In one month’s time, Glyndebourne’s 45th annual Tour will launch. A culmination of around 550 hours rehearsal – with a cast including 23 soloists, 37 choristers, 119 musicians and 20 children – the Tour consists of three operas crafted to the highest production standards and showcases some of the most exciting new operatic talent around.
The mammoth organisational challenge required to take three full-scale, world class operas on the road calls for a huge team of people working behind-the-scenes. Every week, 22 stage crew work two shifts a day with another crew working through the night – a total of 1,200 hours every week – to ensure the operas are ready.
The Tour, which begins at Glyndebourne on 6 October before visiting Woking, Norwich, Canterbury, Milton Keynes, Plymouth and Stoke-on-Trent, features a new production of Benjamin Britten’s The Rape of Lucretia directed by actress and director Fiona Shaw. This is Glyndebourne’s first production of Britten’s masterpiece since its world premiere at the opera house in 1946. Laurent Pelly’s 2008 vivid re-imagining of Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel, set in the sugar-saturated aisles of a supermarket, and Annabel Arden’s gloriously romantic 2007 production of Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore, also take to the road.
Around 9,500 school children will experience the exhilaration of watching opera, many for the first time, during Glyndebourne’s Tour. New to the Tour this year is Encore Week, a series of events and performances at Glyndebourne designed to inspire the next generation of opera lovers (24 – 30 November). The week features exclusive performances for schools, a dedicated performance for under-30s with all tickets costing just £20 – a first in the history of the opera house – and Captain Blood’s Revenge, a newly commissioned studio opera for children aged seven to nine composed by Lynne Plowman. School performances for Years 5 to 13 of L’elisir d’amore and Hänsel und Gretel can also be seen at five of the six Tour venues.
Providing a showcase for talented, emerging artists is a central focus of Glyndebourne Tour. The Rape of Lucretia will feature Nicholas Collon, one of Britain’s most exciting young conductors; Duncan Rock, a former Jerwood Young Artist who made his Glyndebourne debut in 2010 and went on to win the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Chilcott Award in 2012 and British soprano Ellie Laugharne who has been supported by Glyndebourne’s Jerwood Young Artists programme.
Conducting Hänsel und Gretel is 20-year-old Venezuelan Ilyich Rivas, who made his Tour and Glyndebourne debut in 2012 conducting a number of performances of Mozart’s beloved comedy Le nozze di Figaro. In the last year alone, Ilyich has made a number of successful international debuts which include the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, the Stockholm Philharmonic and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestras.
L’elisir d’amore features rising American tenor Christopher Tiesi, who makes his UK and Glyndebourne debut as Nemorino. Alongside him, US soprano Joélle Harvey makes her role debut as Adina, returning to Glyndebourne after her much admired Tour debut last year as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro.
David Pickard, General Director at Glyndebourne, says: “Glyndebourne remains steadfast in its desire to invest in the future of both audiences and performers and the Tour does this in two important ways – by bringing world-class performances to new audiences and by bringing new talent to the fore.”
Autumn cinema screenings return for a second year to form a crucial part of the 2013 Tour. Glyndebourne’s seminal production of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, which due to the scale of the production is too large to be taken on the road, will be shown in cinemas across the country to mark Wagner’s bicentenary year.
Arts Council England provides the bedrock of funding that makes Glyndebourne’s innovative Tour and education work possible and for the third year the Daily Mail is also providing valuable sponsorship for the Tour.
To book your tickets and learn more about which venues are offering schools performances, family performances, workshops and lectures go to: http://glyndebourne.com/season/glyndebourne-tour-2013