Iford Arts is returning to the 18th century grounds of Belcombe Court for the 2021 season from August 21 with an eclectic mixture of musical treats including Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci and Susan Bullock singing the Easter Hymn from Mascagni’s Cavalleria rusticana.
The Company announced its season and plans during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and that it would be taking full advantage of the the Grade 1 listed house’s 60 acres of formal gardens, parkland and woodland, for socially distanced series of events in a spectacular saddlespan structure. That is to remain in lace despite the lifting of most restrictions.
Picnic Prom – Classico Latino
Saturday 21 August
Blending the passion and vitality of authentic Latin music with the smooth sound and virtuosity of the classical tradition, Classico Latino brings fresh perspective on the world of Latin-American music, breathing new life into songs from across the continent.
Peter and the Wolf – Prokofiev
Sunday 22 August, 2 performances
The family-friendly concert brings young people face-to-face with one of the greatest musical works for children –Prokofiev’s colourful Peter and the Wolf. Written for a children’s theatre in Moscow in 1936, this enduring musical story is based on an original narration by the composer. With each character in the story represented by a different instrument and sound, Peter and the Wolf offers the perfect introduction to the orchestra. Peter, his grandfather, the hunters, the villainous wolf and a whole menagerie of animals are all brought to life by Oliver Gooch and the Orpheus Sinfonia. The narrator is David Threlfall.
MezzoCav – Pietro Mascagni
Pagliacci – Ruggero Leoncavallo
August Saturday 28 to Monday 30 August
‘Cav and Pag’ will be presented at Iford Arts for the first time in its twenty-seven year history. Produced in partnership with Opera Ensemble and directed by Christopher Luscombe, Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci, soprano Elin Pritchard stars as Nedda, and the cast includes Peter Auty, Robert Hayward, Nicholas Lester and Aled Hall. The evening will begin with a concert presentation of the most loved parts of Mascgani’s Cavalleria Rusticana which the Company has called MezzoCav. Alongside the famous Intermezzo, soprano Susan Bullock, leads the cast and chorus in the most memorable parts of the opera, including the gloriously uplifting Easter Hymn.
Susan Bullock said, “I am very much looking forward to working with Iford Arts this summer. After such a terrible year of cancelled performances for our profession, it will be wonderful and very exciting to be able to help to launch a fresh start with such a forward-thinking company.”
“Our production of Pagliacci came about because we were all determined to put on a show in lockdown. That passion for music and drama found its perfect expression in the explosive brilliance of Leoncavallo’s timeless score, and we’ve loved taking it to socially distanced audiences who’ve been starved of live theatre. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to bring it to the West Country in the summer, and to have another chance to revel in this astonishing display of operatic magic,” said Christopher Luscombe.
The season will run from Saturday 21 August 2021 to Monday 30 August 2021.
Main image: Pagliacci
Tickets for Peter and the Wolf from £9 children, £16 adults. Tickets for opera from £49 with under 18s free at some performances (terms and conditions apply)