Verdi : LA TRAVIATA
Verdi’s heart-breaking tale of love and tragedy,
La Traviata, comes to the Princess Pavilion Falmouth on June 9/10th, and the Minack on July 3rd-7th, with a brand new production by Duchy Opera.
A thrilling cast of soloists, with chorus and orchestra, retell how Violetta, the fallen woman of the title, finds true love only to lose it through misunderstanding and deception.
This will be a fully staged and costumed traditional production directed by Richard Jackson ( director of our acclaimed 2014 "The Elixir of Love"). Musical Director : Paul Drayton.
Get ready for a spectacular treat when you finally get to see this production!
Falmouth Tickets: Standard : £ 16.00 Under18s : £ 8.00
www.princesspavilion.co.uk 01326 211222 or www.crbo.co.uk/duchyopera 01726 879500
Minack Tickets: www.minack.com 01736 810181
Paul Drayton's "Passion of Christ as told by Mark the Evangelist".
June 27th FIRST PERFORMANCE EVER!
Pics (thank you, Linda Petzing) from the afternoon rehearsal and our performance of "One Fine Day" at the Minack Theatre last night. We started in rain which cleared up for the rehearsal but the forecast was very poor - would it go on or be cancelled? The orchestra was 'in the dry' under the canvas tent in the newly-levelled 'pit' stage left and sounded very accomplished. Everyone else was quite wet by the end of the rehearsal.
We went ahead in the evening and the audience - a stoical band of opera lovers - came armed with all kinds of wet weather gear, bags of blankets and cushions; there was a distinct lack of picnic hampers and champers, but plenty of enthusiasm and absolutely no complaints about the weather. "Never mind - It could be worse".
John Nettles took the stage, made a quick quip about the title of the show "One Fine Day" and then Paul Drayton lifted his baton and we heard the 'overture' - Nessun Dorma. The music flowed on from there - the sound was magnificent, and the audience was very appreciative - thank you for hanging in until the final moment. All our soloists really excelled themselves - in the words of one of them, Kay Deeming:
(May 1st) "Forecast as at today says... Monday....sun and cloud, very little wind and... A full Moon! Perfect!! Let's hope it's right!"
(May 4th) "Actual weather was.....absolutely pouring with rain!!! We are all like drowned rats, but we had the Dunkirk spirit and the show went ahead! A b****y good one too!!"
RNLI volunteers from Sennen were probably the best-dressed for the occasion in their bright yellow oilskins: their sale of CD's featuring Cornish tenor and international opera star John Treleavean was well rewarded. And what about the Japanese TV film crew who were in attendance throughout the day? The camera was an inch or two away from Cheryl Brendish's nose
as she gazed towards the horizon in her aria from Madame Butterfly - but that was just the rehearsal after all.
A dripping John Nettles, who gallantly stood on stage throughout the whole concert, ignoring the wet chair beside him, not a hair out of place and handsome in his DJ, was amply applauded and was still smiling when he dramatically proclaimed "Wagner next year" as he left the car park; and replied 'no - it was not the worst experience of my career, by a long chalk!' when asked. Perhaps he might add the experience to his anecdotes when he is next invited to be our after-dinner speaker (see Friday's "Rumpelstiltskin")
I mustn't say that we saved the best until last, because orchestra, soloists and chorus really excelled themselves throughout the whole evening as the whole landscape filled with oceans of drama, passion and fabulous music, but John Treleaven brought the house down with his rich, resonant singing of "Nessun Dorma". We were left wanting more.
Full credit must be given to Paul Drayton, our musical director, who worked selflessly to produce this fine evening, which he devised and brought together so skillfully. We fully appreciate his dedication to high musical standards and count ourselves truly blessed to be inspired and guided by him.
One Fine Day on Monday 4th May at the Minack. Don't miss it!
The Duchy Opera Chorus
Conducted by Paul Drayton
Narrated by John Nettles
Spirit of Song - A Spring Recital Saturday 18th April 7.30pm
Venue: Truro School Chapel, Truro
Tickets: £10 from 01209 820688 or via Eventbrite at http://spiritofsong.eventbrite.co.uk
Cheryl Brendish, acclaimed classical vocalist, presents Spirit of Song, accompanied by pianist Paul Drayton. Set in the enchanting chapel at Truro School the evening will take you on a journey across musical landscapes visiting French mélodie, German lieder, English, Spanish and American song and arriving at Sondheim and lighter favourites.
Classically trained in Australia and at the London Trinity College of Music, Cheryl is an award-winning and polished soprano who has built an enviable reputation with her dynamic performances in opera, oratorio and recital work. She has performed with Covent Garden Opera Festival in London; the Victoria State Opera in Melbourne, Australia; Cameron Macintosh productions and performed around the world in locations such as Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Poland, and America.
Cheryl was also a member of the renowned Cantamus Girls Choir under the baton of Pamela Cook, MBE and continues her vocal studies with Margaret Kingsley. Closer to home, Cheryl regularly performs with Duchy Opera and the Troubadours and in 2013 sang the role of the Countess in Mozart’s, The Marriage of Figaro at the open-air Minack Theatre in Cornwall.
