Opera in Downend
What it is: Each session is a presentation with CD, or where possible DVD, of an opera, opera history or perhaps the works of a composer, with short musical illustrations and discussion on the work(s).
When it is: Generally fortnightly on Wednesdays 10 am coffee (and very nice biscuits) for prompt 10.30 start and we finish by noon.
Where it is: 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 Convenor, just click on the pigeon 'send a message' link, see the latest Annual Bulletin or Newsletter, or send an email to the Groups Co-ordinator via the Contact Us page.
Just turn up. Easy access. Parking nearby. 2 mins to nearest bus stop.
Updated 31.01.19 Pf
|Dates for your Diary|
|Wed Jun 19th||JULES MASSENET - WERTHER - DVD presentation of production from Opéra national de Paris of Massenet's greatest work; never been out of the repertoire. Based on Goethe's story of a young man's unhappy love affair. "Jonas Kaufmann brought the house down ... a personal triumph ... simply astonishing".|
|Wed Jul 3rd||RICHARD STRAUSS - DER ROSENKAVALIER - DVD presentation of Zürich Opera's 2004 production with Vesselina Kasarova as Octavian. This must be the only opera to have had special trains to Dresden laid on from various parts of Germany.|
|Wed Jul 17th||CHARLES LECOCQ - LA FILLE DE MADAME ANGOT - CD presentation (there's no DVD) of Lecocq's masterpiece. The combination of an intriguing and a glittering and elegant score proved an irresistible mix. "brilliant scenes ... enormously catchy ... magnificent finale waltz."|
|Wed Sep 4th||GIUSEPPE VERDI - ERNANI with Placido Domingo, Mirella Freni, Nicolai Ghiaurov and Renato Bruson in DVD presentation from La Scala, Milan. A truly star-studded line-up for a little known Verdi masterpiece.|
|Wed Oct 16th||ARRIGO BOITO - MEFISTOFELE DVD presentation from San Francisco Opera. Better known as Verdi's librettist for his last operas, Boito also successfully wrote opera and this one is the accepted vehicle for the star bass - in this case Samuel Ramey but also Gabriela Benackova and Dennis O'Neill.|
|Wed Oct 30th||GIOACHINO ROSSINI - LE COMTE ORY with Juan Diego Flórez, Diana Damrau and Joyce Di Donato the perfect line-up for this opera with an unbelievably silly story but some of Rossini's most magnificent music, sparkling with Gallic wit and charm.|
|Wed Nov 13th||GIACOMO PUCCINI - TURANDOT - Franco Zeffirelli's spectacular production for the Met with Plácido Domingo, Eva Marton and Paul Plishka. Superb dramatic pacing and musical invention.|
|Wed Dec 4th||GAETANO DONIZETTI - LINDA DI CHAMOUNIX - a late work with a rich musical setting of a drama that sometimes stretches credibility to its limits. Gruberova stars in this Zurich Opera production.|
|Wed Dec 18th||FRANZ LEHAR - DER ZAREWITSCH - A colourful, nostalgia-filled film-treatment of Lehar's Russian operetta about the tsar's melancholy son who falls hopelessly in love with a beautiful dancer. "Flawless ... a beautifully sung performance"|