By Graham Chalmers
For opera fans it’s great news that Harrogate Theatre’s third annual mini-festival will see three different operas over three consecutive nights with the ETO.
Running from Thursday, October 31 to Saturday, November 2, the country’s leading touring opera company will present a feast of Venetian opera and sacred musicwith performances from the Baroque era by Cavalli, Monteverdi, Handel and Vivaldi.
The English Touring Opera will be performing productions of Handel’s Agrippina, Cavalli’s Jason and Monteverdi’s The Coronation of Poppea. As an added treat, the company is also joining forces with Harrogate-based choir Vocalis for Music from a Venetian Orphanage, an afternoon concert of Vivaldi’s sacred music on Sunday, November 3 at 3.30pm in St Wilfrid’s Church in Harrogate.
This Music from a Venetian Orphanage concert will feature music originally written for the celebrated orphan musicians of the Ospedale della Pietà in Venice, where Vivaldi worked for most of his life.
The three main operas were all written to be performed during Venice’s annual Carnival, and embody the wit and humour of Carnival season.
All three productions will be sung in English, in full costume. Agrippina and Jason are new productions, whilst The Coronation of Poppea is a revival of ETO’s co-production last year with the Royal College of Music.
ETO is working this season with The Old Street Band, a ‘period’ baroque orchestra performing on exact replicas of the musical instruments from Monteverdi, Handel and Cavalli’s day, including the dulcian and the theorbo, a forerunner of the modern guitar.
English Touring Opera is the most prolific touring opera company in the UK, travelling annually to around 70 venues, more than any other English opera company.
Jason by Francesco Cava takes place on Thursday, October 31.
The Coronation of Poppea by Claudio Monteverdi takes place on Friday, November 1.
Agrippina by George Frideric Handel takes place on Saturday, November 2.
For tickets for the Harrogate Theatre and St Wilfrid’s Church performances, visit www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or call 01423 502116.