A Gothic Festival
On Saturday 31 October, join Gothic Opera for a stylish evocation of the eerie and macabre, presented by a large cast of talented singers. In three carefully curated gala concerts, introduced by our expert compere, Karl Lutchmayer, the audience will be taken on a journey through a selection of rarely-heard spine-chilling operatic repertoire, some of which will be performed for the first time since the nineteenth century.
We will begin at 3pm with the first concert, 'Hexenlied,' which will include repertoire from operas as diverse as Massenet's Grisélidis, Menotti's The Medium and Offenbach's Barbe-bleue. The second concert, 'Danse macabre', at 4.30pm, will feature music from Rip van Winkle by Planquette, Les Mystères d’Udolphe by Clapisson, Mayerbeer's Robert le Diable, and Stravinsky's The Rake's Progress. Finally, at 6pm, the audience will be treated to excerpts from among others Tchaikovsky's Pique-Dame, Michael Kelly's Bluebeard, or Female Curiosity, and Donizetti's Maria de Rudenz in a concert entitled 'Haunted by my love'.
Singers: Matthew Clark, Rosemary Clifford, Lucy Elston, Grainne Gillis, Alex Haigh, Mae Heydorn, Milena Knauß, Béatrice de Larragoïti, Alexandra Long, Rozanna Madylus, Katherine MacRae, Richard Moore, Charlotte Osborn, Jack Roberts, Alice Usher, Andrew Tipple, Phil Wilcox, Simon Wilding, Sam Young.
Music Directors: Panaretos Kyriatzidis and Elspeth Wilkes
4:30pm: Danse Macabre
6pm: Haunted by my love
Each ticket is a bench for two people in a bubble.
You can purchase tickets for one, two or for the full day of concerts. Concessions are available.
***A bench for two for the full day of concerts includes a discount and a glass of champagne per person. To book for the full day, add all three concerts to the basket. Discount will be applied at checkout.***
Important note: This is an outdoor event, please dress warmly. Covid-19 safety measures including social distancing will be in place to keep everyone safe.
Due to the ongoing situation, we regret that we are postponing our June performances of Bluebeard's Castle. We'll update you on dates as soon as we can. But the performances are only one part of our Bluebeard project... More details will be revealed soon!
Composed by Béla Bartók
Libretto by Béla Balázs
Some places are secret places. Some doors are better kept shut....
La Nonne sanglante
(The Bloody Nun)
Gothic Opera presents the UK premiere of Gounod's opera La Nonne sanglante (The Bloody Nun).
With a libretto based on The Monk by Matthew Lewis, the opera has been only twice revived since its creation in 1854.
This production will now take place in October 2021.
Scotland, 18th Century.
During a witches' sabbath, the Vampire Master warns Lord Ruthven that if he cannot sacrifice three virgin brides within the next 24 hours, he will die. If he succeeds, he will be granted an additional year of life. Who, out of the pure and innocent Janthe, Emmy or Malwina, will survive the curse of the vampire? And what if their salvation takes an unexpected form...?
Der Vampyr, composed in 1828 by Heinrich Marschner, was based on the play Der Vampir oder die Totenbraut by Heinrich Ludwig Ritter, which itself was inspired by the short story The Vampyre, written in 1819 by John William Polidori. This tale was initially sketched by Lord Byron during the bleak summer of 1816, during which both writers, alongside Percy Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft, stayed on the banks of Lake Geneva in Switzerland.
This epic vampire story, which is notable for including the first ever mention of a vampire in European literature, rides on the crest of the tremendous wave of Gothic and horrific tales that was at its peak in Great Britain, France and Germany at the beginning of the 19th century.
Legend says that Der Vampyr was born when, going through a period of depression, Marschner, during a gloomy walk in a churchyard, imagined composing a “witches' chorus”.
A pupil of Beethoven, Marschner is considered to be the missing link between Weber and Wagner, especially in his use of musical effects to convey supernatural elements. In the Witches' Sabbath of Der Vampyr, there are similarities with the Wolf Glen’s scene in Weber's Der Freischütz. Furthermore, Emmy's Legend of the Vampire prefigures Senta's aria in which she tells the story of the Flying Dutchman in Wagner's opera of the same name, even using the same words, “der bleiche Mann” (the pale man).
Der Vampyr is a supremely spine-chilling piece, making for an ideal opening for Gothic Opera’s first season. A vampiric tale, with spooky special effects and ghostly music, performed in London venues specifically selected for their mysterious atmosphere, this rarely-performed opera will haunt your Halloween nights.
Alice Usher / Milena Knauss (26th Oct)
Sir Edgar Aubrey
Sam Smith / Jack Roberts
(26th, 31st Oct, 1st Nov) / (27th Oct, 3rd Nov)
The Vampire Master
Charlotte Osborn / Susanna McRae (26th Oct)
Sir Humphrey Davenaut
Jon Stainsby / Richard Moore (26th Oct)
Sir John Berkeley
Béatrice de Larragoïti / Laura Curry (26th Oct)
Rosemary Clifford / Gráinne Gillis (27th Oct)