Opera venues are starting to open with performances attended by audiences. Melanie Eskenazi tells us about one coming up. Garsington Opera’s 2014 Fidelio was one of the truly great productions of the past ten years, so it’s a real pleasure to be able to report that the house will be offering a short series of semi-staged live performances of Beethoven’s opera. Set in the fabulous Pavilion amidst the glorious grounds of the Getty Estate, the four showings will be on September 12, 14, 18 and 20.
Douglas Boyd, who conducted those 2014 performances, will direct members of the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the cast will be led by Katherine Broderick’s Leonore and Toby Spence’s Florestan. They will be performing Peter Mumford’s multimedia semi-staging, last performed to great acclaim at the Philharmonie in Paris in 2016. Those who saw Opera North’s Ring cycle will be familiar with Mumford’s film and projections, with which Boyd was so impressed that he asked him to repeat the concept for Fidelio.
Covid-19 put paid to so many of the events planned to mark Beethoven’s 250th anniversary, so it’s fitting that this work will represent them in September. Garsington’s delightful streamed concert from Wormsley inspired them to find the opportunity to perform there again in 2020, this time WITH an audience, in the safe environment of the indoor/outdoor theatre space.
This important artistic endeavour is seen by the house as a gesture of gratitude to its loyal audiences, who have shown remarkable support despite the inevitable cancellation of the 2020 Festival.
Full details will be released soon at: garsingtonopera.org