Garsington announces repertoire-expanding Philharmonia deal

- 27 May 2014

Garsington Opera has announced a five-year deal with the Philharmonia Orchestra which will see the London ensemble perform for one opera per year at the Buckinghamshire-based opera company.

Garsington Opera's pavillion at Wormsley Photo: Mike Hoban

Garsington Opera’s pavillion at Wormsley
Photo: Mike Hoban

The deal will run from 2017, allowing larger-scale works to be performed. A statement said it would ‘enhance the artistic quality and reputation of the company’ and reaffirmed the role of the Garsington Opera Orchestra, ‘which will focus on baroque, classical, Italian and chamber works’.

The Philharmonia’s managing director, David Whelton, said the orchestra was ‘absolutely delighted’ with the engagement, which will comprise new productions of 19th and early-20th century works. ‘Creative partnership is at the beating heart of the Philharmonia’s artistic approach, and the opportunity for us to collaborate with one of the most forward-thinking opera festivals in the UK is tremendously exciting,’ said Whelton.

Garsington has also announced a co-production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Royal Shakespeare Company, playing Mendelssohn’s incidental music in a 2015 production. Garsington’s company and orchestra will be directed by the RSC’s artistic director, Gregory Doran, who in a press release attributes his lifelong love of Shakespeare to hearing the music in childhood.

Garsington’s artistic director, Douglas Boyd, said: ‘I am thrilled that we are collaborating with two such highly acclaimed international companies. These are exciting developments which reflect our ambitions to continue to grow artistically as an international summer opera festival.’

The company’s 2015 season will include Britten’s Death in Venice conducted by Steuart Bedford, who conducted its premiere in 1973, and a new production of Così fan tutte directed by the Royal Opera’s John Fulljames. The 2016 season will include a new production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin directed by the RSC’s former artistic director, Michael Boyd.

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