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Presenting fully staged grand opera, sung in English

Tickets for our semi-staged production of Mozart’s Magic Flute will be available from 9.00 am on 20th April 2024. There will be two performances – 19:30 on 1st June and an evening performance (time TBC) on 2nd June.

http://www.bristolopera.co.uk/tickets/

February 16th 2024 performance

Bristol Opera The Merry Wives Of Windsor as seen by Debi Weaver (NODA Southwest District 13/16) on Friday 16th February 2024

Director: Frazier Meakin     Musical Director: Arne Kovac

Associate Director: Annie Keith

The Merry Wives of Windsor” is a comedic opera by German composer Otto Nicolai, based on William Shakespeare’s play of the same name. Premiering in 1849, it tells the story of Sir John Falstaff, a roguish character from Shakespeare’s Henry IV plays, who tries to seduce two wealthy married women, Mistress Ford, and Mistress Page, in hopes of sexual satisfaction and financial gain. However, the clever wives outwit Falstaff, leading to humorous and farcical situations. Ultimately, Falstaff is humiliated, and the wives’ marriages are reaffirmed. The opera features lively and comedic music, capturing the spirit of Shakespeare’s original play and its humour and wit. Director Frazier Meakin developed a modern interpretation of this story, including amongst other things, mobile phones, selfies, and a King Charles t-shirt. Set in the fictional town of Windsor, the design and set was well thought out. The 18-piece orchestra led by Arne Kovac placed upstage, with a staircase leading up to a balcony with a wooden archway underneath and some simple flats and pillars. The space was very well utilised, with all possible entrances and exits used to maximum effect. The lighting design was extremely effective, vibrant, colourful, and well cued. There were moments when members of the cast faced upstage and I lost some of the words, but overall, the Sound was clear. Costumes/Hair and Make-up were all in keeping, enhancing the overall performance.

All the Principal performances were very strong with some stunning vocals. Mrs Ford (Sophie Kirk-Harris) and Mrs Page (Rebecca Chellappah) both gave very strong comedic performances with great physicality and facial expressions. Falstaff (John DesLauriers) your performance of the bumbling, sleazy, larger than life character made me laugh out loud at points (for the right reasons!!). Mr Ford (Robert Marson) you demonstrated the jealousy and inner turmoil of this character well. Mr Page (Roderick Hunt) I particularly enjoyed those beautiful tones in your voice. Anne Page (Jennifer Walker) and Fenton (Robert Felstead) a lovely pairing, with gorgeous vocals and some very funny moments. Dr Cajus (James Ward) and Slender (Steve Harris) again providing some very amusing moments. I enjoyed the “hiding” in the bushes and also well done for the incorporating of the boot and crutches, very well thought out and effective.

The Windsor’s, Hoy Polloi, Elves, and Spirits were all played with enthusiasm, showing their individual characters. I really liked all the activity in the Overture, and in the pub, lots to see and lots of individual stories going on. A highlight for me was seeing the youngsters fully incorporated into the production, so focused and clearly loving every minute. Their individual moments when tormenting Falstaff in Act 3 were great.

Bristol Opera dedicated this production to Graham Billing who died in July 2023 and who provided the translation for this performance and who directed, performed, and translated librettos for many productions previously.

Congratulations to all involved for a truly memorable and entertaining production. I heard many great comments from the audience as I left. Well Done all.

PLEASE NOTE:

Any observation made by the reviewer can only be based on what he sees at the performance in question. The reviewer may have received information in advance of the performance, and it is inevitable that his assessment will be effected by that knowledge. The N.O.D.A. Representative’s intention is to give an objective critique of the overall production and in particular the performance viewed. It should be remembered that any review of this nature can only be objective as far as the techniques used during the performance observed. Any criticisms expressed may not have been valid at other performances, and are only made to encourage higher standards in Amateur Theatre. It is hoped that the audience’s appreciation of your efforts will have given everyone lift and encouraged you to greater achievements in the future and that the observations made by the reviewer will prove helpful in improving future productions.

The company is seeking to audition principals for its Summer performance of Mozart’s Magic Flute on 1st and 2nd June. Venue to be confirmed.

Auditions will take place at Horfield Methodist Church,1 Churchways Ave, Bristol BS7 8SN on 10th March from 17:00 to 19:00 and 14th March from 18:00 to 20:00.

