Garsington Opera has announced the programme for its 2022 season. The five operas that comprise the festival are Monteverdi’s Orfeo (1607), Mozart’s Così fan tutte (Women are Like That, 1790), Dvořák’s Rusalka (1901), Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and Dalia, a new community opera by Roxanna Panufnik.

Opening the festival is a new production of Orfeo by John Caird, making his Garsington Opera debut. Monteverdi’s baroque masterpiece is based on the Greek legend of Orpheus, telling the story of his descent into the underworld in pursuit of his beloved wife Euridice, overcoming all obstacles by the power of his voice. He finds her, only to lose her again.

British tenor Ed Lyon sings the title role, with Australian soprano Zoe Drummond as Euridice. Laurence Cummings returns to conduct the English Concert. Performances take place from 1 June to 3 July.

Next is a revival of John Cox’s celebrated production of Così fan tutte. Mozart’s bitter-sweet comedy sees a light-hearted wager spiral out of control when two young soldiers allow themselves to be drawn into the intrigues of their cynical friend, persuading them to put the love of their adored fiancées to the test.

The production stars Irish baritone Seán Boylan and Irish tenor Gavan Ring as the two soldiers, Guglielmo and Ferrando, respectively, while Italian-Brazilian soprano Camila Titinger and British mezzo-soprano Polly Leech sing their respective lovers, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, with British bass-baritone Henry Waddington as the cynical Don Alfonso. Tobias Ringborg returns to Garsington to conduct. The production runs from 2 June to 20 July.

Rescheduled from Garsington’s cancelled 2020 season is a new production of Rusalka from director Jack Furness. Based on a Czech fairytale, it tells the tale of the water spirit Rusalka who sacrifices everything, including her voice, to follow the Prince she loves into the human world. However, her silence comes between them in this powerful and poignant fable.

Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw sings the title role, with Austrian-Australian tenor Gerard Schneider as the Prince. Douglas Boyd conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra. It takes place from 18 June to 19 July.

Based on Henry James’s novella of the same name, Britten’s The Turn of the Screw has been described as one of the most dramatically appealing English operas; the libretto was written by Myfanwy Piper.

In this revival of Louisa Muller’s acclaimed 2020 production, a young governess is sent to a remote country house to care for two children. She becomes increasingly disturbed by their behaviour but is under strict instruction never to bother their guardian in London. Are they innocent or wicked, possessed or just high spirited?

Soprano Verity Wingate and tenor Robert Murray reprise their roles as the Governess and Quint/Prologue, respectively. Mark Wigglesworth makes his debut at Garsington conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra. Performances run from 2-18 July.

The final production on the roster is the world premiere of Dalia. This new ‘people’s opera’ will be co-created and performed by a mix of amateur and professional participants. An orchestra of 25 musicians are set to work with more than 180 local participants and five professional singers, conducted by Douglas Boyd.

The opera has been created by composer Roxanna Panufnik, librettist Jessica Duchen and director Karen Gillingham. It was commissioned by Garsington Opera to engage local participants of all ages from diverse backgrounds with professional and emerging artists in a creative community opera.

Developed in close consultation with refugee organisations, sports charities and practitioners, it tells the story of Dalia, a young Syrian refugee. At just 12 years old she arrives in Britain having lost her family in traumatic circumstances. Fostered by a local family, she discovers a passion for cricket, but must contend with racism, fear and loss before facing an impossible decision.

Performances take place from 28 to 31 July.

Public booking for all productions opens at 10am on 5 April. See Garsington Opera’s website for details.



Dalia, a new community opera, receives its world premiere at Garsington Opera’s summer festival.