Opera + Classical Music Features

Garsington in lockdown: long-distance fixes of the operatic kind

Garsington Opera may be down, but they’re not out, as their streaming service Garsington Opera At Home gears up.

Garsington Opera

Garsington Opera (Photo: Marc Eskenazi)

Garsington Opera brings two of its greatest hits to your home – and launches Music for the Eyes, a weekly documentary exploring productions from a different perspective.  

Ach lieber Mai, wie gerne einmal spazieren geh’n… Mozart’s ‘Sehnsucht nach dem Frühling’ expresses the desire to be outdoors again after the dullness of winter, and when May rolls around the longing of opera lovers turns to places such as Garsington. We anticipate with great pleasure the glorious grounds of the estate, the exquisite opera house and most of all the wonderful performances given in the unique glass-sided auditorium. Sadly, those joys will have to wait until the 2021 season as the present one has had to be cancelled, but Garsington have come up with a little consolation offering which should help to ease the pain.

Two of the best loved of their recent productions are the 2019 Bartered Bride and the 2017 revival of John Cox’ production of Le nozze di Figaro. Garsington are streaming both of these now. They may be enjoyed free and they suggest, perhaps with a picnic! Not sure if our decking and rose arbour are adequate stand-ins for the Getty estate’s blue and white garden and cricket ground, but we’ll give it a go.

In addition to these screenings, there will be a new online venture called Music for the Eyes, featuring music from Garsington and images from the National Gallery in London. Johnny Langridge, the house’s Director of Communications and Imogen Tedbury from the National Gallery, will take an operatic theme and examine it in the context of literature and the visual arts, exploring unexpected and playful connections between them. The panel of experts discussing this will be augmented by artists involved with the productions and other experts in their fields. The first episode, on May 6th, will be centred around Le nozze di Figaro and will feature the director John Cox and conductor Douglas Boyd, as well as Caroline McCaffreyHowarth from the Victoria and Albert Museum. Langridge hopes that by looking at opera and art side by side, “…we can discover unexpected points of connection that can bring solace through reflection in our current situation.” Let’s hope Garsington audiences will indeed find some solace on Wednesday evenings.

All of the above and more can be found at: Garsington Opera at Home

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