses no opportunity to emphasise Rusalka’s lack of savoir faire, and as the party progresses the Prince spends more and more time in her company. Ignored and humiliated, Rusalka seeks the Merman’s help. He urges her to persist with the Prince, who is now openly courting the Princess. When Rusalka attempts to come between them, the Prince brutally rejects her. Now the conditions of Jezibaba’s spell begin to do their work . SECOND SHORT INTERVAL 30 minutes ACT THREE
Rusalka returns to the lake, desperate for its dark oblivion, but her sisters reject her. She is now an outcast from land and water – a wandering spirit. Jezibaba tells her that she could redeem herself by murdering the Prince; Rusalka cannot bring herself to do this. The gamekeeper and the kitchen hand also seek out Jezibaba to ask for a spell to heal the Prince, who since Rusalka’s departure, has fallen into a sickness. At the suggestion that the blame lies with Rusalka, the Merman appears and denounces the dishonesty of mankind. The nymphs return to play beside the lake and he warns them of Rusalka’s fate. The Prince is inexorably drawn back to the lake in search of Rusalka. He begs her to kiss him and bring him peace even though the kiss of a spirit is fatal to a mortal. Thus she is assured of his love but even this cannot wipe from her heart the memory that her first love was betrayed.
rp Richard Sha onsored by sp is e en sc th Rusalka's ba
Dvorák wrote Rusalka near the end of his life, after returning home from the New World. Fiona Maddocks, music critic of The Observer, draws on recollections of those who knew him at the time he worked on his operatic masterpiece N MAY 1883, ANTONIN DVORÁK escaped his desk– bound existence in New York, where he was the well-paid but reluctant head of the National Conservatory of Music, to set off on a long summer excursion. By now in his early fifties, he had begun to find the struggle to balance his various lives, creative, administrative and familial, all too taxing. A break was needed. Together with his beloved wife Anna, their six children, an aunt and a cook, he travelled by steam train from the Grand Central Depot at 42nd Street and Park Avenue, via the Chicago World Fair where he met up with some fellow musicians, eventually reaching his final destination in early June: Spillville, Iowa. This tiny Czech-speaking farming community, set in rolling hill country, would be the Dvoráks’ home for the summer. A man of simple, keen faith, the composer immediately felt at ease. The village, in fact founded and named after a German, Joseph Spielman in 1849, had its own Czech Catholic church of St Wenceslaus, built by immigrants in the 1850s and the oldest of its kind in America. The awakening of nationalism across Europe, the Revolutions of 1848, the ongoing struggle against German-speaking Habsburg oppression and the painful fight for a Czech-language revival – brutally to summarise a large chapter in 19th–century history was epitomised in this small rural corner of the American Midwest. No wonder Dvorák, whose entire musical personality was bound up in his Czech identity, should be attracted to the place, so far from his homeland yet so close in spirit. He frequently played the pipe-organ at Mass in St Wenceslaus during that summer sojourn, thereby putting this unprepossessing building on the cultural map. The family stayed in an ordinary, square brick house on the main street, preserved today as a little museum containing one of the composer’s letters and an old pipe. Relieved of the pressures of New York, Dvorák wrote a handful of works including his popular American Quartet. He also put finishing touches to his Symphony No 9 ‘From the New World’.
That winter, these two masterpieces were performed at New York’s new Carnegie Hall, which had opened a couple of years earlier thanks to the great Scottish-born industrialist and philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. By now Dvorák was at the peak of his career, increasingly recognized in the Old World as well as the New. Yet acute homesickness had set in. The longing for the Bohemia of his boyhood, whose forests and rivers, folk songs and dance rhythms, had shaped so much of his music, proved overwhelming. In addition, he had money worries following a financial crisis at the Conservatory. He was anxious about educating his children. On 16 April 1895 this sturdy, stocky son of an innkeeper and butcher, left his Manhattan house on East 17th Street and set sail for home. A sculptor friend of Dvorák’s left a full-hearted, touching description of this blunt, serious but loving man: “Engraved in my mind there remains, like an impression in bronze, the likeness of the great artist and his whole way of speaking. The short, broad skull, the low furrowed forehead, the eyes deep-set and luminous beneath thick black brows, the somewhat prominent cheek bones, the reddish blunttipped nose and a lively mouth even when not speaking. The whole complexion very dark, a bristling moustache and a close-cut full beard, hair thin on the top but elsewhere a thick mane... Notwithstanding the flashing of the eyes, which at times look searchingly, almost mistrustingly, at times with the open gaze of a child, and notwithstanding the mobility of the lips, Dvorák’s face had always a certain dreaminess and even meditativeness of expression. He looked as a rule very serious, rarely did he laugh. Nor did he often joke himself though he was amused by the jokes of others.” * Dvorák’s conversation seems to have been far from fluent and somewhat awkward. The description continues: “During a conversation about a certain subject, he would suddenly start talking about something quite different, his mind fully occupied with it. And sometimes, in the middle of a conversation, he would turn on his heel with a greeting, or even without, and be gone. And he would maybe return in a few days ‘to finish what we were talking about’. That was all due to the music in him. He thought, for the most part,
*Letters and Reminiscences, ed Otakar Sourek, trans R F Samsour/Prague 1954
not in words, but in tone. It was almost to be seen in his eyes and face, a constant boiling and gushing up of the geyser of sound in these innumerable melodic combinations which form the substance of his work.” It hardly seems surprising, in the light of this account, that Dvorák should want to leave America and hasten back to more familiar terrain. He had gone, in part, to explore that continent’s native folk-music, readily audible in the music he wrote during his time there. After three years, there was nothing else to detain him. Back home, after a restful break in the rural retreat of Vysoka and nearby Lake Rusalka – when it seems he spent much time breeding wood-pigeons – he returned to work with renewed energy. As ever, he steeped himself in local folk legend: two string quartets and three symphonic works (The Water Goblin, The Golden Spinning Wheel and The Noonday Witch) soon resulted.
His preferred habit was to work in the morning, before pursuing other pleasures and hobbies. As his son, Otakar, later recalled, his father enjoyed physical activity: “Something that is perhaps quite unknown to the general public is that Father was very keen on gymnastics which first consisted in taking a chair and doing arm exercises with it. Later he got himself dumb bells and excercised with them early in the morning. He was also something of a sportsman. His sport was skittles. . . ” Soon Dvorák was back at his former teaching post at the Prague Conservatoire, welcomed as a returning celebrity. He and his friend Brahms shared the Director’s box for the successful Vienna premiere of the ‘New World’ Symphony. Blandishments from his old employer at the New York Conservatory (the rich American patron, Mrs Jeanette Thurber) held little charm: he had no intention of budging from his fatherland. Even Brahms, who tried to persuade him to settle to Vienna, had
insufficient persuasive powers. In 1899 Dvorák had great success with his folk-fairy tale opera The Devil and Kate, premiered in Prague in 1899. Soon he was hunting for another operatic subject. He came upon one by chance. A young poet, 31-year old Jaroslav Kvapil, had written a libretto inspired by Fouqué’s Undine and Hans Andersen’s Little Mermaid. Various lesser composers had rejected it but when Dvorák was shown the text, he fell upon it. This was to become his greatest opera, Rusalka. “I received my inspiration in the land of Andersen, on the island of Bornholm, where I was spending my holidays,” he once said. He began work on the first act in the spring of 1900, causing his librettist uncommonly little trouble. Of how many composers can that be said? As Kvapil recorded: “Dvorák accepted my text as it was written and I only had to insert something new into the first act: Rusalka’s Song ‘Wisdom of Ages: at the feet of the old Witch’ [...] At this time Dvorák often came to see me; he would come not seldom after seven o’clock in the morning, in fact sometimes he had to get somebody to call me, and then he was already on his way back from the morning round of the Prague railway-stations where he went to look at the locomotives. Usually he would begin to speak about anything and everything but his opera: either about the engines he had just been inspecting, or about pigeons - in short, about everything possible that had nothing to do with the libretto. Then he would forget why he had come, light the stump of his cigar and, without warning, went as he had come without having come to the point.” Despite his Catholicism, Dvorák had some decidedly puritanical tendencies. His only objection to the text related to an oath yelled out by the mad Prince in Act 3: ‘…on Heaven and Earth I lay my curse, I curse both god and spirits all, Answer then, answer now my call!’ This did not
please the God-fearing Dvorák. Kvapil wrote: “He said to me: ‘Listen, I am a believer. I can’t curse God in my music.’ And I had to go into a long explanation that the libretto does not in any way force him to do that and that ‘to curse god’ is not to curse the Lord God. He allowed himself to be persuaded and composed to the words as I had written them.” By November 1900, Rusalka was finished. Dvorák was nearly 60 years old. The National Theatre honoured him with a fine, lavish production. The premiere took place, with great celebration, on 31 March 1901. It was a huge success. An admiring Mahler requested permission to conduct it at the Vienna Hofoper - though in the event that never came about. Kvapil, meantime, had become literary adviser to the National Theatre: “First thing in the morning after the premiere, Dvorák called in to see us at the Theatre office in the best of moods. Straight away on seeing me, he calls out: ‘And now, quick, quick, a new libretto!’. I reply: ‘I haven’t any, Master.’ And he: ‘Then write something quick as long as I feel like it and a nice role for Maurova.’ I promised. Yes, I promised. But I did not keep my word.” In an interview near the end of his life, on 1 March 1904, Dvorák said: “In the last five years I have written nothing but opera. I wanted to devote all my powers, as long as God gives me health, to the creation of opera. Not, nowhere, out of any vain desire for glory but because I consider opera the most suitable form for the nation. The music is listened to by the broad masses, whereas when I compose a symphony I might have to wait years for it to be performed.” As ever, his nation, his people, his Czech fatherland were all that mattered. A few weeks later, he caught a chill pursuing his old passion: looking at trains. How he would have enjoyed the Grange’s own model railway built into the floor of the auditorium. On May Day, when according to old Czech folk tradition witches leave their lairs and fairies roam the land, following a heart attack Antonin Dvorák died.
Goddesses, devils, temptresses, innocents: sea nymphs have captured – and broken – men’s hearts since the beginning of time. But they themselves rarely get off lightly . . .. Charlotte Higgins is the art's correspondent of The Guardian and author of Latin Love Lessons: Put a Little Ovid in Your Life.
S WESTERN LITERATURE takes its very first breaths, so water nymphs are already splashing around seas and riverbeds. Hesiod is, arguably, the oldest Greek poet; his work Theogony, probably dating from the late 8th century BC, tells the story of the origins of the gods – including “the three thousand graceful–ankled Oceanids”, (that is, daughters of Ocean) who “haunt the earth and the depths of the waters everywhere alike, shining goddess children.” And Nereus, the old man of the sea, we are told, was the father of “numerous goddess–children in the undraining sea”. One of these goddess–children was Thetis, who is more than a bit–part player in later literature. For she is the mother of Achilles in the Iliad (and played by a luminous Julie Christie in the rather absurd film Troy). The backstory, how she came to be the mother of a mortal man, is that she fell in love with Peleus, one of the company of heroes who set out with Jason in search of the Golden Fleece. The lightning–flash of love at first sight was conjured up centuries later by the Roman poet Catullus, in his poem often called The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis: he describes how the Nereids bob curiously around the Argo
– the first–ever ship – breasts sexily exposed above the grey–white foam. Some versions of the myth tell how Peleus, in order to win her, had to grab hold of her firmly, as she changed her shape, quick as you like: snake one minute, lion the next. But he got her in the end. Back to the Iliad: when Achilles is dishonoured by the Greek commander–in–chief Agamemnon (provoking the “wrath” which is the motor of the story), he prays to his mother Thetis for revenge, and he gets it: destruction is rained down upon the other Greeks while he sulks in his tent. The hero only rejoins the fighting when his beloved companion Patroclus has been killed. In his overwhelming, immense grief, he cries out and, far away on the ocean bed his mother hears him and weeps in turn: for she knows that soon he will die, too. It’s the awful pain of the love of an immortal for a mortal: a theme that will, in different ways, resurface throughout the history of water nymphs and their dealings with men. These Nereids could be a help in a crisis, if they take a shine to you: in the Odyssey, a sea–nymph disguised as a shearwater gives the hero help when a storm, sent by the vengeful god Poseidon, threatens to kill him. But he also very nearly comes a cropper in his encounter with Scylla, a multi–headed monster who snatches passing sailors and eats them alive. In Ovid’s Metmorphoses, Scylla had once been
a pretty girl, a favourite friend of the sea–nymphs, particularly of Galatea, who tells her her story: she was caught in a love triangle with the beautiful Acis, whom she loved, and the grotesque Cyclops Polyphemus, who loved her: the monster’s comically galumphing love song was reimagined by John Gay in the 18th century and set to music by Handel by way of the famous aria “O ruddier than the cherry”. This pretty pastoral ends badly when Polyphemus kills Acis with a rock he hurls: but Galatea turns him into a river–god.
fisherfolk living beside a great lake. One day a handsome knight, Huldbrand, appears in this out–of–the–way spot. He has forged his way through the terrifying forest – where who–knows–what wraiths and spirits lurk – that separates the lake from the city; a challenge, it turns out, from Bertalda, the woman who has been courting him. Floods conspire to cut him off and force him to remain at the fisherman’s cottage. This is no great hardship, for he is fascinated by Undine. She is a peculiar creature, wilful, somehow childlike, but compelling.
It takes the Christian world to make water–nymphs demonic. The French 14th–century Histoire de Mélusine, by Jean d’Arras, tells of the eponymous nymph, guardian of a fountain. One day a young nobleman, Raymond, appeared and the two fell in love. Mélusine agreed to marry him on condition he never saw her on a Saturday; he agreed. She brought him great success: towns, great monuments, churches were built literally overnight, as if by magic. They had 10 children, each with a curious deformity: one had a lion’s foot growing from his cheek; another a red eye. But what did Mélusine do Saturdays? One day Raymond squinted through a crack in her door, and spied her in her bath. From the waist down, he was horrified to see, she had a serpent’s tail. Raymond later revealed he had broken his promise to her and Mélusine turned into a 15ft serpent and flew away. This is fertile material for A S Byatt in her novel Possession, in which her 19th–century poet, Christabel LaMotte, writes an epic based on the legend. Christabel remarks that Mélusine has “two aspects — an Unnatural Monster — and a most proud and loving and handy woman”. For her, Mélusine is a metaphor for the woman artist. Just don’t disturb her on a Saturday.
