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Longborough Festival Opera announces 2022 programme

Cotswold-based Longborough Festival Opera has announced the programme for its 2022 season.

There will be four productions across the summer, featuring everything from the earliest surviving opera written by a woman to a brand new work by composer Freya Waley-Cohen.

Wagner Siegfried

30 May, 1, 3, 5, 7 June 2022

Longborough Festival Opera's ambitious new Ring cycle began with critically acclaimed performances of Das Rheingold in 2019 and a concert staging of Die Walküre in 2021 ("as fine Wagner as could be wished" - **** The Guardian).

Fully staged performances return for Siegfried in 2022. The cycle continues with Götterdämmerung in 2023, building to the full cycle of Der Ring des Nibelungen in 2024.

All productions in the cycle are created especially for Longborough by Amy Lane, artistic director of Copenhagen Opera Festival, and Longborough music director and eminent Wagnerian Anthony Negus.

Longborough's artistic director Polly Graham said: "With Siegfried we return to fully-staged Wagner and take another step on our journey towards the Ring cycle with this remarkably funny and exuberant third instalment of Wagner's cycle." -

Korngold Die tote Stadt

21, 23, 25, 27 June 2022

The 2022 season continues with a dramatised concert production of Korngold's youthful drama of desire, Die tote Stadt, in what will be the composer's 125th anniversary year. Director Carmen Jakobi and acclaimed conductor Justin Brown offer a new take on this rarely performed work. Die tote Stadt will feature the Longborough Youth Chorus, following their performance in The Cunning Little Vixen in the 2021 season.

Conductor Justin Brown said: "It's incredible how the 23-year-old Korngold was able to assimilate the latest trends, particularly Puccini and Strauss, almost outdoing them with his sense of colour and gift for beautiful melody, while already demonstrating an unmistakeable personal voice and idiom. The music is at once seductive, charming and subtly complex, providing exciting challenges for orchestra and singers alike. The only challenge for the audience is to resist falling under its spell!" -

Bizet Carmen

9, 10, 12, 14, 16, 17, 19 July 2022

Director Mathilde Lopez returns to Longborough following her production of Cavalli's La Calisto in 2019.

Lopez directs what promises to be a radical take on Bizet's tale of freedom, passion and high drama, with the Longborough Festival Orchestra under the baton of Jeremy Silver. Margaret Plummer makes her Longborough debut in the title role, with Peter Gijsbertsen (La traviata 2018) as Don José, and featuring the Longborough Youth Chorus.

Waley-Cohen Spell Book

Caccini La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina

Longborough's Emerging Artist programme gives a vital opportunity to singers at the beginning of their careers. In 2022 audiences are treated to a double bill of love, freedom and magic.

Members of the Emerging Artists ensemble offer the first complete staging of Freya Waley-Cohen's Spell Book, a dramatic song cycle inspired by the composer's encounter with Rebecca Tamás' collection of poems, WITCH.

Polly Graham said: "The women of Freya's songs create spells that celebrate hard won freedoms, as well as spells that lay out the divisions and injustices yet to be overcome. A perfect project for a new generation of performers."

Following this is a performance of Francesca Caccini's La liberazione di Ruggiero dall'isola d'Alcina, the earliest surviving opera written by a female composer. With a story from Ariosto's Orlando Furioso, La liberazione di Ruggiero will be performed in a new arrangement by conductor Yshani Perinpanayagam, featuring CHROMA Ensemble and directed by Jenny Ogilvie.

Martin and Lizzie Graham started promoting opera in the grounds of their home in 1991 as Banks Fee Opera. Longborough Festival Opera has since grown into an established opera company, situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, with an annual season taking place in a purpose-built opera house seating 500.

Martin and Lizzie's daughter, the acclaimed opera director Polly Graham, was appointed as artistic director in 2018, working alongside Jennifer Smith, executive director. Longborough's intimate auditorium enables the audience to experience the drama and emotion on the stage on an almost personal level, firmly securing the summer season into the diaries of a loyal and ever-increasing audience. Longborough Festival Opera is a charity, relying on ticket sales and the generosity of its members and audience.

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