Members of Duchy Opera gathered on Sunday to honour Ann McCormick, (seen here with Chairman Andrew Lancaster) with a presentation gift.
Ann has put down her pen after a mind-bending 24 years working meticulously with members of the D.O. Council, taking the minutes at their (often rather long!) monthly meetings.
Her first chairman was Michael Latham: others were David Peters, Derek Reed, Jenny Richards, Paul Collins and others in between. She will still be kept busy, though, as Secretary of the Friends of Duchy Opera, a job she has also done for a number of years. Thank you, Ann.
What we are doing
Following successful sold-out performances at the Minack open air theatre in 2017,
Duchy Opera will be performing Verdi’s opera Macbeth at the same venue in July 2019.
Sunday July 7th (Dress Rehearsal before a small audience)
Monday July 8th to Friday 12th 8pm (Five evening performances)
Tuesday 9th and Thursday 11th 2pm (matinee performances).
Principal roles will be double cast so only four performances will be required.
Our opera will be a traditional production.
We will be performing in English using the Kalmus score with the unpublished Andrew Porter translation commissioned by ETO.
Our Director will be Angela Agutter Thomas (director of Duchy Opera’s Marriage of Figaro, Cosi Fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Madame Butterfly and The Merry Wives of Windsor 2018).
Conductor is Timothy Dean, Music Director of Duchy Opera, previously Music and Artistic Director of British Youth Opera and Head of Opera at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
If you wish to audition
Please contact Duchy Opera via this link and we will send you details. You will then be asked to submit your current CV with a recent photo, along with your name, address and contact details.
You may wish to add links to your website and audio/YouTube files.
Auditions for principal roles will be held on Saturday December 15th and Saturday January 12th (both, daytime only) at Feock Methodist Chapel near Truro. Please specify your preferred date.
Audition pieces: (any edition, in English or Italian. We will perform in English).
1) Act 1 recitative ‘Sappia la sposa mia...up to Lady Macbeth's entrance
2) Act 3 ‘Gran scena delle Apparizioni’ including aria ‘Fuggi, regal…’
3) Act 4 Recitative and aria ‘Perfidi….Pieta, rispetto, onore’.
1) Act 1 ‘Vieni! T’affretta!... and cabaletta ‘Or tutti sorgete’
2) Act 2 ‘La luce langue’
3) Act 4 Sleepwalking scene ‘Una macchia’
Act 4 recitative and aria ‘O figli miei...Ah la paterna mano’
Act 2 recitative and aria ‘Studia il passo….Come dal ciel precipito’
DUCHY OPERA PRESENTS....
Hoping we will see you there!
Jubilee Hall, Mevagissey PL26 6SS
Saturday November 24th 2018 at 7.30
Tickets: Adults £11
purchased from local shops,
local Tourist Offices
or from CRBO
By Phone (01726) 879 500
We are grateful for the support of :
ALASTAIR SHAW Coastal and Countryside Homes 01726 844202 www.alastairshaw.com
SARAH MEDLIN Graphic Designer email@example.com www.medlindesign.com
We are so sorry to have heard of the death of Hilary Phoenix who for many years was one of the principal singers with Duchy Opera. You can read about her here. (end of page)
"It is with much sadness that I am contacting you regarding one of your honorary members, Hilary Phoenix.
Hilary (my aunt, and my mum’s twin sister), passed away peacefully at her care home in Watford, Hertfordshire, on 17th September. She had been suffering from dementia and had become very frail in her last few weeks.
Please would you be so kind as to communicate this news to the wider team at Duchy Opera. I am sure she had many friends and contacts who may wish to know."
"Our Auntie Hilary was a real gem - a talented performer with a beautiful voice, and a truly warm and kind person. We enjoyed watching her in Duchy Opera performances when we were visiting her in Cornwall. I always loved the fact that she sang in such a variety of beautiful places - National Trust Properties/ Stately Homes/ outdoor venues (brave!). And I know that Duchy Opera gave her so much pleasure and a new lease of life when she moved down to the South-West from Hertfordshire. She loved singing and performing; she is an inspiration to me as she sang Despina at the age of 65, something I shall aspire to!
Her funeral took place on 11th October at St Lawrence Church in Abbot's Langley, Herts. It was where she and Derrick were married back in 1983, and where she and twin Josephine lived for many years when they first moved to the area. It was a lovely service, complete with some recordings of Hilary singing. "
our new Director of Music
You will have seen from previous posts that Paul Drayton recently announced his intention of stepping down from this position which he had held since 2005. His last concert with us will be at Mevagissey on November 24th.
We are delighted that Tim has agreed to join us at Duchy Opera. As you will see, he has wide experience in the Opera world and has much to bring to Cornwall where he has recently relocated.
Tim has performed many roles across the UK, including:
10 years as Chorus Master and Head of Music for Kent Opera;
Music Director, Artistic Director and now a Vice-President of British Youth Opera;
Conductor of the London Bach Society;
Music Director of The Opera Company;
Assistant Music Director and Chorus Master with the New D’Oyly Carte Opera
(after which he made company debuts for English National Opera and Scottish Opera.)
He was appointed Head of Opera at RSAMD in 1994, and since moving to Scotland has worked with the RSNO, Orchestra of Scottish Opera, English Chamber Orchestra, Paragon Ensemble and Haddo House Opera.
He was Director of the RSNO Chorus from 2006-2014, and was made a Fellow of the RSAMD in 2010.
He has recently conducted performances in collaborative projects with the Conservatoire in Rostov-on-Don in Russia, one of which received a Royal Philharmonic Society Award nomination.
In 2013 he conducted Cunning Little Vixen for the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts and in 2014 was artist in residence at the Hochschule in Nuremberg.
