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2012 ‘La Cenerentola’ by Rossini

Jan 01, 2012

After our successful transition to down-scaled “Grand Opera” with Rigoletto in 2011 (…..”the casting was superb…….Gilda was sung with stunning acuity by Ilona Domnich…..a well thought-out production that rose beyond the limitations of the space” – Opera Now) we tackled Rossini comedy, an even greater challenge both dramatically and musically, with Cenerentola in March 2012. The audiences for the most part enjoyed Andy Staples’ 1950′s TV sitcom setting, and cast and chorus put everything into the production vocally and with some notably hysterical moments, but the critics’ response was amazingly polarised. On the one hand Hugh Canning (S.Times) – who had got off the train at the wong station and consequently arrived in a towering rage – gave an unremittingly hostile and vindictive review, hating the cast, the production, the orchestra, even the barn. (well…. he won’t be coming back, will he?) On the other hand the doyen of music critics John Amis said

“Andrew Staples is a wizard director…….the cast had no weakness……Belinda williams (Tisbe) developed into a comedian of the first class, one couldn’t take one’s eyes off her…..the whole performance was delightful and the audience were happy and jolly…..I have seen many country house opera productions recently, but this, by a long way, topped the lot.” And Claire Jackson in Muso magazine said …..” the creative set design and intelligent direction propelled this production to the premier league……the attention to detail continued to delight…….one of the most exciting things about Bury Court Opera is is its intimate staging; this made the performance more memorable than some recent operas seen in the capital”

We are returning to tragedy next year with Eugene Onegin, sung in russian, which will have a similar site-specific staging to our Rigoletto. The production will be directed by Seb Harcombe, head of Drama at RADA, and we are delighted that our wonderful Gilda from 2011, the russian soprano Ilona Domnich, has agreed to return as Tatiana. The casting is now almost complete, and will appear on our website in due course.