Fortuitously, a priest also appears at the cottage, by sheer coincidence (or is it?) carried by the floods to the cottage where the fisherman’s family and guest are sitting out the bad weather. What could be better? The couple are married. The next morning, Undine is, oddly, rather different: calmer, less skittish and thoughtless, more attentive to her parents and new husband. That evening, she told Huldbrand a story.
A S Byatt, who leaves codes and clues in her characters’ names, is doubtless recalling, in her Christabel, the German writer Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué (1777–1843). His story Undine is perhaps the ultimate nymph–meets– boy story, and one of the great literary achievements of the Hochromantik (High Romanticism). The story concerns the curious girl Undine, the child of humble
“You should know, my love, that there are living creatures among the elements that look quite like mortals but are seldom seen by them. Wondrous salamanders glitter and play in the flames, withered, bad–tempered gnomes live deep in the earth; treefolk who belong to the air inhabit the forests; a multitude of water spirits reside in the lakes and rivers and streams… Many a fisherman has been lucky enough to overhear a mermaid as she rose above the tide to sing. The creatures’ beauty became known far and wide and the people gave them the name Undines. And, indeed, you have a true Undine before you now, dear friend.” (translation: Carol Tully) When Undines die, they simply cease to be. But by marrying her, Huldbrand has given her something she longs for – an immortal soul. It is, specifically, the wedding night deflowering that transforms Undine from wild “child of nature” into the calm, collected, fully moral woman of her married life. But the happily–ever–after does not quite pan out. The couple return to the city, enduring some disquieting
appearances from the strange Kühleborn, Undine’s uncle, a powerful spirit of the sea. There they meet Bertalda, who comes to live with them in Huldbrand’s castle. This is a bad idea. Something seems to change in Huldbrand, and he and Bertalda gradually fall in love, though at times he seems caught between love for the two women. Undine is very sad but remarkably patient. Continued appearances from members of her watery family – who seem to threaten ill–will to her faithless husband and Bertalda – lead her to seal up the well in the castle. But one day Huldbrand makes a fateful error: he flies into a rage with Undine as the three of them are sailing down the river towards Vienna. Undine slips away into the waves, but not before unhappily warning Huldbrand to stay true to her, or else expect terrible consequences. So much for her warning. After a time, Huldbrand and Bertalda decide to marry, and on the night of the wedding feast Bertalda, mistress of the castle at last, orders the great stone to be rolled away from the wellhead. Undine appears from it and makes her way to Huldbrand’s chamber, where she kisses him. He dies bathed in her tears, she having become the unwilling, vengeance– seeking instrument of her elemental family. Undine was hugely popular when it was published. E T A Hoffmann, more famous for his own fairytales than for his music, wrote an opera based on the story, which was given its premiere in 1816. In 1843 Jules Perrot created a ballet on the tale for Fanny Cerrito. With an ethereal spirit–girl at its heart, Undine was ideal for romantic–balletic treatment – a form so very much at home with Sylphs and Wilis and other such supernatural, wispy, flyaway creatures. In 1958 Frederick Ashton made his last three–act ballet, for Margot Fonteyn and with a score by Hans Werner Henze: it was called Ondine. When Henze met Ashton on the Italian island of Ischia to plan the work, he read Fouqué’s Undine on the beach; every day the book got sandier and saltier. Undine was the book Wagner was reading when he died, no stranger he to the curious nature of water–nymphs: what else are the Rhinemaidens? With their mischievous flirtatiousness
they are perfectly in line with tradition. Talking of tradition, Europe abounds with local water– nymphs in all manner of guises. There are the German and Polish nixes, who, beware, might tempt you into a pond or lake, where you’ll surely drown. In Scotland, your heart and lungs might be ripped out by an unfriendly river–demon. In Yorkshire, Jenny Greenteeth or Peg–o’– the–Well will drown any child who approaches too near. From the Shetlands, comes the tale of the man who saw a group of mermaids and mermen dancing one night. As he approached, they each picked up a sealskin and with it plunged into the sea. But the man quickly grabbed one too, and hid it. Going back to the shore, he met a beautiful young woman. She implored him to return her sealskin. He refused – but offered her shelter as his wife. She stayed with him, reluctantly, and bore his children – until one day she found her sealskin and dived right back into the sea, never to be seen again, not caring a hoot for her children. She wanted her freedom. The libretto of Dvorák’s Rusalka (premiered in 1901), is by Jaroslav Kvapil, based on fairytales by Jaromir Erben and Božena Nemcová. The story not only draws on La Motte Fouqué’s novella, but also Hans Christian Andersen’s disturbing tale The Little Mermaid. Throughout her childhood, the Little Mermaid has longed to swim to the surface of the sea. When she does so, on her 15th birthday, she spies a beautiful young prince and falls in love with him. If he loves her back, she might be rewarded with an immortal soul, she is told. She saves his life when his ship is wrecked, and lovingly conveys him to the seashore, slipping back into the waves as soon as she has delivered him. He regains consciousness in the arms not of the Little Mermaid, but of a passing human girl. The Little Mermaid is obsessed by longing. One day she visits a witch, who promises to help her – at the ghastly price of her beautiful voice. She swims to the shore and swallows the witch’s potion. All at once she feels a terrible pain as if a sword were going through her. She falls into a dead faint. When she wakes she has two beautiful legs – but with every step she takes it is as if she is treading
By the sea 1957 Alexander Deineka (1899–1969)
on sharp knives. She meets the prince, who is so fond of her he lets her sleep on a cushion outside his door; but because she is now dumb, she can neither declare her love nor explain that she is the one who saved his life. The prince is to be married – reluctantly, for he is so very fond of the Little Mermaid – but when he sees his bride–to–be, the reluctance falls away, for she is none other than the girl in whose arms he woke up after his near–drowning, and the woman to whom he feels he owes his life. On the night of the wedding, the Little Mermaid’s sisters appear above the water’s surface. They have cut off their beautiful hair and given it to the witch, in return for a way
of helping their sister. All she must do is kill the prince with the knife they have brought, and she can become a Mermaid again. But she cannot do it: she throws herself despairingly into the sea, and is transformed into a spirit of the air. The story is wretchedly dark: full of deep longing for transformation and acceptance; throbbing with a sense of loathing of self, of an inability to communicate one’s true desires. Sea nymphs seem never quite content with their own watery element. They want more: they hanker after humanity. And humanity – the fall from that blissfully pre–lapsarian state as “children of nature” – brings them nothing but terrible pain.
‘Musical compositions, it should be remembered, do not inhabit certain countries, certain museums, like paintings and statues. The Mozart Quintet is not shut up in Salzburg: I have it in my pocket.’ Henri Rabaud USICAL COMPOSITIONS may not inhabit certain countries, but in our minds they can become associated with certain countries. Verdi was associated with the Risorgimento, the 19th century unification of the Italian states into a single country, and was a deputy in the new country’s first parliament; Wagner was Hitler’s favourite composer. Mussorgsky and Stravinsky have shared harmonic and rhythmic habits which strike us as particularly Russian, and we think of Smetana and Dvorák as embodying the spirit of Czech music; very obviously when they cause an imaginary Moldau to inundate our concert halls, and perhaps even when they are writing symphonies using tunes derived from Negro spirituals. Is this more than a tendency for composers with the same background, ethnic and musical, to develop a common musical language, or is there something truly Czech about the music of Smetana and Dvorák, and something truly English about that of Butterworth, Delius and Vaughan Williams, something which they share maybe with great English composers from another age, like Purcell or William Byrd?
If we look at folk song, at the music of the people, we may find a hint at an answer. We may find that different peoples develop particular musical habits and styles, which themselves have come to influence art music. There are two obvious ethnic influences on folk song: the traditional activities of the people, and the inflections of the language itself. Both may affect the humble people’s perception of important features of music, like rhythm or the way a melody may unfold. Some folk songs are clearly designed to lighten the monotony of repetitive operations, planting, weeding, reaping, threshing, weaving, milling, spinning: the Song of the Volga Boatmen must have both made life more agreeable for the men hauling barges over the portages of the Volga, and, most important, made it easier for them to heave together: Ey, ukhnem! Ey, ukhnem! Yeshcho razik, yeshcho da raz! Ey, ukhnem! Ey, ukhnem! Yeshcho razik, yeshcho da raz
Volga Boatmen c1870 Ilia Efimovich Repin (1844–1930)
Detail from wallpaper Vues du BrĂŠsil designed by Deltil for Zuber and first issued in 1830 The scenes are taken from J M Rugendas' Voyage pittoresque dans le BrĂŠsil 1827 The complete paper, in 30 pieces cost 60 francs in 1831
In the same way rowing songs can cause all to pull together, and the songs of football crowds can enable astonishing feats of simultaneous clapping, precise to thousandths of a second. Other creatures adjust to each other by more mysterious means: fireflies brought together start quickly to flash in unison, and women living communally soon come to synchronize their menstrual cycles, without recourse to folk song. Man in his primitive state will have heard the sounds of nature, the cries of animals, thunder, running water, the noise of the wind in the forest trees, or the rhythmic scrape of waves on the shore. Even before he evolved articulate speech he will have wanted to make sounds himself, just as a baby gurgles to itself in its cot. One learned musicologist tells us that man’s early songs must have derived from three essential elements: the undefined descending scale of the howl or wail, the emotional raising of the voice in anger or protest, characterized by upward leaps of a fourth or fifth, and rhythmic elements, often very short and endlesslyrepeated, such as we associate with the dancing songs of the peoples of Eastern Europe. Harmony played no part in them, nor does it much in evolved folk song, which has been described as the musical equivalent of the primitive ballad, passed on by oral tradition, not associated with any individual composer, but adapted and developed by each performer as he pleases. Music and songs must have had important functions in primitive societies. They added zest to communal celebrations. They alleviated the tedium of work. They sent the children to sleep and the warriors to war, raising the spirits of the faint-hearted to prepare them for the unpleasantness of battle. Military bands perform much the same function in civilized societies today. Folk music is essentially rural and lacks the complications of advanced urban music: complexities of harmony, counterpoint, and developed forms, like sonata form. In 1904, Bela Bartok overheard an 18-year-old nanny from Chibed in Transylvania singing to her children. The encounter led famously to Bartok’s enormous study of folk song, which took him with his wax cylinders round peasant communities in Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Transylvania and other parts of Eastern Europe whose names would tax the geographical knowledge of most educated Englishmen. He felt he had found in this elemental music something essentially of the people, something which gypsy music,
often associated in the public mind, largely thanks to Liszt, as characteristically Hungarian, clearly lacked. The music of the peasants, was, for instance, predominantly pentatonic; that's to say it divided the octave into five notes, rather than art music's traditional seven. Music historians regard pentatonic music as, in some way, fundamental and common to most humanity, being used very widely across the globe, from Ireland to the Andes. It is used in the Negro spiritual, in Gospel music, in some Red Indian chants, and in Sami Joik singing. It is the scale of the Highland bagpipe, and of Polish highlanders from the Tatra Mountains. Not surprisingly Bartok went to Africa, and attended the Cairo Conference of Arab Folk Music in 1932. The prostitutes were the only women allowed to sing to him in Algeria, and his poor health must have been severely tried by the obligation he felt to accept local hospitality. He speaks feelingly of coffee made from water taken from 'the only stream off Sidi Okba, in which ducks swam, women did their laundry, and little Arab boys and girls played...The coffee was delicious.' Bartok found that folk music freed him from tonal and rhythmic conventions, in a way which sounds more important to him than any national flavour it imparted to his music. Wagner said he had chosen myth as the subject for his operas because he saw it as a folk idiom, passed on through the people by oral tradition. It enshrined, he thought, in some way, the wisdom of the German people, das Volk, their reaction to their collective fears and joys. By writing a massive four-part work in which power to dominate the world springs from forging into a ring the gold found in the depths of the Rhine, the main economic artery of Germany, he was understandably taken to be producing a blueprint for German Imperialism. None of this would have mattered much had the music been trivial or second-rate. We shouldn’t be surprised then that other European composers went to their own folk music to discover what was typical in their own culture, and it is ironic that when they got there they should often have found things which were supranational, common to mankind almost the world over, rather than attributes of the men confined within their national terrestrial boundaries. The folk-song movement sought more than to research national musical roots. Dvorák, often regarded as an archetypally Czech composer, was quick to study Negro
and Red Indian music when he went to America. In 1893, a newspaper interview quoted Dvorák as saying ‘I found that the music of the Negroes and of the Indians was practically identical . . . the music of the two races bore a remarkable similarity to the music of Scotland.’ He was probably referring to the pentatonic scale. The New World Symphony and American Quartet give ample evidence of the attraction of the Negro spiritual for him. He declared Go Down Moses to be ‘as great a tune as any Beethoven wrote’. White America was not impressed. The critic Philip Hale of the Boston Journal traduced Dvorák as a Negrophile, and wrote that ‘the plantation melodies contaminated the high art of this new symphony.’ Dvorák had found that the spirituals homesickness mirrored his own, and he was attracted also by their combination of catchiness, earthiness and religious fervour, this last an element he had never found in Bohemian folk music. After the American Civil War the received wisdom even among abolitionist and unionist circles was that red and blackskinned human beings were innately inferior, that the races had evolved at different rates and even belonged to different species: for Bostonians of that time blacks were irredeemably lesser beings. For instance, William F. Apthorp in his review in the Boston Transcript wrote: The great bane of the present Slavic and Scandinavian schools is and has been the attempt to make civilized music by civilized methods out of essentially barbaric material. The result has in general been a mere apotheosis of ugliness, distorted forms and barbarous expression. . . Our American Negro music has every element of barbarism to be found in the Slavic or Scandinavian folk songs; it is essentially barbarous music. What is more, it sounds terribly like any other barbarous music . . . This Apthorp writes as though he thinks folk music the world over sounds the same, and that music should move forward in a process of continuous development and improvement. He clearly regarded the folk song movement as a snake rather than a ladder. He should perhaps have stayed seated on his thunder-box. In art music we have come to associate certain devices with the music of certain countries: Mendelssohn had
only to put a Scotch snap into a tune to tell people he was writing a Scottish symphony; Ravel had just to let beguiling dual and triple rhythms run against each other for us to know, even before the chestnuts began to clatter, that he was writing a Rhapsodie Espagnole. Yet earlier art music doesn’t contain so many of these ‘national’ characteristics. The Cancionero Musical de Palacio, the great collection of Spanish Renaissance secular music made at the Spanish court in the thirty years after the expulsion of the Moors in 1492, contains surprisingly little music that we would call obviously Spanish, though some of the songs are based on popular tunes. Music and painting, like religion, was more unified across Europe in the 400 years before the Reformation than it was later to become. Composers and artists travelled widely: Josquin des Prez, perhaps the most famous Renaissance composer, was born in Hainault around 1450 and went as a singer/composer to Aix-en-Provence, before moving on to Italy. He worked for the Sforzas in Milan, the D'Este family in Ferrara, and the Borgia Pope, Alexander VI, in Rome. He was back in France around 1500, before returning to Ferrara, which he left in a hurry, probably to escape the plague, which killed his successor, Jacob Obrecht. He settled finally in his home region near Lille, at Condé-sur-l'Escaut, where he ran a large musical establishment, and where he died in 1521. Walter Oakeshott, the great scholar of the mid12th-century Winchester Bible, probably the greatest Romanesque monument in England, and a work which represents more man-hours than the Cathedral itself, believed that the Winchester artists may also have been responsible for frescos in Spain, at Sigena, near Huesca, and for mosaics at Monreale near Palermo. Byrd’s choral music is in a contrapuntal style used across Europe at the time, but it’s hard not to find something English in his keyboard variations on English folk songs, like The Carman's Whistle, Sellinger's Round or The Barley Break. We also find it hard to hear a melody like The Captain’s Apprentice, the astonishing slow angular tune in Vaughan Williams’s Norfolk Rhapsody No 1, collected by V-W in a King’s Lynn pub in 1905, without thinking it essentially English, East Anglian even. What we can’t know is
how much it has itself formed our idea of what East Anglian music sounds like. V-W clearly felt its power, and said of James Carter from whom he had the song, that he belonged ‘to the colony of fishermen who inhabit the 'North End' of King's Lynn. They possibly have a Norse ancestry – the wild character of this remarkable tune points to such a stock’. Arguments have raged over the age of the song; some holding that it relates to the mistreatment of a young apprentice at sea, mentioned in Norfolk newspapers in 1857; others that it is much older and that Crabbe based the Peter Grimes section of The Borough on the story, which would give the tune a double link to great English music. V-W's comment on it sounding Norse to him is significant; he clearly didn’t regard wildness as a standard component of English folk song. People say that Janacek’s vocal music miraculously follows the inflections of the Czech language. The music and the drama comes over very beguilingly, even in translation, and, in our ignorance, we often think of his use of repeated ostinato sequences as more typically Czech than any other melodic habit. Stravinsky, possibly the most erudite of composers, strangely destroys language in many of his settings of words; in some cases, in Les Noces, for instance, even reducing the words to separate syllables. He explained this himself by saying ‘One important characteristic of Russian popular verse is that the accents of the spoken verse are ignored when the verse is sung. The recognition of the musical possibilities inherent in this fact was one of the most rejoicing discoveries of my life...’ What is true of Stravinsky is not true of most people. If the rhythms of the verse are ignored when the verse is set to music, the influence of the language on the development of melodic forms is going to be hard to trace. It’s tempting to conclude that Stravinsky was being deliberately provoking here. He read English and German as easily as Russian and French. As a composer he produced text-settings of Russian, French, English, Latin, and Hebrew. Why should he write music that gratuitously runs against the natural accents of speech? Robert Craft said he did it to be interesting - Stravinsky’s argument was that to duplicate verbal rhythms in music would be dull.
