Summer Festivals Part V - Opera Special

As I am writing this Holly Mathieson is getting ready to conduct Delibes’ Lakmé at the Holland Park Opera festival. Set in one of the most beautiful parks in West London, Opera has been happening in the open air every summer since the mid 90ies. Lakmé is only one of 5 productions this year, but you need to hurry if you’d like to go - it all comes to an end August 1st. Holly has been the associated conductor for this production and her performance is part of the Christine Collins Young Artist Programme.

The Savanna Voice Festival is opening it’s doors on Aug 2nd. Founded by opera legend Sherrill Milnes it also has a Young Aritist programme under it’s wing: the VOICExperience Foundation which gives emerging professionals many performance opportunities and high level training - all alongside of the festival programme. Highlight of this year’s festival is the new production of Carmen by director Edwin Cahill ( founder of the Fire Island Festival ) - as it is yet to open, no secrets of the production have been revealed. But, last year he placed Don Giovanni in the local church (see our cover photo), so my guess is that we will again witness the unusual!

The jOPERA jennersdorf festivalsommer is happening in Schloss Tabor in Neuhaus am Klausenbach - right in the triangle between Austria, Slovenia and Hungary. This year’s opera is Carl Maria von Weber’s Freischütz. The stage director is none less than KS Brigitte Fassbaender. In the pit we find the Junge Philharmonie Brandenburg led by both Georg Fritzsch and the young conductor Matija Fortuna.

About 450 km (300 miles ) from Calais we find the Opér de Baugé which - despite being situated in France - is a rather British affair (just like in Glyndebourne, the audience has a 90 min interval for their picnic). It was founded by the principals of the leading UK opera houses who were nearing the end of their careers and wanted to pass on their knowledge to younger players. Now their focus has shifted from the very young to undiscovered singers of great talent (according to their website). Greek Mezzosoprano Elsa Giannoulidou is singing Dorabella in this year's Cosi fan tutte and we are hoping for photos from this great place.

For more Mozart you should visit the Donaufestwochen im Strudengau (that’s in Upper Austria and beautiful! I have been .. ) where his dramma giocoso La finta giardiniera is being performed. In the role of Ritter Ramiro we find Maria Weiss . Other HELLO STAGERs involved are the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra (who’s chief conductor Michi Gaigg is also the Festival’s Intendant!) and Christian Zenker . After having performed Mozart’s Singspiel 5 times in August Maria is off to Graz to indulge in some Bach!

From Upper Austria to Lower Austria… Anne Wieben will give her role debut as Rosalinde in an exciting summer production of Die Fledermaus with Oper-rund-um in Bad Aschbach. The mis-en-scene will be happening in the local outdoor Swimming pool! What an amazing place for an opera party!

P.S Not an opera festival as such but worth a mention is last week’s performance of La Bohème with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra in Caracas under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel. As Colline no other than Álvaro Carrillo Rodríguez.

Bettina Mehne manages the relationships with Artists, Ensembles, their Managements as well as Promoters on HELLO STAGE. She toured Orchestras around the world, worked for London and Germany based Managements, took care of Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen as their Artistic Manager and headed the Artistic Planning at the Wiener Konzerthaus for six seasons. Follow Bettina on Twitter - you can also always reach out to her at bettina@hellostage.com
Author: Bettina Mehne HELLO STAGE
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