Opera Scenes directed by Gilles Rico
30 October 2014, 7.30pm & 31 October 2014, 3.00pm
Burntwood School, SW17 0AQ
G. Donizetti: La Fille du Régiment – L’elisir d’amore – La Fille du Régiment
“Quoi vous m’aimez” – “Come Paride vezzoso” – “Or se m’ami” – “Tous les trois réunis”
Marie/Adina – Tereza Gevorgyan Sergeant/Belcore – Matthew Durkan
Tonio/Nemorino – Trystan Griffiths Piano – Nick Fletcher
P. I. Tchaikovsky: Eugene Onegin Duel Scene
Lensky – Gerard Schneider Zaretsky – Tim Dickinson
Onegin – Gyula Nagy Piano – Eda Seppar
W. A. Mozart: Don Giovanni “Là ci darem” – “Ah fuggi” – “Non ti sfidar o misera”
Don Giovanni – Gyula Nagy Zerlina – Sioned Gwen Davies
Donna Elvira – Katherine Crompton Don Ottavio – Trystan Griffiths
Donna Anna – Roisín Walsh Piano – Hannah Quinn
G. Puccini: Madama Butterfly Act I Duet
Butterfly – Roisín Walsh Piano – Hannah Quinn
Pinkerton – Gerard Schneider
W. A. Mozart: Così fan tutte Act I Finale
Fiordiligi – Katherine Crompton Guglielmo – Matthew Durkan
Dorabella – Sioned Gwen Davies Don Alfonso – Tim Dickinson
Despina – Hanna-Liisa Kirchin Piano – Eda Seppar
Ferrando – Trystan Griffiths
J. Massenet: Cendrillon Act III Duet
Le Prince Charmant – Hanna-Liisa Kirchin Piano – Nick Fletcher
Cendrillon – Tereza Gevorgyan
J. Offenbach: Orphée aux enfers Act II “The Fly Duet”
Jupiter – Gyula Nagy Piano – Nick Fletcher
Eurydice – Katherine Crompton
Music Director Mark Shanahan
Italian coaching Maria Cleva, Matteo Dalle Fratte
French coaching Florence Daguerre de Hureaux
Russian coaching Lada Valesova
Stage Manager Robert Perkins
This autumn we invited Gilles Rico to the Studio to direct our autumn opera scenes. The autumn scenes give our trainees the opportunity to work as a company under the direction of talented professionals and present the work to not only a public audience but industry professionals. The production performed at Burntwood School was well received with excellent feedback from industry professionals.
Programming the scenes poses challenges for both the conductor, in this production our Head of Music Mark Shanahan and the Director. Scenes taken from a range of opera's are combined to produce one production which in this case Gilles cleverly crafted into 'Love, Apparently'.
Gilles explains the production below –
From the Ancient Greek lyric poetry, to the amour courtois of the troubadours and to modern day pop songs, grasping that unfathomable feeling called love has always been at the core of any musical and poetical endeavour. As a lyric genre blending music with theatre and poetry, opera found in the lover’s discourse an infinite pool for inspiration. Love fuels operatic passions. It gives flesh to characters, shapes narratives and constitutes a vector for musical expression. It is the throbbing heart of opera. It is never unidimensional but always multifaceted, involving a plethora of variegated feelings and emotions, which mirror the complexity of the human soul.
Bringing together short love scenes drawn from different repertoires, composers and cultural sensibilities illustrates the wide array of possible contexts that encompass the experience of the amorous subject. The rustic rhetoric of Belcore and Nemorino courting Adina in Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, the naïve love of Tonio and Marie in La Fille du Régiment, the comedic elements of the cross-dressing in the Fly Duet from Offenbach’s Orphée aux Enfers contrast with the gravitas of the passionate yet thwarted love of Lensky in Onegin that will ultimately lead him to his death in a duel. The utilitarian love of Pinkerton for Butterfly, seen as an exotic pastime finds a paroxysmal expression in the violent craving for multiple love and an unquenchable thirst for sensuous pleasure and freedom in Don Giovanni. The discovery that multiple love is not only possible but painful by the naïve young lovers in Così fan tutte brings about the dramatic awareness that duplicity is embedded in human nature, whereas Cendrillon depicts a pure and sudden love at first sight functioning like a hypnosis which can only be achieved in the world of fairy tales.
Envisioning those various scenes out of their original contexts does not come without any difficulty. Everything is given within a few minutes. There is no time to linger on the backstories of each character, to delve into their psyche, to explore the dramatic developments of their lives. Yet, this type of montage allows new perspectives on the works and helps construct new relationships between the characters, which bring at the forefront some of their archetypal features while providing different interpretations of their personal stories. To build a sense of continuity between those greatly contrasted scenes, I decided to locate the action in a modern day bar populated by operatic characters in the mood for love during a speed-dating event. Such a brutal practice as speed-dating, born from the growing anonymity, the impossibility to communicate and the fear of the other that characterizes life in a big city epitomizes the idea of love being a commodity won on a battlefield where time is counted. The shortness of each operatic scene finds a counterpart in the abrupt and cruel nature of such a setting where one must stand out at all costs and be able to reveal, in a moment, the depth and complexity of the human soul.