Longborough Festival Opera has announced details of the four operas that will comprise the 2023 festival, taking place next year from 29 May to 3 August. On the programme are Wagner’s Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods, 1876), Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (The Elixir of Love, 1832), Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo (1607) and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen (1692).
Götterdämmerung marks the conclusion of Longborough’s epic new Ring cycle, following acclaimed productions of Das Rheingold (1869) in 2019, Die Walküre (The Valkyrie, 1870) in 2021 and Siegfried (1876) in 2022. Longborough plans to present the full cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen at the 2024 festival.
All four productions have been created especially for Longborough Festival Opera by Amy Lane, artistic director of Copenhagen Opera Festival, and Longborough’s music director and eminent Wagnerian Anthony Negus. All performances of Götterdämmerung at next year’s festival will be conducted by Negus.
Performances take place on 29 and 31 May, and 2, 4 and 6 June. The production is sung in German with English surtitles.
Longborough’s 2022 production of Siegfried is available to stream for free on OperaVision.
In Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, a travelling quack doctor offers a lovesick young man a cure for all his problems: a love potion, which he believes will cause the woman he loves to fall for him. This satirical comedy is one of Donizetti’s most-loved works, and one of the most popular operas of all time.
The production will be conducted by acclaimed conductor Alice Farnham, and directed by award-winning British-Swiss director Max Hoehn. Performances take place on 20, 22, 24, 25, 27 and 29 June, and 1 July. It will be sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo is a poignant and revolutionary take on the Greek legend of Orpheus. This Baroque masterpiece – the first of two in the 2023 Longborough Festival Opera – is considered to be the world’s first great opera. It tells the story of Orpheus’s descent to Hades and his fruitless attempt to bring his dead bride Eurydice back to the world of the living.
L’Orfeo will be performed on period instruments by early music specialists La Serenissima, conducted by Robert Howarth. It will be directed by Olivia Fuchs, returning to Longborough Festival Opera having directed the festival’s acclaimed Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček, 1924) in 2021.
Performances take place on 11, 13, 15, 16 and 18 July. The production is sung in Italian with English surtitles.
The second Baroque work on the roster is Purcell’s The Fairy Queen. It was composed to fit between acts of Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with the music expressing the play’s themes of nature, transformation, love and magic.
This new production will use the dramatic framework of Shakespeare’s text, with words and music combining to present Purcell’s beautiful, life-affirming score. A newly commissioned genre-bending arrangement will blend Baroque with folk music.
Longborough Festival Opera’s artistic director Polly Graham will direct the production, which is suitable for all the family. It will be co-music directed by Baroque violinist and composer Naomi Burrell and composer and conductor Harry Sever. The Fairy Queen will feature Longborough’s Emerging Artists and Youth Chorus.
Performances take place on 29 and 30 July, and 1 and 3 August. The production will be sung in English with English surtitles.
Cast and creative teams for all four productions are set to be announced in the coming months. Booking for the general public opens on 27 February 2023. Members booking starts from 5 December 2022.
“We hope you’re looking forward to the 2023 festival as much as we are,” Longborough Festival Opera said in a statement.
Longborough Festival Opera 2023 will comprise Wagner’s Götterdämmerung, Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo and Purcell’s The Fairy Queen (Matthew Williams-Ellis).