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What's On - Opera - Partenope


Partenope – George Frederic Handel

A new Iford Arts Production

June 23 I 26 I 28 I 30 July 3 I 4

Partenope (one of the most beguiling  of Handel’s sexy heroines and a warrior to boot)  Queen of Naples, is single and a ruler in her own right. She seems to be toying with three very different  lovers – whose motives and ambitions are revealed as the opera unfolds. One of them – the smooth tongued Arsace – has  callously abandoned  his former love, Rosmira, to court the queen. But Rosmira is a woman of determination. Now  in hot pursuit of her former lover, she is bent on vengeance…  Prudence  causes her to pose as a man, Eurimene. The story begins as ‘he’ arrives at the court of Partenope.

Truly a sophisticated comedy, this delightful opera unwinds in a tangle of romantic complications amongst a small knot of characters, with themes of love, jealousy, and  gender confusion. A neat and daft denouement saves it from becoming tragic, as all the well observed characters arrive at greater self knowledge,  and true love finally triumphs.

Often described as ‘Shakespearean’ in its scope, it is very funny and explores the human condition and the excesses of love, with Handel’s characteristic depth.  The stunning music is always delicious: catchy  and light- textured, and somehow  imbued with the spirit of Venetian carnival inspired by its wonderful libretto – one of the best Handel ever set.

Directed by Christopher Cowell (La boheme in 2017) and with his own exciting new band, Contraband, conducted from the harpsichord by Christopher Bucknall, this superb new production set in Iford’s captivating cloister  is likely prove irresistible to the growing number of Handel opera lovers.

Sung in English with an exciting new translation by Christopher Cowell.

CONDUCTOR – Christopher Bucknall
DIRECTOR – Christopher Cowell
PARTENOPE – Galina Averina
ROSMIRA – Beth Margaret Taylor
EMILIO – Jorge Navarro Colorado
ORMONTE – Brendan Collins
ARMINDO – Keiron Connor Valentine


“Iford is a gem” Hugh Canning. The Sunday Times

Tickets £126 (Mon – Fri) £130 (Sat)
Performances start at 7.30pm
Gardens open for picnics at 6pm
Box Office Bookings and telephone bookings open 10th February 2018 at the Theatre Royal Bath
Box Office 01225 44 88 44

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