Fromn Opera Onlne: Dido and Aeneas zoo2

Top: Dido and Aeneas from Opera Online's page about the opera
Below: from the Gilbert & Sullivan Archive

 

2018—where to join us, where to hear us

Getting started

We're now seeking recruits of all voices for the chorus in both our fully-staged November production and our Spring and Summer Puccini concert series. Details follow. If you might be interested in taking part, do come along to a rehearsal on Wednesday evenings at 7.30, in the Majendie Hall, Speen, Newbury, where you'll be made very welcome! We usually rehearse from 7.30 pm on Wednesdays. But it's best to confirm with secretary@kennetopera.co.uk in advance.

November: A Purcell-and-Sullivan double bill

purcell arthur-sullivan-2

For our main show in November we're offering a wonderful BOGOF deal: two productions for the price of one! And what a bill – though they're both by English composers, it would be hard to find two more contrasting pieces. Henry Purcell's wonderfully moving Dido and Aeneas has one of the most famous arias in all opera, Dido's Lament. There are also sorcerers and spirits, and choruses of witches, sailors and courtiers, all of whom have their share of Purcell's sublime music.

From the sublime… to Arthur Sullivan. A real rarity, The Zoo is an early work, in collaboration not with W.S.Gilbert, but the somewhat lesser-known B.C.Stephenson. However, it is fully in the G&S tradition of a ludicrous plot set to a rollicking (and often charming) score. Did I mention it takes place in a zoo? Both operas will be performed in tandem at Arlington Arts, near Newbury, from 8 to 10 November.

Coming to a hall near you: Puccini

giacomo_puccini Look out, too, for KO's concerts at village and town venues through the spring and summer. They'll feature the works of Giacomo Puccini, with excerpts from such all-time favourites as Madame Butterfly, Tosca and La Bohème, culminating, of course, in the stupendous 'Nessun Dorma'.


The dates are:

Online booking! It's now available here for the Wantage, Letcombe Regis and Speen/Newbury concerts. For other dates it's available on the festival websites.

2017– The Marriage of Figaro and Mozart's Last Year

We presented Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro at Arlington Arts, near Newbury, on the evenings of 2 to 3 November 2017, and the afternoon of Saturday 4 November. Our audiences were well up on last year. As always it was a fully staged performance, sung in English with orchestra. More about Figaro.

Our concert series earlier that year, 'Mozart's Last Year – a celebration in song and words' was mostly opera and choral works from 1791, when his creativity was as astonishing as ever. Some items were staged and acted, and the show was driven by Emanuel Schikaneder, the actor-manager, singer and librettist, a close friend of Mozart, who invited us into his dressing-room to hear his recollections. The programme.

The first show was in the splendid acoustics of the Majendie Hall. An afternoon performance in Letcombe Regis Village Hall, near Wantage, was next. In July we returned to HADCAF arts festival in Hungerford, this time in the United Reformed Church. The final show was part of Stockfest festival, Stockcross. A full house enjoyed themselves at cafe tables, and Newbury Weekly News reviewer Derek Ansell thought it a varied and fascinating programme —the perfect end to a wonderful venture!

Getting to the Majendie Hall

The hall is 15 minutes walk from Northbrook Street in central Newbury. It's at the end of Church Lane, off Speen Lane, RG14 1SA. If you drive via the A34 Newbury bypass, it's a few minutes from the Speen exit. From the top of either sliproad, follow the signs towards Newbury A4, then, immediately after entering Speen, turn right into Speen Lane, at a conspicuous war memorial with a cross on top. Follow Speen Lane for a few hundred yards, till you come to Church Lane on your right. Turn down it and you'll soon see the car park on your left, from where it's a short walk down to St Mary's Church and the Majendie Hall.