As the season draws to a close, this year we look forward to the annual commencement of the UK’s finest summer opera festivals, exploring an extensive variety of repertoire to be enjoyed in idyllic and picturesque locations across the British countryside. This year singers from the Hazard Chase roster make appearances at Grange Park Opera, Garsington Opera, The Grange Festival, Opera Holland Park, Nevill Holt Opera and Longborough Festival Opera.
Elizabeth Llewellyn debuts in her next Puccini role, in Opera Holland Park’s new production of Manon Lescaut. Elizabeth sings the title role alongside Peter Auty as Des Grieux, with Paul Carey Jones as Lescaut, and Stephen Richardson as Geronte di Ravoir. Opening on 4th June, performances will run until the end of the month.
This year at Longborough Festival Opera, director Amy Lane’s upcoming production of Wagner’s Das Rheingold features a cast that includes tenor Mark le Brocq as Loge, mezzo soprano Madeleine Shaw as Fricka, soprano Marie Arnet as Freia and mezzo Rebecca Afonwy-Jones as Wellgunde. This will be the first instalment of Longborough’s extensive Ring Cycle project, spanning over five seasons and culminating in performances of the full cycle in 2023.
Productions at Nevill Holt Opera this summer include Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with bass-baritone Tristan Hambleton singing the role of Quince. Tristan returns to Nevill Holt following his performance as Angelotti and Sciarrone in their 2018 production of Tosca. The production runs from 12 – 16 June.
Martin Hässler makes his house and role debut at Nevill Holt as Gugliemo Cosi fan tutte, opening on 26 June. Martin sings alongside Alexandra Lowe as Fiordiligi, Katie Coventry as Dorabella and Nick Pritchard as Ferrando.
This year at Garsington Opera mezzo Anne-Marie Owens sings Háta in Paul Curran’s new production of The Bartered Bride, with The Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Jac van Steen. Anne-Marie sings alongside a cast that includes Natalya Romaniw as Mařenka, Brenden Gunnell as Jeník and Joshua Bloom as Kecal, with performances running from 29 May – 20 June.
Making their debuts at this year’s Grange Festival are Ellie Laugharne, Louise Winter and Claire Booth. Ellie and Louise sing the roles of Susanna and Marcellina respectively in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, which opens the festival. The production, directed by Martin Lloyd-Evans and featuring the Academy of Ancient Music and conductor Richard Egarr, runs from 6th to 30th June for six performances only. There will also be a special concert performance of the production at London’s Barbican Centre on 4th July.
Following this, Claire appears at the festival in Handel’s Belshazzar, in the role of Nitocris. The production boasts a special collaboration between the Grange Festival and The Sixteen, who celebrate their 40th anniversary this year and who will appear in Belshazzar alongside their music director Harry Christophers. The production runs for five performances between 20th June and 6th July.
William Dazeley sings the role of Father in Grange Park Opera’s production of Hansel & Gretel this summer. Conducted by George Jackson and directed by Stephen Medcalf, Hansel & Gretel runs from 23rd June to 10th July with a cast including Caitlin Hulcup, Soraya Mafi and Susan Bullock, accompanied by the orchestra of English National Opera.