After moving to Cornwall in 1993, Paul Drayton has continued his work as a teacher, pianist, conductor and composer. As Duchy Opera’s Director of Music he has conducted Carmen, The Vampire, The Merry Widow, Semele, Tosca, The Wreckers, A Masked Ball, and his own opera, The Hanging Oak.
As a composer, Paul has been commissioned to write a number of pieces for young people including Duchy Opera’s production of his opera The Mermaid of Zennor with a cast of 270 children and for adults including The Lady of Shalott for St. Austell Choral Society, Voices in the Tide for Truro Three Arts, Orpheus for Truro Choral Society, the Three Choirs Festival, the organist Dame Gillian Weir, the Cathedrals of Washington DC and Kansas City, Missouri, and the King’s Singers, who in 2012 asked him for a piece to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s accession. In June 2015, his large-scale setting of the Passion according to St. Mark will be premiered by The Three Spires Singers in Truro Cathedral.
…… here is some from our Musical Director, Paul Drayton:
Rehearsals proceed apace for our various forthcoming projects! First up are our concerts with no fewer than nine soloists plus our splendid chorus who will take us on a guided tour of the magical story of opera, with narrator Charles Rimmer – informative, we hope, but entertaining too. We are calling it our Rough Guide to Opera.
Our exciting new production of Donizetti’s Elixir of Love opens at the Mylor Theatre, Truro College, on October 29th. Written in just six weeks in 1832, this greatest of Italian comic operas also has moments of real pathos, notably Nemorino’s much-loved aria Una furtiva lagrima. Apart from the young professional tenor William Morgan, playing Nemorino, our brilliant cast will be completely “home-grown”. We are lucky to have the inspiring direction of Richard Jackson, who has found time in his busy London teaching life to bring this sparkling comedy to life for Duchy Opera.
You may know that Duchy Opera also fields a crack team of seven solo singers, The Troubadours, primed to deliver a thrilling programme of operatic excerpts at a moment’s notice! Their next deployment will be to a FODO event at Cabilla Manor on July 13th by kind invitation of Robin and Louella Hanbury-Tennison. So if you know of any location seriously starved of opera let us know. We can be there to offer much-needed solace and spiritual refreshment!
…..and from Richard Jackson, Duchy Opera’s Artistic Advisor and director of the Elixir of Love:
The "Elixir" and I are old friends: we go back to something like 1980, when Opera North cast me in the role of Belcore, the Sergeant who rather thinks he's God's gift. An early memory is sitting on the rocks near Cape Cornwall absorbing and memorising the role, doing it moreover months in advance, like a good professional. But in fact I'd shot myself in the foot: I did so much absorbing and memorising that, by the time the Opera North librarian got in touch to say sorry, but they'd sent me the wrong translation and I'd have to learn another one, it was all in my memory, and it proved very hard to shift one set of words out of the way in favour of a new lot! The first rehearsal too was difficult: I was a young singer making his debut, and the first scene I had to do involved being frightfully cocky and going round flirting with all the female chorus: sounds fun - except that the director kept shoving me out of the way and showing everyone how it should be done. I got the message that he didn't think I was really up to it..... however, the unpromising beginnings were swept away by the piece itself, a wonderful evocation of the games people play with each other, a scenario that is always saved from cruelty by the fact that underneath it all they're good-natured - and by my colleagues, Lillian Watson, Ryland Davies and Forbes Robinson. By the time we'd done about 8 shows we were cooking up a pretty good storm! We toured all over the place, and I drove Lillian back to London after every performance - she popping bits of chicken and pork pie - not to mention those naughty M & S teacakes - into my mouth as we drove down the M1.....
My next significant memory of the opera was getting a call from a director friend of mine, who was in charge of a revival at Covent Garden. He said that Jose Carreras had cancelled - and that I should come along, as Luigi Alva was going to sing Nemorino - the village lad who loves totally and steadfastly, but is rejected for much of the opera: I went along, and have to say that this great artist played the character with such soulful sincerity, such eternal hope, and yet touched such depths of utter despair (I'm rather choking now as I write this), that when we got to the moment ("Una furtiva lagrima") when it dawns on this seemingly unloved young man that someone does love him after all, it was quite overwhelming. There's a heart of pure gold in this story.
Christine Butler@BBCCornwall interviews John Nettles/Paul Drayton/Joe Holland, broadcast on the David White Show on Monday morning. Listen here http://bbc.in/1hf7V3e (starts at 01:33:45)
(Please note that this link has now expired)
Paul Drayton will be talking to Keith Sparrow about Dearest Papa, and the Life and Music of Mozart on his radio show
Catch up with the latest news and get your tickets.
Prideaux is sold out
Alverton Manor is selling well
More space at the Headland Hotel at the moment but book now before time runs out!
Here's a chance to hear the Kings Singers performing "Masterpiece", a modest title for a piece with modest pretensions, composed by our Musical Director Paul Drayton. It aims to illustrate the entire history of the last 400 years of Western classical music in about 9 minutes. It really is an amazing piece, expertly executed.
More here.... and here....
and a Magnificat
and a piece of Organ Music
and some bossanova