There was an important seam of contrariness on this issue in the emigré Stravinsky which was rooted in his ambivalent attitude to Russia, the clash in him between the old Russia which he loved and the new Russia, what Russia had become since he left. For Petrushka, Firebird, The Rite, and Les Noces, he had read many books on Russian folk music and Russian folklore; he had badgered people for recordings of peasant folk singers, arguing that he only wanted the recordings, not the transcribed versions. Yet for all his playful denials, when he returned to Russia in 1962 at the age of eighty, Stravinsky made a moving declaration of his affection for his homeland: I have spoken Russian all of my life, I think in Russian, my way of expressing myself is Russian. Perhaps this is not immediately apparent in my music, but it is latent there, a part of its hidden nature. He felt he could not escape his Russianness: a man has one birthplace, one fatherland, one country – he can have only one country – and the place of his birth is the most important factor in his life. I regret that circumstances have separated me from my fatherland. A composer cannot easily escape the musical inheritance of his fatherland. He may well not be trying to write nationalistic music; he may well, like Beethoven at the end of his life, take refuge in formal devices like fugue, but as a German composer Beethoven could not escape Bach, and Haydn and Mozart, just as Britten could not escape Byrd and Purcell and Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Music, like other languages, inevitably develops national habits, with its own regional accents as recognizable as Welsh or Irish or Cockney are to us. Nationalism in music is like nationalism anywhere: admirable when it cements ties of propinquity and mutual affection or regard among a people; deplorable when used to second attempts to dominate other peoples or to support claims of supposed superiority over them. It's all very well at Twickenham or in the Albert Hall, but it must not be allowed out into the streets to frighten the horses. Michael Fontes
In their sixth year of sponsorship TOSC A has been kindly supported by
CHI & P ARTNERS
THE ORCHESTRA OF NEVILL HOLT
Text by Giacosa and Illica after the play by Victorien Sardou First performance Rome, 14 January 1900 Performances at Nevill Holt on July 6, 7, 9, 10, 12 Sung in Italian with surtitles by Peter Kreiss
To s c a 1858 1924
Gianluca Marciano Conductor
Peter Relton Revival director Floria Tosca
Mairead Buicke Jes煤s Le贸n
Supported by Ian & Clare Maurice Chief of police
Supported by an anonymous donor The
A political prisoner
A police agent
Supported by Isla Baring OAM
Based on the original production at The Grange 2010
Shepherd boy Choristers The firing squad
Nicolas Dwyer Rosie Bell from Oakham School Supported by David Laing Foundation
Act 1 The church of Sant’Andrea della Valle Angelotti has escaped from the Castel Sant’Angelo where he has been a political prisoner. He hopes to hide in the Attavanti chapel and his sister, the Marchesa Attavanti, has left the key at the foot of the Madonna and some clothes as a disguise inside the chapel. The Sacristan arrives and realises that the painter Mario Cavaradossi is not yet back at work and his food is untouched. The Angelus sounds as Cavaradossi arrives. He admits that the portrait he is painting of Mary Magdalene is inspired both by his lover, the singer Floria Tosca, and the Marchesa Attavanti. Angelotti comes out of the chapel. Cavaradossi is of a like political persuasion and promises to help him when it gets dark. He gives Angelotti his food. Tosca thinks Cavaradossi has been talking to a secret lover and begs him to take her to his villa. She looks at the portrait and is incensed that it bears a likeness to the Marchesa Attavanti. Once Tosca has gone Angelotti comes out from hiding. There is a cannon shot announcing that Angelotti’s escape has been discovered. Cavaradossi suggests he hide in a disused well in the garden of his villa. The Sacristan returns with the news - later to be proved false - that the enemy has been defeated at Marengo. To celebrate the victory a Te Deum will be sung and, at the Palazzo Farnese, Floria Tosca will perform. Scarpia, the brutal Chief of Police, and his agent Spoletta, have tracked Angelotti to the church. They find the food basket and a fan with the Attavanti coat of arms. Scarpia suspects that Cavaradossi has assisted Angelotti to escape. Tosca returns and Scarpia inflames her jealousy by showing her the fan – suggesting that Cavaradossi is having an affair with Marchesa Attavanti. When Tosca leaves, Scarpia sends Spoletta after her, assuming she
will lead him to Cavaradossi and, he hopes, Angelotti. To the accompaniment of the celebratory Te Deum, Scarpia anticipates the execution of Cavaradossi and his possession of Tosca.
small gap but don't move . . . Act 2 Scarpia’s apartment at the Palazzo Farnese Scarpia sends Tosca a note demanding she visit him. Spoletta returns. He was unable to find Angelotti but has arrested Cavaradossi. Scarpia questions Cavaradossi but extracts no information. As Tosca arrives, he is taken off to be tortured. Tosca cannot bear his cries of pain and tells Scarpia where Angelotti is hiding. Scarpia stops the torture and the wounded Cavaradossi is brought in. Tosca assures him that she has given nothing away. When Scarpia orders Spoletta to go to the well in the garden, Cavaradossi curses Tosca. Sciarrone, a police officer, rushes in with the news that the enemy has triumphed at Marengo after all. Cavaradossi exults and is dragged struggling from the room. Tosca is left alone with Scarpia. She pleads for mercy and finally promises to give herself to Scarpia in exchange for Cavaradossi’s freedom. Scarpia seems to instruct Spoletta to arrange a mock execution, after which the lovers will be free. He writes out a safe conduct pass for them. Tosca finds a knife and stabs him.
Interval Act 3 The Castel Sant’Angelo It is just before dawn; church bells are ringing and a shepherd boy is passing with his flock. Cavaradossi is handed over to the gaoler to whom he offers his ring as a bribe so that he can write a final farewell to Tosca. He is overwhelmed by memories of an evening spent with her. Tosca arrives with the safe conduct pass and tells him that she has killed Scarpia. She explains the plan: the firing squad will use blanks, he must fall to the ground as
Rom e 1935 Ale xan der Deinek a (1899â€“ 1969)
if dead and remain there until she tells him that everyone has departed. The firing squad and Spoletta arrive. Cavaradossi refuses to be blindfolded. The soldiers take aim â€“ Cavaradossi falls. Once the soldiers have gone Tosca rushes from her hiding place. But the execution was real and her lover is dead. Scarpiaâ€™s murder has been discovered. Spoletta and Sciarrone must arrest Tosca. Before they get to her she leaps to her death.
