On October 10th, Glyndebourne begins its season of touring operas, with three productions which will be taken from the main house on to Canterbury, Norwich, Milton Keynes, Plymouth and Woking. As well as a revival of the sparkling 2013 production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale, the tour provides an opportunity to revisit two big hits from this year’s Festival – David McVicar’s stunningly beautiful, poetic version of Mozart’s Die Entführung as dem Serail and Barrie Kosky’s striking, iconoclastic take on Handel’s Saul.
Don Pasquale kicks things off on October 10th, with seven performances in the main house followed by two at each tour venue. We described Mariame Clément’s production, on its first outing in 2013 as one where “…we cannot fail to be gripped from start to finish” and this revival, with Eliana Pretorian as Norina, should start the tour in fine style. For anyone with children ready to be introduced to opera, there are tickets at £10 (with one or more full price ticket at £39 or above) for the performances on 26th and 28th October – neatly coinciding with Half term for many kids. Preceding each of these performances there will be an afternoon workshop, described as “an energetic introduction to Don Pasquale for the whole family.”
Next up is the Mozart, in what might be called a “traditional” production, if that’s not a pejorative term – our view was that it made a change from evenings which feature “Pastorals staged as fetish-fests and lockets replaced by knickers” and provided a “few hours of Mozartian bliss.” Clive Bayley’s Osmin and should be of particular interest amongst the cast, and those who were lucky enough to experience the production during the Festival will be pleased to see that Franck Saurel’s peerless assumption of Pasha Selim also features in the tour performances.
Handel’s Saul was one of the great successes of Glyndebourne’s recent productions, with a vibrant, powerful staging which both astonished and delighted. In our view it almost equalled the now-legendary Theodora: you can see for yourself from October 24th, with three performances in the main house followed by one at each of Canterbury, Milton Keynes, Norwich and Plymouth. Christopher Ainslie and Benjamin Hulett take on the roles of David and Jonathan respectively, and the strong cast is conducted by Laurence Cummings.
If you missed the superb Glyndebourne production of Britten’s Billy Budd in 2010, this Autumn provides a chance to see it in the cinema, at various venues from October 11th – November 26th. With now-classic assumptions of the roles of Captain Vere and Billy Budd from John Mark Ainsley and Jacques Imbrailo, and a gripping production from Michael Grandage, this is a must-see even for those of us who have already experienced it more than once in the opera house.
Further information on the tour can be found here: glyndebourne.com/tickets-and-whats-on/our-seasons/tour-2015