He is Artistic Director of the Royal Conservatoire’s ‘Song Studio’, giving performances with singers all over Scotland and Director of ‘Royal Conservatoire Voices’, a new vocal ensemble created to perform early and contemporary repertoire which has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and appeared at the Edinburgh International and St Magnus Festivals.
He continues to be active as coach, accompanist, adjudicator and conductor and is now a Professor.
Video link to Tim Dean accompanying Anush Hovhannisiyan
Video link to Tim Dean in rehearsal Stravinsky's 'Les Noces'
Paul Drayton's astronomically-inspired song-cycle was first performed at Wells Cathedral by Edward Goater (tenor) and Christopher Sheldrake (piano). Truro 3 Arts and Events Truro College are delighted to welcome Edward and Christopher to perform the Cornish Premiere of this work.
Brahms: Vier Ernste Gesange
Schubert: Prometheus & Ganymed
Goater: I sing of a Maden
Venables: At Midnight
Venables: Flying Crooked
Venables: Vitae Summa Brevis
Venables: The Hippo
Drayton: One Night...
• Aldebaran at dusk
• The Brightest Planet and her Guest
• ...In a thousand years
OPERAVISION is such an amazing free resource. Watch opera from around the world, online, FOC.
Coming up soon: Bernstein's Trouble in Tahiti from Opera North 24/08/18
"On the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birth, (re)discover the American composer’s first opera in which jazz rhythms trouble suburban bliss."
More operas to watch:
by Mozart from Royal Opera House Covent Garden
only a few days left to watch
Orfeo & Majnun
by Adwan/Moody/Van Der Harst from Festival d'Aix-en-Provence
Lucia di Lammermoor
by Donizetti from Teatro Real Madrid
Les Contes d'Hoffmann
by Jacques Offenbach from Dutch National Opera, Amsterdam
by Bellini from Teatro La Fenice, Venice
La Princesse lègère
by Violeta Cruz from Opéra Comique Paris
The Second Violinist
by Dennehy / Walsh from Irish National Opera and Landmark Productions Dublin
by Donizetti from Maggio Musicale Fiorentino
by Handel from Komische Opera Berlin
Cavalleria rusticana / Pagliacci
by Mascagni / Leoncavallo from La Monnaie / De Munt Brussels
Birgit Nilsson 100 year Anniversary Concert
from Royal Swedish Opera
by Offenbach from Komische Oper Berlin
Opera Crown - Tbilisi International Voice Competition
from Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre
by Gioachino Rossini from Teatro Comunale di Bologna
Rossini Gala - Homage to Alberto Zedda
from Opera Vlaanderen Antwerp
Eros & Psyche
by Różycki from Polish National Opera Warsaw
by Verdi from Royal Swedish Opera Stockholm
by Verdi from Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía Valencia
by Verdi from Den Norske Opera Oslo
by Wagner from Opera Vlaanderen Antwerp
Duchy Opera: The Merry Wives of Windsor: Burrell Theatre Truro: 30 May 2018
There was much to enjoy in every department of Duchy Opera’s latest production of Otto Nicolai’s opera buffa, The Merry Wives of Windsor, which was imaginatively directed by Angela Agutter Thomas: singing, acting, staging, costumes and accompaniment.
As in previous years, including their last very successful production of La Traviata, the company wisely invited professionals from elsewhere to join local talent for roles they cannot fill. Richard Woodall was an impressive Mr Page, and especially noteworthy, Matthew Palmer as the suspicious Mr Ford.
Whether the soprano professional, Caroline Childe, could be classed as a visitor, we shall hopefully see now that she has come here to live after a distinguished career but as Mistress Ford, she has possibly the largest role in the opera and her singing and acting were superb.
The other ‘out of county’ newcomers for this production were the tenor Arthur Swan, as the penniless lover, Fenton, who in the final scene gets to marry the Pages’ daughter, Anne, sung by Rachel Phillips. Their duet charmingly contributed to the happy finale.
Others from the company who effectively completed the cast were Sue Lancaster as Mistress Page (her duet with Caroline in Act 1 was justly applauded); the alto Sheila Collins took the traditional bass role (not as a singer!) and was splendidly foppish as the French dandy, Dr Caius, wearing an extraordinary, colourful costume. Her rival for Anne’s hand was Slender, laudably sung by the tenor Bruce Cross. Completing the cast there was, almost inevitably, John Hobbs as the larger than life, Falstaff. Despite the indignities he suffers at the hands of the scheming Wives, he clearly enjoyed himself. He seems to have been in the company for ever and never fails to impress in the variety of roles he has taken. It is not only his acting and fine bass voice that commends him, but his diction. One can always hear every word – a lesson for many others in the company. The musical director, Paul Drayton, intends to put down the baton after this; he will be difficult to replace. We may see him in performances as the conductor, but his work beforehand in rehearsing the soloists and especially the chorus has always been thorough.
Patiently getting them to sing with confidence and robustly resulted in the best performance that I can remember. The score for two electronic pianos provided a very suitable substitute for the orchestra well executed by Antony Trodd at the top end and Suzanne Brodie for the bass.
The Edwardian (?) costumes were fitting, colourful for Falstaff and especially for the French dandy, Dr. Caius. For a touring production, visiting smaller venues than the Burrell Theatre, the scenery, well lit, was imaginative and adequate (Sheila and Paul Collins). The central tree, made barren with the foliage removed for the ‘spirits’ was ingenious. It was, however, this final scene in Windsor forest that was the weakest in the direction with too many spirits for the stage, however spookily lit, and the movements of Falstaff, Slender and Dr Caius lacked conviction. But overall, this was a memorable production in which the whole company can be proud.