We who live in prison, and in whose lives there is no event, have to measure time by throbs of pain, and the record of bitter moments - Oscar Wilde
When Mario’s cries interrupt Act 2, do you sit back and admire the singing, or do you travel to the dungeons and imagine what dreadful torture is being tried on the artist? Michael Fontes gives an account of infamous Italian prisoners and prisons. LL THE SIGNS ARE THAT Italian prisons today are no more comfortable than English ones. In 2007, 300 Italian murderers serving life sentences signed a letter asking to be put to death rather than stay there any longer. Their existence had become boring and monotonous, they explained. In the letter, Carmelo Musumeci, a former Mafia chieftain, convicted in 1990 of murder, said he was tired of dying a little bit every day: ‘we want to die just once, and we are asking that our life sentence be changed to a death sentence’. Some penologists, arguing against the reintroduction of the death penalty, say that only criminals of unusually refined, sensitive, and reflective natures would prefer death to imprisonment for life, so we shouldn’t wonder that during his 17 years in prison Musumeci has taken and passed all his school exams, and even earned a degree in law. Capital punishment was abolished in Italy in 1946, so there was no possibility of his request being granted, and that may have made it easier to make; but the issue evokes Josephus’s story of the 1,000 Jewish Sicarii of Masada, who chose to kill themselves, their wives, and their children, rather than face enslavement by the Romans. The Castel Sant’Angelo, the vast cylindrical building dominating the Tiber and the location of the later part of Tosca, was built in the 2nd century AD as a mausoleum for the Emperor Hadrian. It was later fortified and converted into a castle and prison. Executions took place in the central courtyard and the heads of the victims were displayed on the Ponte Sant’Angelo, the bridge across the Tiber, linking the fortress to the city. This bridge is now decorated more demurely with Bernini’s exquisite marble angels. The Papacy acquired the castle in the 13th century and Pope Nicholas III connected it to the Vatican by a fortified 800-metre-long tunnel known as the Passetto di Borgo. Several popes, fearful for their lives, have escaped to the castle by this route. Liborio Angelucci, the original of Angelotti in the opera, was not ever in the Castel Sant’Angelo, but Sardou does show some respect for detail: there actually is a hiding place in one of the
chapels in Sant’Andrea della Valle. The first chapel on the left, the Barberini chapel, conceals in its street wall a shallow chamber separated from the main body of the chapel by an ironwork grill. The Castel Sant’Angelo may not have been designed as a prison, but it has harboured some famous prisoners. Benvenuto Cellini was kept there, as was Count Cagliostro, the famous 18th–century alchemist, forger, and confidence trickster, who also did time in the Bastille. Benvenuto Cellini’s entertaining autobiography excites wonder and disbelief even in the most credulous, and has inspired two works of musical theatre: Berlioz’s opera, Benvenuto Cellini, and a Broadway musical, The Firebrand of Florence, by Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill. Benvenuto says he had a great deal of freedom in the Castel Sant’Angelo, and was on good terms with many of the guards, several of whom were Florentines. In 1526, ten years before his incarceration, he had acted as a bombadiere for his patron Clement VII during the sack of Rome by Imperial troops, and this may have made him popular with his jailors. He had fired his guns from the ramparts of the castle itself, and boasts: ‘. . . a little before vespers I noticed someone coming along the margin of the trench on muleback. The mule was trotting very quickly, and the man was talking to the soldiers in the trenches. I took the precaution of discharging my gun just before he came immediately opposite; and so, making a good calculation, I hit my mark. One of the fragments struck him in the face; the rest were scattered on the mule, which fell dead. A tremendous uproar rose up from the trench; I opened fire with my other piece, doing them great hurt. The man turned out to be the Prince of Orange. . .’ He was imprisoned under the next Pope, Paul III, on a charge of purloining some of Clement’s jewels. He was, by his own account, no angel: he admits to several murders; he was accused three times of homosexual sodomy with apprentices, and forced to pay fines. One
Italian fountain 1926 from the personal notebook of Edward Bawden
French girl in Paris reproached him with using her ‘after the Italian fashion’, as though she should have expected any other. However the charge on which he was finally imprisoned was probably false, and he defended himself by inviting his accusers to look in the Pope’s coffers: they would find nothing missing. Benvenuto was even able to continue his trade of goldsmith during his incarceration, and the materials were to come in handy. He was initially constrained from escaping by the fact that he had promised the castellan, Giorgio Ugolini, another Florentine, that he would not make any attempt to get out. Benvenuto listened to the confidences of this castellan, who suffered occasionally from delusions - he thought he had been bodily transformed into strange things, once into an olive jar and another time into a frog. He told Benvenuto that he was convinced he was turning into a bat, and could fly. He may have been under treatment by his doctor for sleeplessness. 16th century Italian doctors prescribed
dangerous things like poppy, mandrake (Cleopatra’s mandragora), henbane, aconite, and nightshade, for insomnia. Witches were said to apply similar potions to give themselves an impression of flight, though they added soot and dreadful things, like boiled children’s fat, besides. ‘Before the witches set off they anointed themselves with a very evil-smelling fluid of a greenish-black colour. They rubbed it on their hands, temples, face, breasts, genitals, and the soles of their feet… Sometimes they got out through cracks in the doors, windows or chimneys and flew through the air to the assembly. At other times they walked’. Ugolini didn’t mention drinking any such brew, or rubbing anything on any part of himself in this way, but his symptoms suggest he was taking something. Benvenuto, however, who may, during his stay in France, have seen Leonardo’s plans for a flying machine, took the castellan seriously, and unwisely told Ugolini that flying was entirely possible, and that he could do it himself. As a result Ugolini decided to keep him in more severe confinement. Feeling that such an abuse of a friendly
confidence released him from his promise, Benvenuto, Houdini-like, told the guards to keep a close eye on him; he was going to escape. He gradually dismantled his cell door, using his skill as a goldsmith to preserve its outward appearance. After breaking out of his cell, he let himself down the castle wall by the traditional rope made from knotted sheets, only to fall and break a leg climbing the final perimeter wall. Taking refuge in a nearby house, Benvenuto was visited by ‘all the nobility of Rome’. He was immediately recaptured, and, after a few weeks in the terrifying Torre di Nona, from which very few prisoners escaped alive, he went back to the Castel Sant’Angelo, but this time to a much less comfortable cell: ‘So I was taken into a gloomy dungeon below the level of a garden, which swam with water, and was full of big spiders and many venomous worms. They flung me a wretched mattress of coarse hemp, gave me no supper, and locked four doors upon me.’ He had to endure fits of religious mania brought on by his confinement, as well as attempts to poison him with ground diamonds, before he was finally released, on Christmas Eve 1539: Cardinal d’Este of Ferrara, catching the Pope on his way to vomit the great quantities of wine he had drunk, managed the importunate moment to perfection, and Benvenuto was released at four in the morning. In his gratitude Benvenuto made a magnificent silver cup for the Cardinal. Another prisoner in the Castel Sant’Angelo, Count Calgiostro, could claim to be as great a liar as Benvenuto; he made a profession of it. He was a forger, a mountebank, a charlatan and a swindler – all on a grand scale. He told people he was the orphan son of the Prince and Princess of the Anatolian Christian Kingdom of Trebizond, and that he had been brought up by the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta. He usually added that, for several years, he had lived in the household of the Sheriff of Medina, who had raised him as a Christian. He travelled all over Europe, usually one step ahead of the police, preaching his own brand of Egyptian Freemasonry
and presenting himself as an alchemist, magician, and healer. He must have been hugely charismatic, to those he wasn’t robbing, for he attracted crowds of devoted followers, many of whom claimed to have been healed by his potions. He often gave his services for nothing, and even distributed alms to the poor at his large public gatherings. Spence’s Encyclopaedia of the Occult will tell you that Count Cagliostro is ‘one of the greatest occult figures of all time’. The list of famous people influenced by him reveals his wide acquaintance. Catherine the Great of Russia thought little of his attempt to convert her to Freemasonry, and had him chased from the country. Goethe studied him as the original for Faust. Some think that Mozart and Shikenader based Sarastro on him. William Blake was attracted by his mix of mysticism and wider forms of nonsense. Benjamin Franklin, when he was in Paris, was recommended him as a physician, and may have attended his Lodge. Suspicions about his possible involvement in the Affair of the Diamond Necklace caused him to be imprisoned in the Bastille; his skill as a forger was famous, and he may have been required for the forging of Marie Antoinette’s letters. Trials brought the best out of him and it was at the Paris trial that he gave this fanciful account of his upbringing: ‘I spent the years of my childhood in the city of Medina in Arabia. There I was brought up under the name of Acharat, which I preserved during my progress through Africa and Asia. I had my apartments in the palace of the Muphti Salahaym. It is needless to add that the Muphti is the chief of the Mahometan religion, and that his constant residence is at Medina.’ He was actually a Sicilian street thug called Giuseppe Balsamo, and as a child lived in a hovel in Palermo. His wife, Seraphina, finally became wearied by the travelling and the trouble, and betrayed him to the Italian Inquisition. The inquisitors, shocked by his Freemasonry and his claims to supernatural powers, sentenced him to death at his trial in 1791, but not before they had heard a great deal of his characteristic garbage.
While being questioned, Cagliostro remarked that he could think of no misdeed to account for his arrest, unless it was the assassination of Pompey the Great (in 48 BC!), for which he asked remission because it had been committed on the orders of the Pharaoh. The inquisitor replied that he would refrain from investigating crimes committed under his predecessors in office.
foreign to Cagliostro, and given him only the day before.
The Pope commuted Cagliostro’s sentence to perpetual imprisonment in the Castel Sant’Angelo. Here his supernatural powers deserted him. He made one desperate attempt to escape: he asked for a confessor and tried to strangle the brother sent to him. He had hoped to escape disguised in the monk’s habit, but the burly priest defended himself with vigour.
Casanova’s account of his prison is gruesome: ‘Besides the Piombi (the Leads, so called because under the leads of the roof and therefore insufferably hot in summer), and Il Quatro (the Fours), the State Inquisitors also possess certain horrible subterranean cells beneath the ducal palace, where are sent men whom they do not wish to put to death, though they be thought worthy of it.
Caglisotro was then taken to the Castle of San Leo near Montefeltro. An official commissioned by Napoleon to visit Italian prisons gave an account of Cagliostro’s quarters there: ‘The galleries, which have been cut out of the solid rock, were divided into cells, and old dried-up cisterns had been converted into dungeons for the worst criminals, and further surrounded by high walls, so that the only possible egress, if escape was attempted, would be by a staircase cut in the rock and guarded night and day by sentinels.’
These subterranean prisons are precisely like tombs, but they call them Pozzi, (Wells) because they always contain two feet of water, which penetrates from the sea by the same grating by which light is given, this grating being only a square foot in size. If the unfortunates condemned to live in these sewers do not wish to take a bath of filthy water, they have to remain all day seated on a trestle, which serves them both for bed and cupboard. In the morning they are given a pitcher of water, some thin soup, and a ration of army bread which they have to eat immediately, or it becomes the prey of the enormous rats which swim in those dreadful abodes. Usually the wretches condemned to The Pozzi are imprisoned there for life, and there have been prisoners who have attained a great age. A villain who died whilst I was under the Leads had passed 37 years in The Pozzi, and he was 44 when sentenced. Knowing that he deserved death, he may have taken his imprisonment as a favour, for there are men who fear nought save death. His name was Beguelin.’
Caliostro’s only communication with mankind was when his jailers raised the trap to let food down to him. Here he languished for three years without air, movement, or intercourse with his fellow creatures. During the last months of his life his condition excited the pity of the governor, who had him removed from this dungeon to a cell on the level with the ground, where the curious, who obtain permission to visit the prison, may read on the walls various inscriptions and sentences traced there by the unhappy alchemist. The last bears the date of the 6th of March 1795. Casanova talks in his memoirs of meeting Cagliostro in Aix-en-Provence, and of the Sicilian’s amazing powers as a forger. Casanova couldn’t believe that the forgery of one of his own letters, in French, was a fake, until Cagliostro showed him the real letter, in a language
Casanova’s meeting with Cagliostro at Aix was in 1770. 15 years early he had himself been imprisoned in the Piombi prison in the Doge’s Palace in Venice, on a charge of public outrages against the holy religion. Quite a few modern public figures could be reproached with that.
No wonder prisoners sighed when they crossed the bridge. Casanova famously escaped from the Piombi, and when he returned to Venice after his pardon, the inquisitors were keen to find out how he had done so. It’s surprising that the Inquisition had continued to allow its prisoners sheets.
Rome, June 1800
Sardou’s play Tosca is set in 1800. Susan Nicassio, Professor of History at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, considers the Rome inhabited by the singer, the painter and the chief of police. N JUNE 1800, ROME represented a novel challenge for a diva. If Floria Tosca reigned at the Argentina Theatre she would have been among the first women to appear on the Roman stage in centuries, sharing the applause with the still–popular castrati. For artists, the city was a magnet. Despite years of war and revolution, Rome’s classical and Renaissance glories continued to attract intense little art colonies from all over the world; Jacques–Louis David, radical pageant– master of the revolution and teacher of that exciting young painter, Cavaradossi, had learned his craft there. And it was a nightmare for a chief of police. Scarpia would have had his hands full dealing with bread riots, bandit incursions, undisciplined and under–employed foreign troops, to say nothing of the usual murderous street brawls, revolutionary Jacobin conspirators under every bed and the odd proto–Italian patriot stirring up trouble. Only a few years earlier, papal Rome had been a charming little city, the centre of a world religion and one of the first modern tourist cities. It had more than 700 churches, most rich in artistic, architectural and musical splendours, plus the neglected but highly visible remnants of the greatest empire the world had yet seen. An economic and political basket case, the state was a theocracy ruled by an elderly elected monarch and governed by committees of churchmen aptly described as vaguely benevolent amateurs. Respect for the moral advantages of poverty gave the poor an annoying attitude of superiority and a dogged determination to work as little as possible. There were a lot more men than woman (a ratio of 100:85), most of them extremely poor and accustomed to a system of public assistance that provided them with a rough if healthy diet, medical care and a rich variety of entertainment – expensive ballet and opera, cheap puppet shows, free street shows and vendors and a never–ending liturgical drama in the churches, squares and streets. These streets were filthy. Tourists bitterly resented having their classical fantasies assaulted by the garlic and dirt of human habitation, and it is certainly
true that Rome was dirty even by the undemanding standards of the 18th century. The beauty of Roman women was legendary, and so was their independence: appalled British and French tourists reported that even unmarried girls had the unnerving habit of looking men straight in the eye. And they were quite capable of taking care of themselves: they were famous for wearing stilettos as hair ornaments, and for knowing how to use them – as does Tosca. Rome was a city with an astonishingly high level of interpersonal violence, with two to three murders per day in a population of fewer than 150,000. Most of these were the result of young men knifing one another in the streets over some affair of love or cards, while casualties from the rock–throwing duals in the Forum (then called the Cow Field) regularly filled the hospitals and morgues. Thievery, on the other hand, was frowned upon – except by bandits, who mostly plied their ancient trade outside the city walls. And even with all of that, Rome was famous as one of the most stable and pleasant cities in Europe. Then came the French Revolution and Napoleon, and Rome was transformed into a city in chaos in a world out of joint, a city that by June 1800 had endured a dizzying sequence of invasions and occupations in which new governments succeeded old ones. In February 1798, the papal government of Pius VI had been overthrown by a French invasion. The elderly pope was deported almost immediately to be replaced by a puppet ‘Roman Republic’ headed by a self–serving obstetrician/politician/literary amateur (he edited Dante) named Liborio Angelucci. Some nine months later, King Ferdinand of Naples marched in, threw out the republicans, and took up residence in the Farnese Palace for a few days until he too was forced to retreat – inspiring one of Pasquino’s best quips: ‘veni, vedi, e fuggi’ (he came, he saw, he fled). There would be no Pope in Rome until 3 July 1800, when the newly elected Pius VII arrived from Venice. In his absence, Rome was ruled by an uneasy coalition of Austrians, Prussians and Neapolitans, supported by
Antea 1534 Girolamo Francesc o Maria Mazzola known as Parmigian ino (1503 – 1540)
Nelson’s fleet and reinforced by a contingent of Russians, and Muslim troops sent by the Ottoman sultan. It was to this city that the Baron Scarpia (had he existed) would have been sent to restore order. He is a corrupt and ruthless man whose special talent is for doing jobs that other men are too delicate to accomplish. His social position is, however, rather more ambiguous than it might at first seem to be. He is a noble and a courtier, but he is also an outsider, not only in Rome but at home in Sicily as well. In Rome, as in many Old Regime states, the ‘blood–tainted’ professions were viewed with horror. This was true even for surgeons and barbers; it made police, jailers, and executioners virtually untouchable. Scarpia, of course, does not get his own hands dirty. He does not even deal directly with the sbirri (slang for policemen) who do that sort of thing. Rather, as was traditional, he deals with them through Spoletta, his bargello. Spoletto, for his part, shows the usual contempt for his men, referring to them as ‘i miei cagnotti’ (my [big, lousy] dogs).
Floria Tosca, a foundling, unmarried woman and performer, too has an ambiguous social position – but would have had several reasons for believing herself invulnerable. She is a favourite of the Queen of Naples and a valued citizen of the powerful Austrian Empire (her home, the Republic of Venice, had recently been handed over to Austria by Napoleon). And she is a convent– bred, devout young woman who has long enjoyed the protection of the Church. As a popular idol, her arrest or mistreatment might well cause riots. There were any number of successful women acting independently in the arts and in business in Rome and elsewhere in Italy at the time. But the new revolutionary world order was a determinedly masculine one: soon the Napoleonic Code would classify even professional women as legally incompetent, along with children and imbeciles, able to function only under the guardianship of a responsible male. However, that had not yet occurred, and Tosca would have understood her status in a very different way from both her modern–minded, condescending lover and her savagely feudal persecutor.
