One of the highlights of the 2019 Buxton International Festival will be the World Premiere of a specially-commissioned 40th anniversary opera pasticcio, celebrating the life and times of Georgiana Cavendish, the 5th Duchess of Devonshire.
While her husband was building Buxton’s magnificent Crescent, Georgiana Cavendish was setting London society alight with a mixture of dangerous liaisons, political activism and reckless gambling.
Georgiana’s life is a story of obsession, the high life and celebrity, and of the relationship between two women in an age of male dominance.
She has already inspired a best-selling biography by Amanda Foreman and the Keira Knightley Hollywood film, The Duchess.
Australian soprano Samantha Clarke will be taking the lead role in this production being staged by the festival with the Northern Chamber Orchestra.
The lyrics are by Michael Williams, the text by Janet Plater, and Mark Tatlow will be compiling the music – by Giovanni Paisiello, who was considered the most popular opera composer of his day; Martín y Soler, best known as the composer of Una cosa rara, quoted in the supper scene of Don Giovanni; Stephen Storace, brother of opera singer Nancy Storace, famous for the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro; Thomas Linley, ‘the English Mozart’; and, of course, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself.
It can be seen on July 7, 12, 15 and 20 and tickets go on sale on April 1.
The other three operas being staged at this year’s festival from July 5-21 are: Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin – a classic tale of first love and painful rejection, of broken friendships, love and regret; Lucio Papirio Dittatore – the story of family strife in pre-Imperial Rome, a forgotten gem by the Italian composer Antonio Caldara and, from Opera della Luna, Orpheus In the Underworld – Jeff Clarke’s new translation, which casts a satirical eye on our own society, in much the same way that Jacques Offenbach’s original lampooned Second Empire Paris.
Buxton International Festival is offering two artsbeat readers the chance to win a pair of tickets to the opera of their choice (subject to availability).
All you have to do is answer the question below and email your answer to:
firstname.lastname@example.org with Opera Competition in the subject line by April 30.
Alternatively you can post your entry to: Opera Competition, The Editor, artsbeat, 19 Nottingham Road, Belper, DE56 1JG by the same date.
Q:From which noble family was Georgiana the 5th Duchess of Devonshire before she married into the Cavendish family?
For more details about this year’s festival go to http://www.buxtonfestival.co.uk