Michael Chance’s Grange Festival in Hampshire has just announced it is putting on King Lear next summer with an all-star opera cast:
Sir John Tomlinson will play Lear, with Sir Thomas Allen as Gloucester.
Others in the cast are: Kim Begley (Fool), Peter Coleman Wright (Kent), Susan Bullock (Goneril), Louise Alder (Cordelia), Emma Bell (Regan), Richard Berkeley Steele, Darren Clarke, Christopher Gillett, Henry Waddington, John Graham Hall and Oskar McCarthy.
The Wagnerian Keith Warner directs. Michael Hunt is the producer who came up with the idea.
Michael Chance writes: ‘What can singers, these singers, bring uniquely to Shakespearean verse? An obvious first claim is rhythm, quite apart from vocal resonance and dramatic instinct. It should never be forgotten that all singers’ operatic music is a response to words and their multiple layers of meaning. This production promises to bring fundamental dramatic truths to the fore in surprising and transformative ways.’