Tosca assumes that she is under the protection of the Queen, of the law, of the Church, of the people who adore her and of the confident man she has chosen as her lover. All of this was true on the morning of 17 June, when the opera begins. None of this was true 12 hours later when (in the real world) the news of Bonaparte’s victory at the battle of Marengo hit Rome and changed everything. Marengo meant that Italy would be ruled not from Naples or Vienna, but from Paris, or wherever Napoleon pitched his soon–to–be imperial tent. This was both bad news and good news for Scarpia. Bad news because he is out of a job in Rome. Good news because he no longer has to give a fig for the law, the Church, the Queen or the people. Bad news because Cavaradossi’s friends may soon be in the saddle. Good news because and Cavaradossi will soon be dead. The tenor rejoices at the news from Marengo – but he hasn’t thought it through. Even before the news from the front frees him to do his worst, Scarpia’s attitude towards Tosca is a piquant mixture of the traditional Sicilian (where women were kept in almost Islamic seclusion) and the new, ‘enlightened’ libertine philosophy exemplified by the Marquis de Sade. De Sade promoted a certain aspect of Enlightenment thinking, and much of his literature banned as ‘revolutionary’ and frankly pornographic. This chief of police would have enjoyed furnishing his bedside table with such confiscated books. From Scarpia’s point of view, raping the lover of a political subversive is a fringe benefits. Before Marengo, though he has his hopes, he has had to tread carefully with this particular victim. After news of the lost battle, there is no limit. In the Sardou play, the Baron reveals himself as a sexual sadist: “That you should be mine, with rage and grief, that I should feel your outraged soul struggle, feel your revolted body tremble with passion despite yourself, in forced abandon to my loathsome caresses, to feel all of your flesh enslaved to my flesh! What revenge for your contempt, what vengeance for your insults, what a refinement of voluptuousness, that my pleasure should also be your torture!” (Victorien Sardou: La Tosca, Act 4 scene 3)
Scarpia is particularly sadistic when he forces Tosca not only to submit to him, but freely to agree to her own abuse. Clearing her own conscience of this conflict, and of the murder explains her statement ‘He is dead. Now I forgive him’, and the business with the crucifix and candles. In fact, both of these make perfect sense in Italy of 1800, or 1900 for that matter. She has not only killed a man, she has almost certainly damned him. So it is essential that she forgive him, wash her hands, and provide at least a symbolic funeral rite for him. Tosca, love–child from Verona whose triumphs were in the opera houses of Venice, Milan and Naples; Scarpia, the ruthless Sicilian enforcer of the law; and Cavaradossi, the Paris–born scion of a Roman noble family: not one is really of Rome. But they do fit neatly into the real city and its real social relationships as they existed on that eventful night of mid–June, 1800. In particular, they fit into the complex interwoven patron–client system, a structure of power and dependence as ancient as the city and as tortuous as its streets. Within this system, Tosca is a very privileged client of everyone from the Queen and the Pope down, with the exception of servants and of theatrical impresarios, to whom she would have been a tyrant. She thinks she is safe. Scarpia is a client and dependent of the Queen of Naples, Maria Carolina, sister of Marie Antoinette and patroness of (the real) Lady Emma Hamilton and (the fictional) Floria Tosca. Baron Scarpia is potentially a powerful patron to everyone else in the opera. He expects no serious trouble, certainly not from a woman like Tosca. Mario Cavaradossi is a ‘new man’ but one with wealth, aristocratic, intellectual and artistic credentials (his father was, according to Sardou, an exiled Roman noble; his mother a grand–niece of the philosophe, Helvetius). His contemptuous attitude towards Scarpia and his affectionately patronising relationship with Tosca both ring true, and both are serious mistakes. Each of the characters miscalculates his or her social position. And all three pay for it with their lives.
Untitled 2010 Lindy Guinness by kind permission of Grange Park's Founding Chairman (who has impeccable taste in crooked windows)
Legacies It is easy to add a codicil to your Will making a bequest to Grange Park Opera or Pimlico Opera
Two summer evenings with
TeR fe l
lain Burnside piano and Wynne Evans Caryl Hughes Fiona Murphy
Monday 27 June
supported by a syndicate led by
James & Beatrice Lupton with
Mr & Mrs Frederic Barnaud Nic Bentley Michael Cuthbert Mrs T Landon Paul & Rita Skinner Anonymous 114
Wednesday 29 June supported by
Geoff & Fiona Squire
Bryn Terfel One of the most sought after international voices, Bryn is a frequent visitor to all the major opera companies and concert halls in the world. He is best known for his portrayal of Figaro and Falstaff and has recently added the Wagner roles of Wotan and Der Fliegende HĂśllander to his repertoire. His recordings have earned him two Grammy Awards and four Classical Brit Awards. He is the recipient of Her Majesty the Queenâ€™s medal for Music and the Shakespeare Prize awarded by the Alfred Toepfer Foundation, Hamburg.
is a pianist, broadcaster and writer. As a performer he is known for his commitment to the song repertoire, collaborating with leading international artists. A wide recording portfolio reflects his passion for the highways and byways of British music. As a broadcaster he has featured on both television and radio, where he was honoured with a Sony Radio Award. In his long association with the Guildhall School of Music & Drama Iain has developed a range of innovative staged shows combining words and music. His first play, A Soldier And A Maker, will be performed in the Barbican Centre in 2012.
Fiona Murphy soprano
is from Dublin. Appearances include Cherubino (WNO), Mercedes Carmen (Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra), Kate Pinkerton Butterfly, Idamante Idomeneo, Fox in Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, Arete / Mageara in the world première of Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata, Amore Coronation of Poppea, Zerlina Giovanni, Hansel Hansel & Gretel and Fox Cunning Little Vixen (Houston Grand Opera), Mercedes Carmen, Valencienne Merry Widow, Lola Cavelleria Rusticana, Dorabella Cosi (ENO), Euridice in Telemann’s Orpheus (Wolf Trap), Annio La Clemenza di Tito (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at the Barbican and the Lincoln Centre, New York. This season Fiona has made the transition from mezzo soprano to soprano.
Wynne Evan S tenor
was born in Carmarthen, South Wales. At WNO his roles include the Duke Rigoletto, Tamino, Nemorino, Alfredo, Rodolfo Bohème, Alfred Fledermaus and Brighella Ariadne. For Grange Park his roles include Truffaldino Oranges, Schoolmaster/Mosquito Vixen and Harry Fanciulla. Other appearances include Mayor Anna Nicole and Vakula Cherevichki (ROH Covent Garden), Alfredo (English National Opera). Opera plans include a return to the Royal Opera House, Queen of Spades (Grange Park). Wynne is the spoof opera star in the Go Compare ads. He signed a six album deal with Warner in 2010 and his first album A Song in My Heart was No1 in the Classical Charts for several weeks. This summer he will have his own show at the National Eisteddfod.
At the time of going to press, the repertoire for the evening had not been finalised. Caryl Hughes will join Bryn, Iain, Fiona and Wynne. Her biography is on page 122
Biog Ra Phi e S STEPHEN BARLOW Conductor Tristan / Rusalka was a boy chorister at Canterbury Cathedral and then studied at the King’s School‚ Canterbury and Trinity College‚ Cambridge‚ where he founded the University Bach Choir. In 1977 he began a long association with Glyndebourne conducting The Rake’s Progress for GTO. He was a co-founder of Opera 80 and Music Director from 1988 to 1991, resident conductor at ENO‚ appeared with Scottish Opera‚ Dublin Grand Opera‚ Opera Northern Ireland‚ Opera North and made his ROH debut with Turandot. He was Artistic Director of Opera Northern Ireland from 1996 to 1999. In addition to his operatic work‚ he has conducted most of the major UK orchestras. He made his international debut in 1989 (Rake’s Progress Vancouver Opera); his US debut followed in 1990 (Capriccio San Francisco) and his Australian debut in 1991 (Zauberflöte Victoria State Opera). For Grange Park: Boheme, Falstaff, Rusalka, Norma, Capriccio. Supported by CAROLINE & GEOFFREY DE JAGER CLIVE BAYLEY Merman Rusalka
King Marke Tristan sings regularly with major opera companies in a repertoire ranging from Monteverdi to Verdi, Puccini, Berg, Britten and Birtwistle. Appearances include King Love for Three Oranges (Grange Park); Claggart Billy Budd (Frankfurt); Hunding Walküre (Strasbourg), Raimondo Lucia di Lammermoor (ENO). He made his debut with ROH in the world-premiere of Birtwistle's Gawain and subsequently appeared as Colline Bohème, Hans Foltz Meistersinger, Castro Fanciulla, Carbon Cyrano de Bergerac, Thoas Iphigenie en Tauride and Hunding. He has had notable successes with Opera North, ENO, WNO and Glyndebourne, and abroad has appeared in San Francisco, Seattle, Munich, Toulouse, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Lausanne. Engagements this season include Rocco Fidelio (WNO); Biterolf Tannhäuser (ROH); Claggart (Netherlands Opera) and Hunding (Hallé Orchestra). King Marke Supported by DAVID MCLELLAN Merman Supported by MR & MRS RICHARD MORSE ROSIE BELL Shepherd Boy Tosca Police Station Secretary Rigoletto read philosophy and literature at Edinburgh University before her postgraduate vocal studies at TCM. Recent engagements include Musetta Bohème (OperaUpClose
and Opera Southeast), Isabel Pirates of Penzance (Raymond Gubbay), Princess Ninette Oranges, Grasshopper Cunning Little Vixen (Grange Park), Micaela Carmen (Pimlico Opera), The Soprano A Man of Feeling (Minotaur Music Theatre), Contessa Figaro (Vignette), Dorabella Così fan tutte (Opera UK), Albarn’s Monkey, Journey to the West (Théâtre du Châtelet and ROH) and Leila Iolanthe (Buxton). Police Station Secretary Supported by JOHN & LOUISE DEAR RICHARD
Tristan Recent performances include the title roles in Tannhäuser (Opera Australia) and Lohengrin (Palermo); Samson Samson et Delilah (Sao Paulo); Sergei Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (Opera Australia); Laca Jenufa (Nantes); Prince Rusalka (Opera North) and Melot Tristan und Isolde (ROH). Other performances include Siegfried (Seattle); Siegmund (Seattle, Mannheim, Chemnitz, Barcelona); Drum Major Wozzeck; Peter Grimes; Don José Carmen and Jimmy Mahoney Mahagonny. Highlights this season include Herod Salome (Washington National Opera) and Schoenberg’s Gürrelieder (de Doelen in Rotterdam). This is his Grange Park debut. Tristan’s head Supported by An Anonymous Wagner Lover Tristan’s tonsils Supported by TOM BROWN Tristan’s body Supported by MR & MRS GRANT GORDON Tristan’s legs Supported by PETER & FIONA ESPENHAHN MAIREAD BUICKE Tosca was
born in Limerick and studied at the Royal Irish Academy of Music, and National Opera Studio. Mairéad joined the young singers programme at ENO where roles have included Musetta Bohème, Pamina / 1st Lady Flute, Sylviane Merry Widow, Paquette Candide, Karolka Jenufa and 2nd Niece Peter Grimes. Other appearances include Gretel Hänsel und Gretel, Marenka Bartered Bride (Mid Wales Opera), concert performances as Mimi Bohème and Fiordiligi, and Barber’s Knoxville Summer of 1915 (RTE National Symphony). Supported by the GRANGE PARK SCHOLARSHIP FUND BURGE Choreographer Rusalka was principal dancer with Ballet Rambert between 1970 and 1985 and performed as guest artist with Rudolf Nureyev dancing the role of Colombine to Nureyev’s Pierrot. On retiring, she became
a long standing member of Ian Spink’s Second Stride. She has danced for the Royal Opera, ENO, WNO and Scottish Opera. She also choreographed and arranged dances for Christine Edzard’s feature film Nutcracker. Most recently she choreographed Meistersinger (WNO); Mary Stuart (Opera North); Lohengrin (Munich); Billy Budd (Frankfurt); L’Heure Espagnole and Gianni Schicchi (ROH); Rheingold and Walküre (Nationale Reisopera); Tsarevitch (South Bavarian Theatres). She has also choreographed three art films: Skeletons, The Death of Pentheus and Apollo and the Continents (Kimbell Museum, Fort Worth, Texas).
NICHOLAS CRAWLEY Helmsman
Tristan / ensemble was Head Chorister at St Albans Cathedral and studies at RAM. Roles include The Man in Matt Rogers’ The Raven (Opera up Close); Sergeant / Colline (cover) Bohème (BYO); Alfonso Così, Ratcliffe Billy Budd and Plumkett Martha (RAM). Other engagements include Duruflé Requiem, Bach Christmas Oratorio and Haydn Nelson Mass. Supported by TRISTAN WOOD & SALLY PHILLIPS ADAM CROCKATT ensemble
CAMERON BURNS Chorus Master was an Academic and Organ Scholar at New College, Oxford where he graduated with a starred-first in piano performance. He is a conducting scholar with the London Symphony Chorus (Otello, Lohengrin and Elektra), and Assistant Chorus Master at ENO. Professional credits include Powder Her Face and Salome (ROH and Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg); Faust, A Dog’s Heart, Parsifal, Mikado, Lucrezia Borgia and Bohème (ENO); L’Elisir d’amore (WNO); Giovanni (Aldeburgh); Rake’s Progress (BYO); Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (Barga). EMMA CARRINGTON Jezibaba Rusalka studied at RNCM and RAM. Roles include La Zia Principessa Suor Angelica, Mother Goose Rake’s Progress (RNCM); Bianca Rape of Lucretia, Martha Iolanta, Marcellina Figaro, Diana/ Giove Calisto and Masha Paradise Moscow (RAM); Clorinda Tancredi e Clorinda (Batignano), 3rd Lady Flute and Older Woman Flight (BYO), Quickly Falstaff (Grange Park Rising Stars at Nevill Holt) and Miss Baggot Let’s Make an Opera (Aldeburgh). She appeared in the Five:15 programme and as Kabanicha Katya Kabanova (Scottish Opera) and Alticiara Francesca da Rimini (Opera Holland Park). Supported by TOM BUSHER & ELIZABETH BENSON PAUL CHANTRY dancer Rusalka
trained at Central School of Ballet and toured with Ballet Central. He has worked for Opera North, Scottish Opera, Grange Park Opera and Opera de Lille. His main collaboration is with Javier de Frutos, but he has also worked with William Tuckett, Andrew George, Lucy Burge, David Fielding and Dora Frankel.