If you are interested in auditioning for this semi-staged production then please contact our company secretary: secretary@bristolopera.co.uk

The Magic Flute, Audition pieces

Audition in English language, page numbers refer to Boosey and Hawkes score using the link below:

https://imslp.org/wiki/Die_Zauberfl%C3%B6te,_K.620_(Mozart,_Wolfgang_Amadeus)

(see Vocal Scores, last one in the list)


Tamino                                   “Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd schoen”, pp. 28-30                  

Tenor


Pamina                                   “Ach, ich fuehl’s”, pp.128-129

Soprano          


The Queen of the Night        “Der Hoelle Rache”, pp. 117-121

Soprano


Sarastro                                  “In diesen heiligen Hallen” (first verse), pp. 123-124

Bass    


Papageno                               “Der Vogelfaenger bin ich ja” (first verse), pp. 24-25

Baritone


Three Ladies                          “Stirb, Ungeheuer, durch uns’re Macht!”, pp. 10-13

2 Sopranos & Mezzo-Soprano


Monostatos                            “Alles fuehlt der Lieben Freuden”, pp. 113-116

Tenor  


Papagena                               Duet from “Welche Freude wird das sein”, pp. 182-187

Soprano          


The Speaker                           “Wo willst Du, kuehner Fremdling, hin?”, pp. 64-69

Bass                                                     or audition for Sarastro


Two Men in Armour             “Der, welcher wandert diese Strasse”, pp. 158-159

Tenor & Bass 


Two Priests                             audition as Two Men in Armour (above)

Tenor & Bass


Three Genii                            “Zum Ziele fuehrt dich diese Bahn”, pp. 60-61

Sopranos        

The NODA Review: by Debi Weaver

Bristol Opera is a member of the National Operatic and Dramatic Association.

“The lighting design was extremely effective, vibrant, and colourfu.l”

“All the Principal performances were very strong with some stunning vocals.”

“The space was very well utilised, with all possible entrances and exits used to maximum effect.”

About the principals:

Mrs Ford and Mrs Page “[gave a] very strong comedic performances with great physicality and facial expressions”

The role of Falstaff was a “performance of a bumbling, sleazy, larger than life character [which] made me laugh out loud at points”

Mr Ford “demonstrated the jealousy and inner turmoil of this character well”

The Chorus and young elves “were all played with enthusiasm, showing their individual characters. I really liked all the activity in the Overture, and in the pub, lots to see and lots of individual stories going on. A highlight for me was seeing the youngsters fully incorporated into the production, so focused and clearly loving every minute. Their individual moments when tormenting Falstaff in Act 3 were great.”

We are planning to perform a semi-staged production of this familiar opera in June 2024.

Merry Wives of Windsor – Nicolai

Thursday 15th to Saturday 17th February 2024 – starting at 7:30 @ 1532 Performing Arts Centre, Elton Road, Bristol, BS8 1SJ

Prices (tickets now on sale)

http://www.bristolopera.co.uk/tickets/

We are pleased to announce that we have cast the leading roles for the Merry Wives of WIndsor production (15th to 17th February, 2024) Tickets are now on sale.

http://www.bristolopera.co.uk/next-show

If you are interested in our company then find out more by clicking on the ‘join us’ menu or here :

Auditions to take place on Sunday 10th and 17th September 16:00 to 18:00

Church Hall, Horfield Methodist Church, Bristol, BS7 8SN

Page numbers below refer to the Peters vocal score that can be downloaded from IMSLP. Email Arne Kovac @ akovacuk@gmail.com for English words using Graham Billing’s translation. Audition dates will be in September

Frau Fluth (Mistress Ford)      Soprano

Recitative and aria, pp. 41 – 49. To audition sing pp. 41 to 43 (first bar only). Then sing pp. 46-48, but cut the last three systems on p. 47 and the first bar on p. 48.

Herr Fluth (Ford)                  Baritone

Finale Act 1, pp. 60 – 62 (including bottom of p. 62)

Duet, Act 2, pp. 149-152 (from Moderato on p. 149 to double bar line on p. 152)

Sir John Falstaff                      Bass

Song Act 2, pp. 103-104 (one verse)

Finale Act 2, p. 161, 3rd system (falsetto)

Anna Reich (Anne Page)        Soprano

Recitative and aria, pp. 182 – 189     To audition sing pp 182-83. Then sing from p. 185, end of 2nd system to end of aria, but with a cut from p. 186, 3rd bar of 3rd system to last system on p. 187.

Frau Reich (Mistress Page)     Mezzo Soprano

Ballad, pp. 180 – 181, both verses

Fenton                                     Tenor

Aria, pp. 128 – 130, first verse only

Junker Spärlich (Slender)        Tenor

Act 2, Scene, pp. 124 – 125

Herr Reich (Page)                   Bass

 Act 3, p. 212

Dr. Caius                                 Bass

Act 2, Scene, pp. 126 – 128

There are also 4 citizens and an innkeeper which are mostly spoken parts and will be decided later.

There are a number of parts that we will be seeking members, and any prospective members, to audition for in July 2023.

Alice Ford – soprano
Meg Page – mezzo-soprano
Sir John Falstaff – bass
Fenton – tenor
Ford – baritone
Anne Page – soprano
Page- bass
Slender – tenor
Dr. Cajus – bass
First citizen – tenor

Audition Dates to be announced shortly.