Glyndebourne set to start

Festival of new and classic opera begins on Thursday May 21st

Photo: James Bellorini

The 2015 Glyndebourne Festival opens on Thursday (21 May) with the UK’s first professional production of Poliuto, a rarely performed masterwork by Donizetti.

The festival repertoire spans 300 years and will include Glyndebourne’s first staging of Handel’s Saul directed by the Australian director, Barrie Kosky in his Glyndebourne debut. David McVicar will direct the Festival’s third new production, Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail. It will be his first Mozart opera for Glyndebourne

There are also revivals of McVicar’s 2002 staging of Carmen, Fiona Shaw’s award-winning production of The Rape of Lucretia, first seen in the 2013 Glyndebourne Tour, and Laurent Pelly’s 2012 double bill of Ravel operas.

Away from the stage, Glyndebourne will unveil a new pavilion art gallery developed in partnership with White Cube to house new work by the German artist Georg Baselitz. Signalling the start of a three year partnership between the two organisations, the ‘White Cube at Glyndebourne’ exhibition will be open to Glyndebourne Festival 2015 ticket holders and builds on Glyndebourne’s fifty year history of displaying visual art in and around the opera house each summer. 

Gaetano Donizetti’s Poliuto
Directed by Mariame Clément
The first professionally staged UK performance of Donizetti’s Poliuto opens Glyndebourne Festival 2015. Poliuto is conducted by Enrique Mazzola and directed by Mariame Clément, the duo behind Glyndebourne’s acclaimed 2011 production of Don Pasquale. American tenor Michael Fabiano, who made his Glyndebourne debut in 2014 in a new production of La traviata, sings the title role alongside Ana María Martínez, making her role debut as Paolina, following her sensational 2009 Glyndebourne debut in Rusalka

Georges Bizet’s Carmen
Directed by David McVicar
A revival of David McVicar’s acclaimed 2002 production. Former Glyndebourne Tour Music Director Jakub Hrůša returns to conduct the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Stéphanie d’Oustrac in the title role, the charismatic Polish-Brazilian baritone Paulo Szot as Escamillo, and dazzling British soprano Lucy Crowe in her role debut as Micaëla. 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail
Directed by David McVicar
Robin Ticciati marks his second year as Glyndebourne’s music director by undertaking his fifth Mozart opera for the company, conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment in Die Entführung aus dem Serail, last seen in the Glyndebourne Festival in 1988. This new production is a first for David McVicar who, despite directing a string of acclaimed productions for Glyndebourne including Giulio Cesare and Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, has yet to direct a Mozart opera for the company. Featuring a world class cast including Sally Matthews and Edgaras Montvidas plus Tobias Kehrer who makes his Glyndebourne debut. 

Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia
Directed by Fiona Shaw
An ensemble cast of some of the most exciting British opera singers, many of whom began their careers at Glyndebourne, perform a revival of Fiona Shaw’s award-winning 2013 Glyndebourne Tour production of The Rape of Lucretia. Kate Royal makes her role debut as Female Chorus and is joined by Christine Rice, Allan Clayton, Duncan Rock and Matthew Rose. Making his Festival debut is Leo Hussain who conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Handel’s Saul
Directed by Barrie Kosky
Brilliant and provocative Australian opera and theatre director Barrie Kosky directs Glyndebourne’s first staging of Handel’s Saul, with Ivor Bolton conducting the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Christopher Purves sings the title role, Iestyn Davies performs David, the acclaimed British soprano Lucy Crowe makes a role debut as Merab, and American tenor Paul Appleby makes his Glyndebourne debut as Jonathan.

Maurice Ravel’s L’heure espagnole and L’enfant et les sortilèges
Directed by Laurent Pelly
Glyndebourne’s Music Director Robin Ticciati conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra in a revival of Glyndebourne’s 2012 Ravel double bill directed by the imaginative French director Laurent Pelly. Danielle de Niese stars as both Concepción in L’heure espagnole and the child in L’enfant et les sortilèges, and is joined by an entirely Francophone cast in L’heure espagnole.