studied at GSMD with Adrian Thompson. Recent performances include Head Oompa Loompa The Golden Ticket and chorus in Mercadante’s Virginia (Wexford); Laurie Little Women (Banff Opera); Herodiade (Dorset Opera); the British première of Berio’s ending of Turandot and Iain Burnside’s devised piece Lads In Their Hundreds. In his spare time he writes pop music, singing and playing guitar in his band Everybody Be Cool. GABRIELLE DALTON Associate
Costume Designer Rusalka studied at Middlesex Polytechnic. Costume designs include: Carmen (Opera North; Salzburg); The Red Balloon (ROH2 and tour); Rusalka (Grange Park Opera); Rheingold and Walküre (Associate to Antony McDonald at Nationale Reisopera; Joe Turner has come and gone, (Young Vic); Three Water Plays (Almeida Opera); Barber of Seville (Savoy Opera); Turandot (Nationale Reisopera); Figaro (Bologna, Genoa, Barcelona, Tel Aviv, Champs-Elysées, Paris and Bordeaux); Of Thee I Sing, Let 'em Eat Cake, Dido & Aeneas, Les Noces and Ruddigore (Opera North). In US she was Costume Director on five productions by Opera Pacific and Costume Assistant on Otello and Don Pasquale (Los Angeles Opera). DAVIES Designer Rigoletto Opera includes: Falstaff (Grange Park), Cenerentola, Gazza Ladra (Garsington), Magic Flute (Graz), Snatched by the Gods, Broken Strings (Almeida Opera). Theatre includes: The Dark Philosopher and A Good Night Out (National Theatre Wales, 2010); The Prince of Homburg and Life’s a Dream (Donmar); Henry V111 (Shakespeare’s Globe); The Father (Chichester); Mahabharata (Sadlers Wells); The Magic Carpet, The Odyssey (Lyric Hammersmith); Bronte (Lyric/touring); After Mrs Rochester (Duke of York/touring); The Clearing, A Doll’s ANGELA
House, Mother Courage, The House of Bernarda Alba (Shared Experience); Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Bristol Old Vic); Hamlet, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Don Juan, The Hypochondriac (WYP); Night of the Soul, Victoria, Shadows (RSC); The Maids Tragedy (Globe); As You Like It (Washington Shakespeare Theatre). TIMOTHY DAWKINS Sparafucile Rigoletto has sung with Scottish Opera, Opera North and Glyndebourne Festival Opera where he won the Erich Vietheer Award ‘to a promising young Glyndebourne singer’. For Grange Park he has sung Ashby Fanciulla and Parson/Badger Cunning Little Vixen, Angelotti Tosca and Major-Domo Capriccio. Other roles include Leporello Giovanni (Batignano); Graf Dominik Arabella (Glyndebourne) Tom Ballo in Maschera, Colline Bohème, Jake Wallace Fanciulla, Don Fernando Fidelio, Quinault Adriana Lecouvreur (Holland Park); Le Spectre Hamlet (Chelsea Opera); Superintendent Budd Albert Herring (Aldeburgh Festival); Sprecher Zauberflöte (Columbia Artists/USA tour); Mephistopheles Faust (EGO); Sparafucile Rigoletto (Longborough) and various roles in Purcell’s Fairy Queen at ROH2. Supported by SIR STUART ROSE GIUSEPPE DE’ LIGIA Ceprano
Rigoletto was born in Sardinia and studied singing at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. He has appeared for three seasons at Glyndebourne where he covered Captain Onegin, Littore, Console and Familiari Poppea, Escamillo Carmen, Dulcamara L’Elisir d’Amore and recently sang Assassin Macbeth. Appearances include Conte Asdrubale La Pietra del Paragone, Almaviva Le Nozze di Figaro, Simone Don Gregorio (Wexford Festival), Alfonso Così, Masetto Giovanni (Opera Ireland), Dandini Cenerentola and Figaro Nozze di Figaro (Montalto Musica, Italy). Supported by Mrs PETER CADBURY CAROLYN DOBBIN Maddalena
Rigoletto was born in Carrickfergus and trained at RSAMD. She has worked with ENO, ETO, Garsington, Mid Wales Opera, Holland Park, OTC (Dublin) and Raymond Gubbay. During 2010, Carolyn Dobbin was an Associate Artist of WNO and the recipient of the WNO Chris Ball Bursary and the Sir John Moores Award, singing Mercedes Carmen and 2nd Lady Flute. Supported by MR HAPPY
MATTHEW DUNCAN ensemble
trained at RNCM where roles included Frank Fledermaus and Billy Billy Budd. Last year he sang at Grange Park in Tosca and Love for Three Oranges and more recently in Rigoletto (Bury Court Opera). Recent roles include Schaunard Bohème (OperaUpClose), Melchior Amahl & the Night Visitors (Dress Circle), Junius Rape of Lucretia (Elemental Opera), Count Figaro (Dorset Opera), Calchus Belle Helene (Merry Opera), Guglielmo Così (European Chamber Opera) and Masetto Giovanni (Opera Anywhere). ANNE-SOPHIE DUPRELS Rusalka
studied at the Conservatoire National in Paris. Recent appearances include Thaïs and Rusalka (Grange Park Opera); Manon (Scottish Opera, Buenos Aires); Malinka/Etherea/ Kunka Mr Broucek (Opera North, Scottish Opera); a staged Strauss Four Last Songs (Bastille); Jenufa (Opera New Zealand); Theresa Benvenuto Cellini (Strasbourg); Fiordiligi (Glimmerglass, Strasbourg); Susanna Figaro‚ Despina Cosi‚ Witch Hansel & Gretel and Naïade Ariadne auf Naxos (Lyon, Châtelet), Carolina Il Matrimonio Segreto (Lyon)‚ Marzellina Fidelio (Nantes, Angers)‚ Amanda Le Grand Macabre and Thibault Don Carlos (San Francisco). In the UK roles include Mimi (Scottish Opera), Oksana Tcherevichki (Garsington), Violetta Traviata, Magda Rondine‚ Lucia, Luisa Miller, Jenufa, Katya and Melisande (Holland Park). Supported by CAMERON & HEIKE MUNRO NICOLAS DWYER Jailer Tosca / ensemble Roles include Ridicule The Love of Three Oranges, Marcello (OperaUpClose, Soho Theatre), Guglielmo (Situation Opera), 1st Witch Dido & Aeneas (GSMD), and roles in Tête–à–Tête and Grimeborn opera festivals. Nicolas has been teaching singing and guitar in Tower Hamlets schools and gave a recital for religious leaders including the Pope during his visit to the UK. PATRICK EGERSBORG ensemble
grew up in Trondheim, Norway and studied in Berlin where he appeared as Betto Gianni Schicchi and Antinoo Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. In 2010 Patrick moved to London to continue his vocal studies and has appeared with Opera Holland Park, Spurio and the Excecutioner jazz-opera Vice by Jools Scott with Grimeborn Festival at Arcola Theatre and Soho Theatre.
DAVID FIELDING director designer
WOLFGANG GOEBELL Lighting
Tristan At Grange Park credits include Enchantress, Thais, Rinaldo, Turn of the Screw, Gambler, Love for 3 Oranges. Other directorial credits include Aegyptische Helena (Met), Turk in Italy (ENO), Schweigsame Frau, Capriccio, Daphne, Idomeneo, Aegyptische Helena, Liebe der Danae, Intermezzo, Arabella (Garsington), Otello (Düsseldorf), Intelligence 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 (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 Andrea Chenier (Bregenz). Supported by TERENCE & SIAN SINCLAIR
Design Rusalka / Tristan 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).
SARA FULGONI Brangäne Tristan regularly performs at major opera and concert venues worldwide in an extensive repertoire. For Grange Park: Adalgisa Norma and Clairon Capriccio. Other roles include Carmen, Beatrice, Judith, Hänsel, Orlofsky, Lucretia, Waltraute, Kundry and title role in Tobias Picker's Therèse Raquin (recorded for Chandos). In opera and concert Sara has worked with Sinopoli, Ashkenazy, JukkaPekka Saraste, Plasson, Jurowski, Gatti, Jacobs and Hickox. Recent and future appearances include Das Lied von der Erde (La Monnaie), Richard III and Götterdämmerung (Opéra National du Rhin). Supported by FRANCIS & NATHALIE PHILLIMORE GADD Kurwenal Tristan was as a chorister at Coventry Cathedral, read Engineering whilst a choral scholar at Cambridge and went on to RNCM. Awards include the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Scholarship. Roles include title role Macbeth (Glyndebourne Festival and tour); Almaviva Figaro (Salzburg Festival and Japan); title role Giovanni (Opéra de Rennes, live broadcast); Melot Tristan und Isolde (ROH, Glyndebourne Festival, Baden Baden Festival). Stephen's recordings for Deutsche Grammophon include Mozart’s Krönungsmesse and Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, Purcell’s Dioclesian and Sullivan's Ivanhoe for Chandos. Supported by JEREMY & ROSEMARY FARR STEPHEN
ANDREW GREENAN Monterone
Rigoletto studied at Cambridge and RNCM. His opera début was in Schoenberg’s Glückliche Hand (La Scala); Timur Turandot, Fernando Fidelio, Sparafucile Rigoletto, Commendatore Giovanni, Hermit Freischütz, GreminOnegin and Zaccaria Nabucco (ENO); Heinrich Lohengrin (Metropolitan Opera); Pietro Simon Boccanegra and Crespel Tales of Hoffmann (ROH); Rocco Fidelio (Bordeaux and Auckland); Biterolf Tannhäuser (Brussels); Kothner Meistersinger (Geneva); Cecil Maria Stuarda (San Diego); King Mark Tristan (Oviedo); Daland Fliegende Holländer, Vodnik Rusalka (Nancy) and Nightwatchman Meistersinger (San Francisco). Recent engagements include Arnolphe in Liebermann’s Die Schule der Frauen (Bordeaux) and Titurel Parsifal (ENO). Supported by SIR DAVID & LADY PLASTOW OSIAN GWYNN ensemble studied International Politics at Aberystwyth University and is now at GSMD. He has taken part in masterclasses with Susan Bullock, Adrian Thompson, Laura Sarti and Martin Katz. Roles include Guglielmo Così, Almaviva Figaro and Le Chat/Le Fauteuil L’enfant et les Sortilèges. CLEMENT
ensemble completed postgraduate studies at GSMD and has worked at Opera Holland Park, The King’s Opera (1st Sailor Dido & Aeneas) and BYO (The Shepherd Euridice). Recent solo engagements include Britten’s Winter Words (Aldeburgh Parish Church), Bach Mass in B Minor (Exeter), and Messiah (Farnham).
