Norfolk’s brand new opera festival

PUBLISHED: 12:40 30 July 2019

Artistic director Genevieve Raghu

Artistic director Genevieve Raghu


Music lovers have something to celebrate this month with the launch of the first Norfolk Into Opera Festival

Norfolk's music lovers have something to celebrate this month with the launch of the first Norfolk Into Opera Festival. Launched at the Octagon Barn in Little Plumstead, the festival wants to break down some of the barriers around opera and so are keeping ticket prices as low as possible and has events aimed at providing audiences with an 'accessible, immersive and unique first experience of opera.'

"We want to get more people 'into' opera," says artistic director Genevieve Raghu. "So we are trying to tackle head on some of the actual and perceived barriers which might prevent people from going to an opera.

"Firstly, we are setting our main production The Elixir of Love on a farm so the Octagon Barn really adds to the atmosphere of the production. Secondly, we wanted an intimate venue so that audiences could feel close to the action, immersed in the story and able to see into the singers' eyes. Thirdly, we wanted an informal environment - where you could relax outside before performances, enjoy a drink from our outdoor bar, bring a picnic, hopefully enjoy some lovely weather - all in all, to create a fun and relaxing experience to share with friends, family or a loved one, with opera right at the centre."

The festival includes a gala concert on August 9 called Opera Unwrapped with seven opera singers including acclaimed tenor Christopher Turner and American soprano Sofia Troncoso. There will also be three performances of a Donizetti's comic opera The Elixir of Love set in rural Norfolk during World War One.

This production will star the tenor Thomas Elwin and soprano Fleur de Bray who have previously performed at venues including the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, the National Theatre and Opera Stuttgart. The Elixir of Love will be performed in English in a newly adapted translation by Norfolk's David Parry.

Into Opera has been getting people 'into' opera in Norfolk since September 2017. Their first project A King's Ransom involved a collaboration with chart topping classical composer, Patrick Hawes and hundreds of primary pupils across Norfolk. Into Opera also supports schools by providing workshops for teachers to inspire creativity in the classroom.

Into Opera commissions new operas, develops educational experiences and produces high quality opera productions.

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