Bux­ton hits a high note with range of op­eras

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MUSIC - David Den­ton

With eight op­eras, in­clud­ing three new pro­duc­tions, Bux­ton can now boast the most suc­cess­ful an­nual opera fes­ti­val in the UK.

Well stocked with fa­mil­iar faces from Opera North, it opens with Verdi’s Luisa Miller, a love story that falls foul of class prej­u­dices. Su­san­nah Glanville sings the name role, with An­drew Slater in the part of Wurm, the in­sti­ga­tor of her even­tual death.

Cor­nelius’s sel­dom-heard gen­tle com­edy, The Bar­ber of Baghdad, is the other ex­clu­sive fes­ti­val stag­ing. The in­ter­fer­ing bar­ber who is help­ing the Mustapha in his quest for love causes ut­ter con­fu­sion – the fa­mous bass, Jonathan Le­malu plays this blun­der­ing char­ac­ter, with Re­becca Ryan and Michael Brace­gir­dle as the lovers.

A re­run of the dis­turb­ing opera by Ge­orge Ben­jamin, Into the Lit­tle Hill; a re­cent com­ple­tion of Mozart’s un­fin­ished Zaide, per­formed with a pe­riod in­stru­ment or­ches­tra; a con­cert per­for­mance of his Idome­neo with Mary Plazas and Paul Nilon in the lead­ing roles, and Bern­stein’s scene of do­mes­tic­ity in 1950s’ Amer­ica, Trou­ble in Tahiti, are all es­sen­tial for your diary.

To round off the feast comes Han­del’s once hugely pop­u­lar opera, Al­cina.

Be­tween these evening de­lights in the gor­geous opera house comes a whole host of highly de­sir­able recitals, in­clud­ing the Leeds­born prin­ci­pal cel­list of the London Sym­phony, Tim Hugh, play­ing Bach’s com­plete Cello Suites; the su­perb pi­ano duo of Pas­cal and Ami Roge in a pro­gramme ded­i­cated to De­bussy, and a lunchtime of mu­sic by Sa­muel Bar­ber that in­cludes his mini-opera, Hand of Bridge.

Bux­ton Fes­ti­val, Jul 7-25, 0845 1272190.

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