Opera announces new season two summers in advance

Opera announces new season two summers in advance


norman lebrecht

May 26, 2017

We’re barely into Panama hats and Holland Park Opera is already pushing out 2019.

Here’s the programme:

  • Puccini’s Manon Lescaut
  • Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera
  • Cilea’s L’arlesiana 
  • Double bill of Wolf-Ferrari’s Susanna’s Secret and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta

Manon Lescaut was last staged at OHP in 2006, Iolanta in 2008 and Un ballo in maschera in 2009. Susanna’s Secret is a first for OHP and is eagerly anticipated following a warm reception of another of Wolf-Ferrari’s little-known operas in 2013, I gioielli della Madonna.

Cilea’s L’arlesiana – the third new production of this opera at OHP in 21 years – was the first of his operas to bring him fame, although today he is better known for Adriana Lecouvreur. L’arlesiana (The Girl from Arles) never actually appears in this tale of jealousy and descent into madness. The opera is a far truer example of ‘verismo’ than Adriana, and features music of exquisite pastoral beauty, gorgeous choruses and realistic human characters. The tenor aria ‘È la solita storia del pastore’ (Federico’s Lament) is one of the most famous in all late Italian opera.

Un ballo in maschera, last produced at OHP in 2009, is one of Verdi’s most celebrated scores. Along withManon Lescaut it gives OHP’s 2019 season a grandiose, emotional start. Further news on Manon Lescaut will follow soon.

Wolf-Ferrari’s delightful one-act comedy about marital misunderstanding, Susanna’s Secret, is in stark contrast to the epic I gioielli della Madonna which OHP presented to startled London audiences in 2013. The opera for which Wolf-Ferrari became most famous, its score is rich and sumptuous. It is paired with Tchaikovsky’s one-act masterpiece, Iolanta, a fairytale about a blind princess who finds love and regains her sight. The opera is among Tchaikovsky’s most beautiful scores and features aria after aria, and a searing duet between Iolanta and her lover Vaudémont.

James Clutton, Director of Opera and Michael Volpe, General Director issued a joint statement:

“The 2019 season promises to be another deliciously varied programme demonstrating what Opera Holland Park does best: offer high-quality, enjoyable opera to the public whilst extending the repertoire. We are excited to be able to share the news of future seasons earlier than ever before so that audiences can really sense our direction of travel for the coming years.”