Nevill Holt Opera (NHO) has revealed that new productions of a double-bill presentation of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci (Clowns, 1892) and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi (1918), along with Rossini’s La Cenerentola (Cinderella, 1817) are set to be the highlights of its 2023 summer season, which marks the Leicestershire-based opera house’s 10th anniversary.
The unique combination of Pagliacci – which is more often presented in a double-bill with Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana (Rustic Chivalry, 1880) – and Gianni Schicchi is rarely performed; however, NHO described the double-bill as “the perfect comic pairing”.
Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci is the tragic story of a travelling commedia dell’arte troupe and the characters within it. Set as a play within a play, this 19th-century opera tells a tale of dramatic love, jealousy and betrayal, when the leader of the theatrical company murders his wife and her lover on stage during a performance.
Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi is the third part of Il trittico, a collection of three one-act operas with different stories; the other two are Il tabarro (The Cloak) and Suor Angelica (Sister Angelica). The opera is based on an episode in Dante’s Divine Comedy and follows the aftermath of a family death and missing will. It includes one of Puccini’s most well-known arias: ‘O mio babbino caro’ (‘Oh my dear Papa’).
This special double-bill will provide many opportunities for NHO’s Foundation, Emerging and Associate Artists to gain experience in performing principal roles. It will also offer another opportunity for a Children’s Chorus of DRET (academies run by the David Ross Education Trust) students to perform on the NHO stage.
Nevill Holt Opera’s summer season will also present a new version of Rossini’s classic comic opera La Cenerentola. In this comedic retelling of the Cinderella story, Angelina is forced to serve in her own home to her wicked stepfather Don Magnifico and stepsisters Clorinda and Tisbe, until everything changes on the arrival of the prince Don Ramiro, who is in search of a wife and falls in love with the beautiful Angelina.
The Pagliacci/Gianni Schicchi double-bill will be performed on 31 May, and 1, 3, 4 and 6 June in Nevill Holt Opera’s award-winning theatre. Performances of La Cenerentola take place on 15, 17, 18, 20 and 21 June.
Full details of the cast and creative teams for each opera will be announced in due course. General booking for tickets will open on 2 February 2023 at 10am. Pre-allocation for members begins in December.
Only for 2023, NHO will also be hosting a special gala evening before the operas open to celebrate the opera house’s 10th anniversary on 27 May. The concert, A Night at the Viennese Opera, will comprise a selection of famous and lesser-known music and will feature Nevill Holt Opera singers from the last 10 years.
Following the summer season, Nevill Holt Opera is looking to build on the success of its 2022 concert series with a further weekend of concerts on 30 June, and 1 and 2 July. Further details of this will be announced later this year.
“We are delighted to be celebrating our 10th anniversary with this season full of music,” Nevill Holt Opera said in a statement, “and we can’t wait to welcome you back to Nevill Holt in 2023!”
Leicestershire-based opera house Nevill Holt Opera has announced the two new productions that will comprise its 2023 summer season: a double-bill of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, along with Rossini’s La Cenerentola.