Vanessa washes up in Britain

Sixty years after its premiere at the Met, Glyndebourne is planning the UK premiere of Samuel Barber’s Vanessa, a work of unabashed romanticism and limited uptake.

Here’s the full Glyndebourne 2018 season:

  • PUCCINI Madama Butterfly
    Annilese Miskimmon’s Tour 2016 production makes its Festival debut, conducted by Omer Meir Wellber.
  • STRAUSS Der Rosenkavalier
    A revival of the Festival 2014 production from Richard Jones, conducted by Robin Ticciati.
  • HANDEL Giulio Cesare
    A revival of David McVicar’s 2005 production, conducted by William Christie.
  • DEBUSSY Pelléas et Mélisande
    A new production from Stefan Herheim, conducted by Robin Ticciati.
  • HANDEL Saul
    A return for Barrie Kosky’s 2015 production, conducted by Laurence Cummings.
  • BARBER Vanessa
    A UK premiere directed by Keith Warner, conducted by Jakub Hrůša.

And here’s how what it sounds like:

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  • I sang Anatol at Lyric Hammersmith in a production in 1999, but with reduced accompaniment.

  • That video recording however :-O
    The sound is gawdawful and unbalanced.
    That’s not the best way to sell a gorgeous opera.
    I hope that the UK version will not use this abysmal French staging?

    Vanessa has been one of my favourite operas for over 30 years.

  • A tune, preferably memorable in the otherwise Puccini by numbers, would have helped but go for it Glyndebourne (and when can we expect Troilus, Miss Julie, Streetcar and The Olympians – for starters?)

    • I’m not understanding your comment.
      Are you accusing Vanessa of being “Puccini by numbers”?

    • The opera does have some tunes. Here’s one (Must the winter come so soon?)

      and here’s another (Outside this house the world has changed)

      They might not be what you wanted, but that can’t be helped. If you don’t like it, I guess all you can do is not go.

      (I’m assuming that “Puccini by numbers” isn’t referring to Madama Butterfly, since it’s actual Puccini and the general consensus over the past 100 years is that is does have tunes)

  • I have been lucky to see Barber’s Vanessa in 2014 at the Opéra de Metz (revival of the production that appears on your video). A great discovery of this amazing music and in a very beautiful, moving and strong staging. Definitely an major work of the 20th century repertoire.

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