Glyndebourne make their annual visit to Milton Keynes Theatre
Glyndebourne will make their annual visit to Milton Keynes Theatre this year with operas La bohème, The Marriage of Figaro and Mozart’s Requiem (1 – 5 November).
The brand new production of Puccini’s La bohème, which opened to critical acclaim at Glyndebourne Festival this summer, takes to the road this autumn as part of the Glyndebourne Tour. The striking new staging by Dutch director Floris Visser was widely praised for its fresh take on an opera that is familiar to many.
Also touring is another five-star production from Glyndebourne – Michael Grandage’s popular 2012 staging of Mozart’s classic comedy The Marriage of Figaro.
For those who didn’t manage to catch the two productions during their Festival run, the Tour offers the ideal opportunity to experience world-class Glyndebourne opera close to home and at a lower price. Both productions enjoyed rave reviews this summer.
The Daily Express described Figaro as ‘perfect’, while The Times called it a ‘sun-kissed, disco-dancing tonic… Sit back and watch the fireworks.’ Writing in the Evening Standard, Barry Millington praised Glyndebourne’s first new La bohème for over 20 years as a ‘bracing and deeply affecting staging of a work that still speaks to our age,’ with the Guardian calling it ‘riveting’ and Bachtrack praising it as ‘one of the most devastating performances I’ve seen.’
Continuing the Glyndebourne Tour’s longstanding commitment to supporting new artistic talent, the two shows have exciting new casts for this autumn. La bohème features rising star sopranos Nicaraguan-American Gabriella Reyes and Ethiopian-Italian Mariam Battistelli as Mimì and Musetta respectively.
The cast of The Marriage of Figaro includes Lancashire-born soprano Soraya Mafi (praised for her scene-stealing performance in this summer’s Glyndebourne Festival production of Alcina) as Susanna, George Humphreys as the roguish Count and Nardus Williams as his Countess. Taking up the baton for The Marriage of Figaro is talented young conductor Stephanie Childress, still only in her early twenties.
Alongside the two opera productions is a concert performance of Mozart’s Requiem, pairing his choral masterpiece with music by his contemporary, Caribbean-French composer Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges.
New for the Tour in 2022 is an exciting programme of community and audience engagement activity to accompany performances at each Tour venue. Glyndebourne is developing residencies in each Tour location throughout the year, creating bespoke learning and engagement projects in collaboration with its partners in the regions. These collaborations lead up to Resound, a programme of initiatives taking place in each venue alongside Glyndebourne’s mainstage Tour productions to welcome audiences, create a festival atmosphere and widen access to opera.
This year these include:
- Good Company: music in care homes, in which performers from the Tour Orchestra and Chorus play a short, accessible programme for local groups of people living with dementia and their carers;
- Sing with the Glyndebourne Chorus (Mozart’s Requiem): an opportunity for local schools to rehearse and perform choral excerpts with Glyndebourne’s world-renowned Chorus alongside their creative responses on the day of performance, then attend the evening show;
- Pit Perfect: instrumentalists from Glyndebourne’s talent development initiative for emerging orchestral players give a short concert at a local college or university, followed by a workshop for students, who then attend the evening Tour performance.
As well as Glyndebourne’s new Resound programme, there are also new initiatives to make Tour performances as welcoming and inclusive to the broadest audience possible. There will be audio-described performances and ‘touch tours’ for those with visual impairments (for The Marriage of Figaro), on-stage introductions and post-show welcomes by cast members, and short, pre-performance musical performances in the foyer providing first-time attendees (as well as aficionados) with a musical guide to that evening’s opera.
In addition, Tour Ambassadors are being recruited from within the local area to help reach out to underrepresented communities and introduce them to opera.
Glyndebourne’s Head of Tour Development Chris Stones said of the new programme of activities: ‘This is step one in a long-term plan to build new audiences for Glyndebourne, for our transformative art form, and for the brilliant venues we tour to. But this is about more than audience development: we want to make a difference to people’s lives in a direct way through opera and music-making. The difference we make will vary from person to person but, ultimately, we want to enrich as many people’s lives as possible through our work.’
TUE 1 NOV& FRI 4 NOV – The Marriage of Figaro
WED 2 NOV & SAT 5 NOV – La bohème
THU 3 NOV 2022 – Mozart’s Requiem
Tickets: From £13*
General bookings: 0844 871 7615*
Access bookings: 0333 009 5399
Group bookings: 0207 206 1174
Online Booking: ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes*
*Fees may apply. Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge