A new Iford Arts Production
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
DESIGNER – Holly Pigott
LIGHTING DESIGNER – Matt Cater
DSM – Megan Bly
MUSICAL ASSISTANT AND REPETITEUR – Fernando Aguado
ASM / PRODUCTION MANAGER – Victoria Bilson
WARDROBE SUPERVISOR – Anna Dixon
HAIR AND MAKE -UP – Sara Whalley
VENUE TECHNICAL MANAGER – Tom Gurney
PARTENOPE – Galina Averina
ROSMIRA – Beth Margaret Taylor
EMILIO – Jorge Navarro Colorado
ARSACE – Alexander Simpson
ORMONTE – Brendan Collins
ARMINDO –Tom Scott-Cowell
CAST EXTRA – Luke Howe
CAST EXTRA – Ruth Mitchener
“Iford is a gem” Hugh Canning. The Sunday Times
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