Opera fans around the world will have the opportunity to watch Glyndebourne’s new production of The Wreckers (1906) by composer Dame Ethel Smyth via Glyndebourne Encore, the Sussex-based company has announced.
A live recording of the opera is set to be released on the company’s online streaming platform on 1 August.
The critically acclaimed production The Wreckers formed part of the 2022 Glyndebourne Festival line-up. It was the first major, fully professional staging of the opera in our lifetime, attracting huge interest from across the opera world. It is also the first time the festival has staged an opera by a woman – and not just any woman: a bisexual feminist, who was imprisoned for suffragette activism, as well as being the first female composer to be awarded a damehood.
It also offered the first opportunity to hear The Wreckers as its creators intended, with its original French libretto – written by Henry Brewster – and a fully restored score. Opera fans who missed out on seeing it live at Glyndebourne over the summer will be able to watch this landmark event on Glyndebourne Encore instead.
This new production was directed by Melly Still and conducted by Glyndebourne’s music director Robin Ticciati. The performance featured American bass-baritone Philip Horst making his Glyndebourne debut as lay preacher Pasko and American mezzo-soprano Karis Tucker in her Glyndebourne debut as his wife Thurza, around whom the tragic tale unfurls.
The three-act opera is set in an isolated Cornish coastal village. It tells the story of a community of wreckers – bands of villagers who would extinguish the beacons established along the coast to guide ships, thus forcing them onto the rocks and then plundering the cargo and murdering the crews.
Glyndebourne Encore is an online streaming platform giving on-demand access to highlights from Glyndebourne’s back catalogue of opera, as well as all future filmed productions. Every month it delves deep into an individual opera, with revealing insights and exclusive interviews.
All four of Glyndebourne’s new productions from the 2022 festival were filmed for release on Glyndebourne Encore.
Francesco Micheli’s new staging of Handel’s Alcina (1735) will be available from September. Laurent Pelly’s Poulenc double-bill – comprising La voix humaine (The Human Voice, 1959) and Les mamelles de Tirésias (The Breasts of Tiresias, 1947) – arrives on the platform in October. Dutch director Floris Visser’s new version of La bohème (The Bohemians, Puccini, 1896) will be available from November.
Glyndebourne Encore launched on 1 December 2021. It can be accessed via any web browser, Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, Roku and Amazon Fire TV. An annual subscription costs £79.99 or £59.99 for Glyndebourne Members, which gives subscribers unlimited streaming access to the service.
There are currently 25 Glyndebourne productions available on Encore. These include: Béatrice et Bénédict (1862), love conquers all in Berlioz’s sparkling take on Shakespeare’s comedy Much Ado About Nothing; Don Giovanni (1787), Mozart’s wild musical ride that takes its audience to hell and back again; Il barbiere di Siviglia (The Barber of Seville, 1816), Annabel Arden’s lively production of Rossini’s comedy is suffused with Spanish colour and warmth, with just a hint of the surreal; The Cunning Little Vixen, Janáček takes an enchanting tale and turns it into a colourful reflection on the highs and lows of life and death in nature’s constant cycle of renewal; and The Rake’s Progress (Stravinsky), comedy and tragedy are never far apart in this Glyndebourne classic, designed by British artist David Hockney.
See the Glyndebourne Encore website for trailers for the four upcoming productions and to subscribe.
Glyndebourne’s new production of Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers will be available to stream via Glyndebourne Encore from 1 August (Richard Hubert Smith).