Tag Archives: Francis O’Connor

Tosca, Grange Park Opera, Theatre in the Woods, GPO, June 2017

Grange Park Opera’s new theatre is a small miracle. Built in under a year, the acoustics of this mini La Scala with its four tiers of seats in a horseshoe-shaped auditorium, allowed conductor Gianluca Marcianò with the BBC Concert Orchestra to deliver a full-blooded account of Puccini’s masterpiece in the Surrey countryside. Full-bloodied too in …

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Leonore, Buxton Opera Festival, July 2016

As an opera composer the 34-year old Beethoven was not a natural and his 1805 Leonore caused him no little trouble. Its poor reception by an audience composed largely of soldiers in Napoleon’s army, who would mostly not have understood the German Singspiel, did not help and a year later he cut it from three acts …

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Samson et Delila, Grange Park Opera, GPO, June 2015

Chutzpah is the word for Grange Park this summer. First they manage to attract Bryn Terfel to the main role in Fiddler on the Roof, then they decide to take on Samson et Delila, which requires first rate singers in both main roles and is a difficult opera to stage. This is perhaps why director …

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Peter Grimes, Grange Park Opera, June 2014

Having heard negative comments from one friend about Jeremy Sams’s new production of Grimes, and from another that it was first rate, I was intrigued to see for myself. Sets and costumes were reliably authentic from a time somewhere in the late nineteenth/ early twentieth century, and the superb video illusion of the sea rippling to …

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Eugene Onegin, Grange Park Opera, June 2013

At the end, after Onegin has clung uselessly to Tatyana and she has pulled herself away and left the stage, we see Prince Gremin walk across the upper level holding a pistol. A fine dramatic effect, following many others in this beautifully honed production. The splitting of the set into an upper and lower level, …

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Capriccio, Grange Park Opera, June 2010

… what really made the evening was the superb singing of Susan Gritton as the Countess. Her soliloquy towards the end was mesmerising. I was bowled over.

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