Cotswolds opera to stage three productions in circus Big Top
By David Wood
North Cotswolds-based Longborough Festival Opera will stage three of its productions in a circus Big Top this summer, launching on June 1.
The Big Top is a creative solution to the pandemic, offering exciting theatrical possibilities for the creative teams, as well as excellent seating flexibility allowing for a larger socially distanced audience. The space can also be turned into an outdoor venue as required, with the possibility of performing with the sides removed.
Longborough artistic director Polly Graham commented: "We are determined to bring our audience a wonderful and unforgettable season, and the safety of everyone involved is our priority. I am delighted that we can offer this exciting new venue for 2021 and keep live opera happening through such a challenging time.
"Opera in the round opens up so many different ways of expressing a story. Audiences will feel drawn in and almost part of the action. It's opera undressed, as the focus shifts to the music, text and performance, rather than big sets and costumes, and the space itself also becomes a part of the storytelling."
The three productions to be staged in the Big Top are Mozart's witty and satirical Cosi fan tutte, Monteverdi's drama of homecoming The Return of Ulysses and Janáček's comic The Cunning Little Vixen.
The Big Top is a purpose-built auditorium with a socially distanced seating plan. The stage and amphitheatre will be clad in timber, to assist with the even spread of sound. As with the productions in the theatre, surtitles will be present for every production and visible from every seat.
The news of the new venue follows the success of Longborough's 2020 fundraising campaign, which generated over £300,000 for freelance artists involved in the postponed festival and the generation of future work.
For more information, visit https://lfo.org.uk/
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