Opera in Downend
What is it: Each session is a presentation of an opera, opera history or perhaps the works of a composer, with short musical illustrations and discussion on the work(s).
When is it: Generally fortnightly on Wednesdays 10 am coffee (and very nice biscuits) for prompt 10.30 start and we finish by noon.
Where is it: Castle Suite, Badminton Gardens, Beaufort Rd, Downend BS16 6UE
We look at a wide range of opera from late 18th to early 20th century. The operas customarily chosen are often unfashionable or ones which for reasons of practicality such as requiring six tenors, having parts too risky to perform live or impractical changes of scenery, are not often found in the repertoire of opera companies in the UK - but then we don't have to look at the box office take. However, the operas are always interesting and with attractive music and most of us learn something each time. The important thing is that we enjoy what we do.
For further information or to contact the Group Leader, just click on 'send a message' above, see the latest Annual Bulletin or News Sheet, or send an email to the Groups Co-ordinator via the Contacts page.
Just turn up. Easy access. Parking nearby. 2 mins to nearest bus stop.
Updated 23/7/18 KP
|Dates for your Diary|
|Wed Dec 12th||VERDI - I MASNADIERI (The Brigands - Schiller's Die Räuber)) An unsuccessful commission for London where the music was found to be 'disagreeably violent'.|
|Wed Jan 2nd||OFFENBACH - LA PÉRICHOLE - An opéra bouffe set in 18th century Peru with all the usual silliness tinged with a sentimental vein with, of course, lovely music. Considered risqué at its first London run with the G&S Trial by Jury.|
|Wed Jan 16th||GIUSEPPE VERDI - STIFFELIO - A tale of treachery, adultery, revenge and forgiveness - one of his boldest subjects hidden until the 1960's and despite its obvious qualities still rarely performed.|
|Wed Jan 30th||WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART - DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE - The Magic Flute - His first opera written for the popular, as opposed to the court, theatre. An exotic fairy tale with mystical elements enormously popular at the time.|
|Wed Feb 13th||GAETANO DONIZETTI - LUCREZIA BORGIA - Unsurprisingly the sensational plot caused many problems but the superb score kept it in the repertoire.|
|Wed Feb 27th||GIACOMO MEYERBEER - IL CROCIATO IN EGITTO - The Egyptian Crusade - His last work written for Italian audiences demanding enormous resources. It was also the last major operatic role for castrato.|
|Wed Mar 13th||LUIGI & FEDERICO RICCI - CRISPINO E LA COMARE - Crispino and the Fairy Godmother - One of the most successful comic operas of 19th century Italy and one of the last in the Neapolitan buffo tradition.|
|Wed Mar 27th||GIOACHINO ROSSINI - SEMIRAMIDE - A huge sprawling plot of Babylonian treachery but full of ravishing music this is a consolidation of past triumphs and a step towards his future French ones. The apotheosis of musical neo-classicism in Italy.|
|Wed Apr 10th||RICHARD WAGNER - DER FLIEGENDE HOLLÄNDER - The Flying Dutchman - After a long and complicated gestation this opera became his metamorphosis anticipating his later works.|