CARYL HUGHES 1st Nymph
Rusalka studied at RAM and at Cardiff International Academy of Voice. She has performed with WNO, Scottish Opera, ETO, Clonter Opera, OPRA Cymru, Armonico Consort, Iford Arts in roles including title roles in Cenerentola and Carmen, Rosina Barber of Seville, Varvara Katya Kabanova, Teti Le nozze di Teti e di Peleo, Irene Tamerlano, Yniold Pelleas et Melisande, Eustazio Rinaldo, Little Moon A Night at the Chinese Opera, Rita the Rat Fantastic Mr Fox, title role in Neal Thornton’s Sonya’s Story and Flora in the world première of Jonathan Dove’s The Enchanted Pig. Performances in 2011 include Madama Brillante in Cimarosa’s L’Italiana in Londra (Bampton Opera). Supported by CHRISTINA & TIMOTHY BENN RICHARD
ensemble studied at GSMD under Robert Dean. Appearances at Grange Park include Imperial Commissionaire and cover Sharpless Madama Butterfly, Ridicule Love for Three Oranges, Norma, Eliogabalo and a concert performance of Der fliegende Holländer. Other recent roles include Sid Albert Herring and the title roles Barber of Seville and Nozze di Figaro. ensemble trained at Birmingham Conservatoire where he won the Opera Prize and English Song Prize before going to RCM. Masterclasses include Sarah Walker and Sir Thomas Allen. Roles include Fabrizio Pietra del Paragone (Stanley Hall); Garibaldo Rodelinda, Berrardo Riccardo Primo, Masetto Giovanni (Opera de Baugé); Morales Carmen, Schaunard Boheme (Blackheath Halls Opera) and chorus for Grange Park Opera in 2010. STEPHEN
DANIEL JOY ensemble studied
at RCM and GSMD. In 2008 he joined Glyndebourne Festival Chorus and covered various roles in L'incoronazione di Poppea. Other appearances include cover Fabrizio Mirandolina (Garsington), Remendado Carmen (Scottish Opera), title role Albert Herring, Giovanni L’Assedio di Calais, Ricardo Cherubin (GSMD), title role in Britten's Prodigal Son, Hermann in Mendelssohn's Heimkehr aus der Fremde (Ryedale / Grimeborn Festivals), Don Jose Carmen, Tamino and Lensky. Supported by the GRANGE PARK SCHOLARSHIP FUND
dancing nymph Rusalka graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in 2009. She then became an apprentice with Scottish Dance Theatre, touring to China and Dubai and subsequently joined the company for their autumn tour last year. Supported by TESSA & JOHN MANSER ANNA
JANIS KELLY Foreign Princess
Rusalka studied at the RSAMD in her native Glasgow and at RCM. She is a regular guest with ENO, Opera North and Grange Park Opera in repertoire ranging from Traviata and Rosenkavalier to Showboat. Her extensive concert repertoire includes the major oratorios from the baroque, classical, Romantic and 20th century. Recent appearances include Nella Gianni Schicchi and Madame Jouvenot Adriana Lecouvreur (ROH); Pat Nixon Nixon in China (Metropolitan Opera); title role in Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna (Manchester, London and Toronto); Queen Clementine Barbebleu (Grange Park); Mrs Naidoo Satyagraha (ENO) and Lania Skin Deep (Opera North). Supported by DAVID & AMANDA LEATHERS MATTHEW KIMBLE ensemble was born in Bedford and trained at the GSMD. Roles include Albert Herring, Tamino, Don José Carmen, Orpheus Orpheus in the Underworld, Beppe Pagliacci and Gastone Traviata. He has worked with many companies and festivals including Opera Holland Park, Aldeburgh Festival, Bregenz Festival, Carl Rosa, Chelmsford Opera and Hampstead Garden Opera. AINO KONKKA ensemble from Finland, joins Grange Park Opera for a second season. Recent roles include Bradamante Alcina (Barefoot Opera), Purcell’s Dido, and Valletto L’Incoronazione di Poppea (Longborough Opera). ADAM KOWALCZYK ensemble in 2008 graduated from GSMD. Recent appearances include ensemble at Grange Park in Tosca, Madama Butterfly and L’amour des Trois Oranges, actor / madrigal singer Duchess of Malfi (Royal and
Derngate Theatre, Northampton), Goro Madama Butterfly, Soldier & Liberto Poppea and Beppe and Husband Pagliacci (Opera Up Close). LEE Spoletta Tosca & ensemble was Kathleen Ferrier Bursary for Young Singers finalist 2005 and studied at GSMD. Recent appearances include tenor soloist in Stravinsky’s Les Noces (LSO St Luke’s, Auditiorium Saint-Germain Paris and Opera de Rouen), Dritte Diener Capriccio (Grange Park Opera), Sellem (cover) Rake’s Progress (Aldeburgh), Triquet (cover) Eugene Onegin (BYO), Aeneas Dido & Aeneas (Deutsche Bank), Dr Blind Fledermaus (Cambridge Philharmonic Society), Polidoro Finta Semplice (Opera Petit), Adam Diaries of Adam & Eve (Grimeborn) and Demetrius in Ian MacKenzie-Thurley’s Dream (English Pocket Opera). EDWARD
JESUS LEON Cavaradossi Tosca
studies with Mirella Freni. Operatic performances include Pinkerton Butterfly (Grange Park Rising Stars), Nemorino L’Elisir d’amore (Sonora Philharmonic, Mexico); Fenton (cover) Falstaff (Glyndebourne); Ottavio Giovanni, Rinuccio Gianni Schicchi and Arkady A Month in the Country (Opera Institute at Boston University); Duca Rigoletto (San Francisco Lyric Opera and New Opera Festival di Roma ); Rodolfo Boheme, Edgardo Lucia di Lammermoor (Riverside Opera, California); Almaviva Barber of Seville (Opera Theatre of Saint Louis); Ferrando (cover) Così (Santa Fe) and Alfredo Traviata (West Bay Opera). Jesus has toured major cities across the United States, Cuba, Thailand, England, Belgium, Italy and Mexico. Supported by IAN & CLARE MAURICE and GRANGE PARK SCHOLARSHIP FUND WARREN LETTON Lighting Designer Tosca trained at Rose
Bruford College. Lighting designs include Orpheus (Ballet Black), Exposure, Gentle Giant (ROH2), Burlesque, Noitamina and Legends, Icons and Idols (Orchard Theatre), Antigone (RBC Studio), Phantasy (Rambert), Summer Collection (ROH2, Clore Studio), Heart of Darkness (OperaGenesis/ ROH2), In Good Company (ROH2, BRB/Australian Ballet/ National Ballet of Canada), Studio Nights (ENO) and Noughts & Crosses (RSC). He has lit ROH revivals and tours, including Soldier’s Tale, Wind in the Willows and Pinocchio. TOM LISHMAN Sound designer Rusalka Productions
include: The Caretaker, Pete & Dud Come Again, Al Murray, Medea, I love you you're perfect now change, Ashes to Ashes (Royal Court), i was looking at the ceiling and then i saw
the Sky (ROH Linbury). Recent designs include: The Great Game:Afghanistan and Not Black & White (Tricycle); Jungle Book and Horrible Histories (Birmingham Stage Company). Tom regularly designs for the Edinburgh Festival and Chichester Festival. He produced soundscapes for the world DVD launches of two Harry Potter films and wrote two radio plays: A la Villa Bab Azzoun and The Way of All Women. JEFFREY
Prince Rusalka was born in Wales Read music at Lancaster University before studying at RNCM. For Grange Park: Basilio / Curzio Figaro, Husband Breasts of Tiresias, Lensky Onegin, Quint Turn of the Screw, Prince Yuri Enchantress, Nicias Thais, Alexei The Gambler, Erik Der fliegende Holländer and Prince Love for Three Oranges. He has worked regularly with Opera North, including title role in Peter Grimes, ENO (Alwa Lulu), ROH, Scottish Opera (Adventures of Mr Broucek), WNO, Glyndebourne Festival, Birmingham Opera (Andres Wozzeck), ETO, Garsington Opera and Holland Park. He made his Salzburg debut in 2010 as Erik Der fliegende Höllander. Recent engagements include Turnage’s Anna Nicole (ROH) and From the House of the Dead, Queen of Spades and Die Walküre (Opera North). TOM LOWE ensemble studied at RAM Opera School. Roles include Dancairo Carmen (Longborourgh), Eisenstein Fledermaus (Bloomsbury Opera), Pinkerton Madama Butterfly (Opera Up Close) and Arnalta Poppea devised and directed by Mark Ravenhill. Tom teaches singing at Kings College London and at his studio. LUCY LOWNDES dancer Rusalka was born in Bristol, started at Bristol Ballet Centre and was a Junior Associate at Royal Ballet School. In 2003 she joined Rambert and has also danced for Cork City Ballet, Swansea Ballet Russe, Vienna Festival Ballet, Belinda King (Portugal) and the BBC.. Supported by an anonymous donor KARINA LUCAS Giovanna Rigoletto 3rd Nymph & Kitchen Boy Rusalka has performed in three Jonathan Dove operas: Flora Enchanted Pig (Linbury Studio, ROH and New Victory Theatre, New York), title role Adventures of Pinocchio (Opera
North) and Sara Tobias & the Angel (Young Vic). Other roles include Smeraldina Love for Three Oranges, Wowkle Fanciulla (Grange Park); Maddalena Rigoletto (Nevill Holt); 3rd Lady Magic Flute (Opera North); Witch Macbeth (Scottish Opera Go Round); Dorabella Così, Leila (Iolanthe), Dorabella (Ryedale Festival) and Sesto Giulio Cesare (Yorke Trust). Giovanna Supported by ALASTAIR & ROBINA FARLEY 3rd Nymph Kitchen Boy Supported by FRANCOIS FREYEISEN & SUNICHI KUBO NJABULO MADLALA Scarpia
Tosca won the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Award. Njabulo was born in South Africa and studied at GSMD, graduating in 2009. Recent engagements include Don Fernando Fidelio (Holland Park), Moralès Carmen (Dorset Opera), Don Giulio L’ajo nell’imbarazzo (Barga International Festival), Bach’s Ich habe genug (Ten Tors Orchestra), Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen (LPO’s Foyles First series) conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, Sancta Civitas (BBC Concert Orchestra), Belshazzar’s Feast (Brighton Philharmonic). Supported by an anonymous donor and GRANGE PARK SCHOLARSHIP FUND ALEXIA
Countess Ceprano Rigoletto & ensemble was born in Minsk. She studied singing at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in Moscow and later at TCM, where she won first prize in both the English Song Competition and the Elisabeth Schumann Lieder Prize. Last year she was invited to perform for the Queen of Spain in Madrid and for the Bavarian Government at the Kaiser Palace, Munich. Supported by CHRISTOPHER SWAN GIANLUCA
Conductor Tosca studied piano in Florence winning international competitions. He worked in major Italian opera houses as a répétiteur and coach before moving to Ljubljana Opera as an assistant conductor. In 2006 he stepped in, without rehearsal, in Zagreb to conduct Nabucco and Barbiere and became their principal conductor for 2008/9 season. Other appearances include Debussy's La Damoiselle Elue and Poulenc's Mamelles de Tiresias (Sassari), Turandot (Oviedo), Manon Lescaut (COG), Aida, Rigoletto, Trovatore and Attila (Tbilisi Opera where he is now Music Director). He is Music Director of the Al Bustan Festival, Beirut and Principal Guest Conductor of the Drama, Dance & Opera Orchestra, Beijing.
ANTONY MCDONALD Director
& Designer Rusalka: Director/ Designer credits: Rheingold, Walküre, Manon and King Priam (Nationale Reisopera); Mary Stuart (Opera North); Tsarevitch (South Bavarian Theatre); Knot Garden, Aida (Scottish Opera), Wonderful Town (Grange Park). Recent designs for Opera: Gambler (ROH); Cunning Little Vixen (Netherlands Opera); Billy Budd (Frankfurt, Amsterdam); Pelléas et Mélisande (Opera North and Munich Festival) and Giulietta (Paris Opera and Geneva); Prima Donna by Rufus Wainwright (Manchester International Festival, Sadlers Wells, Toronto); Midsummer Night’s Dream and Merry Widow (Met, New York). With Richard Jones, he co-directed/ designed Ballo in Maschera and Boheme (Bregenz Festival). Dance: Art of Touch and A Tragedy of Fashion (Rambert Dance); Pennies from Heaven, Carmen (costumes), Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Nutcracker and Alice (Scottish Ballet). JAMES MCORAN-CAMPBELL
Gamekeeper Rusalka made his debut as Giovanni (Opera North). Roles include Bello Fanciulla (Grange Park); Dandini Cenerentola (WNO), Figaro Barbiere (Zomeropera, Belgium); Rolf Sound of Music (Châtelet); Fledermaus (Castleward); Finta Giardiniera (Opéra de Baugé); Cascada Merry Widow (Opera North); Boheme (Opéra de Baugé). He has toured the UK as Belcore L’Elisir, Figaro Barbiere, Malatesta Pasquale, Marcello Boheme, Guglielmo Così, Gamekeeper Cunning Little Vixen (ETO), title roles in Pelléas et Mélisande and Hamlet. LAURENCE MEIKLE Sciarrone
Tosca & ensemble studied at Royal Academy Opera and Salzburg Mozarteum and was a principal artist with Opera Australia before relocating to UK in 2008. Roles include Marcello, Schaunard Boheme, Guglielmo, Masetto, Almaviva, Belcore L’Elisir, Malatesta Pasquale, Demetrius Midsummer Night’s Dream and Luiz Gondoliers. Plans include title role Giovanni (Woodhouse Opera), performances at Cadogan Hall (Southbank Sinfonia) and opera galas with Israel Philharmonic. Supported by ISLA BARING OAM, TAIT MEMORIAL TRUST ALWYN MELLOR Isolde Tristan was born in Lancashire, studied at RNCM and made her début with WNO. She has sung with Canadian Opera Company, Chelsea Opera Group, ENO, Glyndebourne Touring Opera, Opera North, Opera Ireland, Opera North, Opéra-Théâtre de Limoges and
Santa Fe. Future highlights include Sieglinde Walküre and Brünnhilde Götterdämmerung (Opera North), Ortlinde Walküre (ROH), Brünnhilde Walküre / Siegfried (Paris Opera), Brünnhilde in Seattle Opera’s 2013 Ring des Nibelungen. Isolde’s head Supported by SAMANTHA & NABIL CHARTOUNI Isolde’s body Supported by an anonymous donor Isolde’s legs Supported by JUDITH LAWLESS & KEVIN EGAN SIMON MILLS Lighting Design
Rigoletto Credits include Lohengrin (Geneva, Houston,San Francisco); L’Elisir (Opera North, WNO); Cunning Little Vixen (Bregenz, San Francisco, Geneva); Manon Lescaut (Opera North, Oslo, Oviedo); Maometto II (Strasbourg); Luisa Miller (Lyon); Rigoletto (WNO); Giovanni (Exvinograd, Varna, Bulgaria); Macbeth (Malmo); Hello Dolly, Much Ado about Nothing, Twelfth Night, Romeo & Juliet, Gigi (Regents Park Theatre); Cinderella, Black Eyed Susan (Bury St Edmunds); Entertaining Mr Sloane, The Dumb Waiter (Trafalgar Studios); Carmen (Companions Opera, Hamburg, Zurich, Shanghai, Gelsenkirschen); Faust parts 1 & 2 (Royal Lyceum Edinburgh); Rheingold (ENO), Handmaid’s Tale, (Copenhagen, ENO and Toronto); Paradise Moscow (Opera North); Giovanni (Cologne); Jenufa and Death in Venice (Opera Zuid). In 1999 Simon won Variety Magazine Best Newcomer Award. Gilda Rigoletto won the Song prize at the 2007 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and then joined the National Opera Studio. Roles include Ilia Idomeneo, Helena Midsummer Night’s Dream, Elvira Giovanni, Leila The Pearlfishers, Countess Almaviva Figaro, Elisa Tolomeo, Aldimira Cavalli ‘s Erismena, First Witch Dido & Aeneas, Ninfa / Proserpina Orfeo, Ismene Mitridate, Gilda Rigoletto. Future engagements include Hero Beatrice and Benedict (WNO). Supported by JANE & PAUL CHASE-GARDENER LAURA
