Longborough Festival Opera announces cast for Spell Book and La liberazione di Ruggiero

Longborough Festival Opera has announced the cast for Spell Book and La liberazione di Ruggiero, its 2022 emerging artist double bill.

The Costwolds company’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.

Artistic director 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.


Conductor / Arranger, Yshani Perinpanayagam

Director, Jenny Ogilvie

Designer, April Dalton

Lighting Designer, Jake Wiltshire

Assistant Conductor / Repetiteur, Clíodna Shanahan

Language Coach, Alessandro Fasolo

Surtitles, Kenneth Chalmers

With CHROMA Ensemble


SPELL FOR LILITH, sung by Sarah Richmond

SPELL FOR SEX, sung by Flora Macdonald

SPELL FOR WOMEN’S BOOKS, sung by Nia Coleman

SPELL FOR LOGIC, sung by Flora Macdonald

SPELL FOR JOY, sung by Keith Pun

SPELL FOR REALITY, sung by Jessica Robinson


Alcina, Lauren Joyanne Morris

Bradamante / Melissa, Simone Ibbett-Brown

Ruggiero, Oskar McCarthy

Neptune, Joe Chalmers

River, Ruairi Bowen

First Lady, Nia Coleman

Second Lady, Flora Macdonald

Third Lady, Sarah Richmond

Shepherd, Xavier Hetherington

Siren, Jessica Robinson


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