GARETH MORRIS Borsa Rigoletto & ensemble studied at RWCMD and RAM. Recent roles include Bardolfo Falstaff and Borsa Rigoletto (Grange Park and Pimlico Opera), Rodolfo Boheme (OperaUpClose), Alfred Fledermaus (Opera della Luna), Almaviva Barber of Seville (OperaUpClose & Armonico Consort) and Roberto Devereux
(Opera Project Valladolid). Other roles include Tamino, Ferrando, Don Ottavio, Basilio, Curzio, Prunier, Dr Blind, Sesto, Paris in von Suppé’s The Ten Belles, Normanno & Arturo Lucia di Lammermoor. He has broadcast as a soloist with both the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra on BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4. Supported by MR & MRS ROBERT ENSLOW MATTHEW
ensemble graduated last year from RCM. As a chorister at Wells Cathedral he was one of four finalists in BBC Radio 2 Chorister of the Year 2000. Professional opera includes Pearl Fishers, Curlew River, Fra Diavolo, Cavelleria Rusticana and Pagliacci. Solo excerpts include Tebaldo I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Telemaco Ulysses, First Armed Man Zauberflöte and Idamante Idomeneo. ensemble studied in Brazil and completed his Master of Opera at RSAMD. He has performed Papageno, Guglielmo, Giovanni, Dancairo, Belcore, Schaunard, Silvio and Onegin. Concert work includes Messiah in Scotland and Germany, Petite Messe Solennelle, Coronation Mass, Christmas Oratorio and Elijah. FELIPE
MARCO PANUCCIO Duca Rigoletto Most recent roles include Electrician in Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face (Bologna and Lugo), Don José Carmen (Opera Holland Park), Des Grieux Manon (Opera Grand Rapids), title role in Bernstein’s Candide (Münchner Philharmoniker) and Manrico Il Trovatore (Portland Summerfest). Other appearances include Bégearss Ghosts of Versailles (Wexford Festival), Edgard Lucie de Lammermoor (Cincinnati), Des Grieux Manon (Lyric Opera of Chicago), Rodolfo Bohème (Cleveland Opera), Alfredo Traviata (Michigan Opera Theatre), Duke Rigoletto (New Orleans Opera) and Prince Karl Student Prince (Nashville Opera). Supported by ED & LULU SISKIND STUART PENDRED Marullo Rigoletto & ensemble started as an actor. TV & Theatre: Casualty, Spooks, The Bill, Manchild, Rosemary & Thyme, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Pirates of Penzance, Spend, Spend, Spend, Wuthering Heights and Les Miserables. Opera: Escamillo Carmen, Sarastro Flute
(New Vic Opera), Baron Traviata, Onegin Eugene Onegin (Opera Bearwood). He was awarded the Wagner Society’s Sir Reginald Goodall Scholarship, and will take part in openrehearsals of Walküre (Hunding) at Aldeburgh. Concerts across the UK, Europe and USA have included the RAH and 02 Arena alongside Sting, Mariah Carey, Westlife, Il Divo and Lionel Ritchie. He is Chelsea FC’s ‘official voice’. Supported by RAYMOND & ELIZABETH HENLEY LEONEL PINHEIRO ensemble
was born in Portugal and studied at GSMD. Roles include Monostatos Zauberflöte, Pluton Orphée aux enfers (Aveiro University), Son II Die sieben Todsünden (Sheffield University), 1st Commissary Dialogues des Carmélites (RSAMD), Clem/Alfred Little Sweep (Haddo House), Borsa Rigoletto (Clonter), Anuchkin The Marriage, Giovanni D’Aire L’assedio di Calais, Le Duc Chérubin, Mr Upfold Albert Herring (GSMD), Don José Carmen (Kentish Opera). EMILIA POUNTNEY ensemble studied at TCM. Recent apearances include Barbarina Figaro (CoOpera), Papagena Magic Flute, 1st Witch Dido & Aeneas (Hampstead Garden Opera), Le Vin Herbe (Ardente Opera), chorus Iolanthe & Mikado (Buxton G & S Opera Company); Eliogabalo, Fliegende Hollander, Tosca and L’Amour des Trois Oranges (Grange Park Opera). TOBY PURSER Conductor Rigoletto is Artistic Director of Orion Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Kammerphilhamonie Graz. He has guest-conducted L’Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, Orchestra of Opera North, Sinfonia Viva, St Petersburg Camerata, St Petersburg Festival Orchestra. Opera includes Rigoletto, Butterfly (Grange Park Rising Stars), Hänsel & Gretel, Seraglio, Bailey’s The Black Monk, Sciarrino’s Infinito Nero. With Pimlico Opera in prison he has conducted Sugar at HMP Send, and West Side Story, Carmen the Musical with the inmates of HMP Wandsworth. Supported by RUTH MARKLAND ANDREW REES Melot Tristan was born in Carmarthen and studied at RNCM and GSMD. Roles include Edgar Ludd & Isis (ROH Production Park); Lemminkäinen in Jonathan Dove’s Swanhunter (Opera North); Doctor Anna Nicole (ROH); Eisslinger Meistersinger and Kudryash Katya (WNO);
Walter/Hugo/Old Woman in Judith Weir’s Blond Eckbert (NDR Sinfonieorchester, Hamburg); Ryan When She Died: Death of a Princess (Jonathan Dove commission for Channel 4); Boris Katya (St Gallen); Sergei Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk (St Gallen and Weimar); Messenger Aida (ENO); Jim Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny (Nantes/Angers and Lille); Cavaradossi Tosca and Fisherman Rossignol (Finnish Radio) and Siegmund (Longborough Opera). Supported by HARVEY MCGREGOR QC RELTON Revival Director Tosca began his career as a Stage Manager for ENO and Glyndebourne. He has directed Boheme, Falstaff and Rondine (Opera North); Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci (Festival de la Vezere,); La Voix Humaine (Les Azuriales); Cenerentola and Tosca (Opera Brava); Pearl Fishers and Nabucco (Northern Opera); Marriage of Figaro, Traviata, Magic Flute and Tosca (Opera Nova). He has worked extensively with students, directing scenes at RCM and RAM. As an Assistant Director he has worked at ENO, ROH, Opera North, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and RNT. PETER
CHARLES RICE Angelotti Tosca
was a music scholar at The King’s, Canterbury and then studied politics at Leeds. He is currently on Opera Course at the Royal Academy of Music. Last summer Charles was with Glyndebourne chorus covering Mr Redburn Billy Budd. Roles include James Pirates of Penzance (Buxton), Zaretsky Onegin (Iford), cover Cavaliere di Ripafrata Mirandolina (Garsington), Vicar Albert Herring (RAM), Dr Falke Fledermaus (Alternative Opera). RICHARD ROBERTS Sailor & Shepherd Tristan was born in Kansas and has been a principal artist with Staatstheater Kassel and ENO. He has appeared at the Theater Kiel, Theater Krefeld and Volkstheater Rostock. Recent engagements include Rustighello Lucrezia Borgia and Pang Turandot (ENO); Prince Rusalka, Steva Jenufa and Boris Katya (ETO); Goro Butterfly (Dayton Opera); Matteo Arabella (Opera Australia); Steersman Der fliegende Holländer (Grange Park and London Lyric Opera) and Mime Das Rheingold (Opera North). He has appeared in opera galas for
Raymond Gubbay. His recordings include Bardolph Falstaff (Chandos) and Cockerel The Cunning Little Vixen (Opus Arte DVD). Sailor Supported by ROGER & KATE HOLMES Shepherd Supported by THE NORTH WEST LONDONERS EDWARD SAKLATVALA ensemble
was a boy chorister at King's, Cambridge and returned as a tenor. He divides his time between UK and Netherlands where he regularly sings with Nationale Reisopera. Recent roles include Idamante Idomeneo, Basilio / Curzio Figaro, Sellem Rake's Progress, Reverend Adams Peter Grimes and 1st Armed Man Flute. DAMIANO SALERNO Rigoletto Rigoletto was born in Syracuse and studied piano and singing at the Conservatory of Pescara. He was at the Accademia di Studi Verdiani of Busseto in Parma and then RAM. He made his stage debut at the Circuito Lirico Lombardo. Roles include Germont Traviata and Miller Luisa Miller (La Fenice); Germont, Sharpless Butterfly (Genova); Ping Turandot (Opera di Roma); Albert Werther and Silvio I Pagliacci (Bayerische Rundfunk); Lescaut Manon Lescaut (Lucca) and Rigoletto (Bologna and Torino). Other roles include Melitone La forza del destino, Belcore L’Elisir and Figaro Barbiere. Supported by DUCA DI BRONTE SCOTT ensemble studied at the GSMD. Recent appearances include Iain Burnside’s Unknown Doors. (Pit, Barbican), Papageno Flute, Seneca Poppea, Leporello Giovanni (EChO Spain Tour). Frazer has sung with City of London Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra and the CBSO. FRAZER
Rigoletto, Falstaff, Don Giovanni, Fortunio (Grange Park); Cenerentola, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Gazza Ladra (Garsington); Lohengrin (Houston); Peter Grimes and Lohengrin (Geneva); L’Arbore di Diana (Valencia); Samson (Buxton); Betrothal in a Monastery (Glyndebourne, Valencia); Pasquale (Geneva, Garsington, Caen); Manon Lescaut (Opera North, Oslo, Oviedo); Manon (Opera North), L’Elisir d’amore (Opera North, WNO, New Zealand Festival); Bartered Bride (Opera North, Strasbourg); Magic Flute (Graz); Cunning Little Vixen (Bregenz, San Francisco, Geneva); Barbiere di Siviglia and Der Vogelhändler (Berlin); Maometto II (Strasbourg); Wozzeck (Santa Fe); Boheme (Scottish Opera, Opera Ireland); Eugene Onegin (French Institute Theatre). Theatre: Making Waves (Scarborough); Confusions (Salisbury); Life Goes On (Basingstoke); Grab the Dog (RNT); The Mark (Soho Theatre). SPENDLEY Sacristan Tosca gave up his job as a bank manager to study music fulltime at GSMD. His roles there included Michele Il Tabarro, The Earl of Dunmow A Dinner Engagement, Mozart’s Figaro and Olivier Capriccio. He sang the title role Eugene Onegin and Schaunard Boheme (BYO). Recent roles include Sciarrone Tosca (Grange Park) and Publio La Clemenza di Tito (ETO). PHILIP
TOM STODDART ensemble is a
recent graduate of TCM and recently took the role of Paul in Phillip Glass' Les Enfants Terribles (Grimeborn Festival), Bartolo Marriage of Figaro (Opera Loki). Recent concert work includes Mozart’s Requiem; Nelson Mass, Petite Messe Solennelle, Duruflè’s Requiem; Carmina Burana and St John Passion.
BEN SEIFERT ensemble studied at
Oxford and RAM. He has worked with Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company, Grange Park Opera, Opera Holland Park, Opera by Definition, Tête à Tête Opera and Arcola Opera. Roles include Harlekin Ariadne auf Naxos, Giovanni, Count Figaro, Boatswain HMS Pinafore, Foreman Trial by Jury, Marcello Boheme (Soho Theatre), soloist For the Public Good (ENO). DANIEL SLATER Director Rigoletto studied at Bristol
and Cambridge. Associate Director of the Nottingham Playhouse and the Tricycle Theatre (1993-95). Opera:
JANNA SUTHERLAND ensemble
studied at TCM where roles included StarWoman in Errolyn Wallen’s Another America: Earth; Jenny Threepenny Opera. Other appearances include Hansel Hansel und Gretel (Runaway Opera), Raffaela Grand Hotel (RAM), BBC Sondheim at 80 Prom 2010. Janna is currently the front woman and co-writer for dance music outfit Filthy Kicks who released their debut album Dirty Little Secret in 2009 and performed at Glastonbury Festival’s 40th Birthday 2010.
JAMIE SUTTON dancer Rusalka
graduated last summer where roles there included: Cain Children of Eden, Dorsey Parade, Mr Fogg Sweeney Todd and Luigi Lucky Stiff. Professional theatre credits include Walküre (Nationale Reisopera) and Jack and the Beanstalk (Theatre Royal, York). ADAM
was born in Scotland and studied at GSMD. He was Diener Capriccio (Grange Park), Polidoro Finta Semplice (Opera@home), Damon Acis & Galatea (Westminster Opera), created the role Fidencio in a new work Dante (Grimeborn Festival) and has appeared in Messiah Part II staged by Sarah Walker and songs from Henze's Voices (Barbican). ALEX
ensemble is a recent graduate of RCM where roles included Belfiore Finta Giardiniera, Vasek Bartered Bride, Snout Midsummer Night’s Dream and Monostatos Flute. He was finalist in Les Azuriales Young Singers Competition and Llangollen International Eisteddfod. CHIARA VINCI dancing nymph
Rusalka trained at Rambert School and Arts Educational London. Credits include Electra and Jemima (Cats Italian tour 0911); Dryad Rusalka (Grange Park Opera); Company apprentice to Douglas Thorpe's company, Mad Dogs Dance Theatre in his production of Beast; Mig in Susie Crow's adaptation of Black Maria (Lilian Baylis Theatre, Sadler's Wells); The Merry Widow (ENO). Supported by ROSIE FAUNCH BELINDA WILLIAMS 2nd Nymph
Rusalka read English at Warwick and studied at TCM and RAM Opera Course. She made her Grange Park debut as Princess Linette in Love for 3 Oranges. Other roles include Dorabella Così and L’Enfant L’Enfant et les Sortilèges (Orchestra of St Paul’s, Covent Garden); Mère Jeanne Dialogues des Carmélites, Giacinta Finta Semplice, Baba the Turk Rake’s Progress (TCM); Popova The Bear, Berio’s Voce 3 Laborintus 2 (Mahogany Opera); Cherubino (Aldeburgh) and Hansel (Opera Minima). She has appeared as a soloist for Tête à Tête Opera, Opera de Baugé, Cheltenham Festival, Handel House.
THOMAS WOOD ensemble graduated from the Western Australia Academy of Performing Arts and has been tenor soloist in many concerts in Western Australia. For West Australian Opera, Thomas performed roles in Samson et Dalila, Madama Butterfly, Candide, Zaubeflöte and La Fanciulla del West and was a full-time member of the chorus. Since moving to the UK Thomas has worked with Holland Park Opera. WRIGHT Choreographer Rigoletto launched his own company, bgroup, in 2008 creating About Around, This Moment is Your Life, and The Diminishing Present. Recent work includes Cunning Little Vixen (Grange Park); Betrothal in a Monastery (Toulouse); Silence & Stillness and Small Acts (Skanes Dansteater); A four: (Ludus Dance); Adventures of Mr Broucek (Opera North); Knight Crew (Glyndebourne, BBC2); Twelfth Night (Donmar); Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo & Juliette (Opera North); Donna del Lago (Garsington); Vie Parisienne, Fanciulla, Macbeth, Dead Man Walking and Faust (Malmo); Tobias & the Angel (Young Vic); As You Like It (Wyndhams). As director: An audience with Adrienne (Bayerische Staatsoper). As performer: Stan Wont Dance, AMP, Ricochet, LCDT and Richard Alston. In 1995, he created the role of the Prince in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake and also devised the part of the Golden Monkey in the original production of His Dark Materials (RNT). BEN
ensemble Influenced by his Ukrainian background, Petro has sung and danced with Ukrainian ensembles both nationally and internationally. He studied at RNCM. Professional engagements include Remendado Carmen, Slim Paul Bunyan, Vasek Bartered Bride, Rodolfo Boheme, The Cardinal Light Passing and Mayor The Pied Piper. He has sung chorus with ENO, Scottish Opera, Buxton Festival and runs opera workshops. PETRO
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