Each year Nevill Holt Opera’s programme and renown continues to grow. Their 2017 production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde has won Best Event at the Leicestershire Tourism Awards 2017.
Performed by more than 100 children from schools across the David Ross Education Trust, as well as pupils from Rutland Music Education Hub and Oakham School, the four performances in July were the highlight concluding the summer festival. Throughout the duration of the project, NHO worked with over 1,000 children. Judges praised the project for its ‘excellence, accessibility, impact and legacy.’
The performances of Noye’s Fludde were staged outdoors in a production directed by the Royal Opera House Director of Opera, Oliver Mears, and conducted by NHO Artistic Director, Nicholas Chalmers. Top professional artists worked closely with the young performers to deliver an excellent and exceptional experience of live music, opera and performance for children. Players from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra led and coached the young instrumentalists, while professional opera and radio stars Jonathan Lemalu, Heather Lowe, and BBC Radio 3 Presenter Petroc Trelawny performed the roles of Noye, Mrs Noye and the Voice of God.
‘A stunningly effective spectacle…a resonant, entrancing production.’
Next summer, the festival will be staged in an exciting new space. Developed within a stable block courtyard on the historic Grade I listed Leicestershire estate, the new 400-seat theatre has been designed by Stirling Prize winning architects Witherford Watson Mann in conjunction with theatre designers Sound Space Vision (Koerner Concert Hall, Toronto; Winspear Opera House, Dallas).
Nicholas Chalmers, Artistic Director of NHO comments: ‘For five years, Nevill Holt Opera has been staging the highest quality productions in its stable-yard theatre. The prospect of a new, uniquely intimate opera house to support this excellent work is such an exciting development.’
The 2018 festival will launch with a new NHO production of Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, conducted by Nicholas Chalmers, directed by Joe Austin (NHO Tosca 2017) and designed by Simon Kenny. 2018 will also see the launch of NHO’s new partnership with Royal Northern Sinfonia, who will be performing the 2018 production of Figaro.
NHO’s production of Figaro will feature their trademark selection of bright young stars – underlining their commitment to nurturing the best emerging operatic talent. Young Leicesterborn baritone James Newby will make his debut in the role of Count, while Lawson Anderson (2017 winner of Glyndebourne’s award for most talented young singer) will star as Figaro. Sky Ingram sings Countess and Aoife Miskelly the role of Susanna while Joan Rodgers makes her debut as Marcellina.
Following the summer festival in Leicestershire, NHO’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro will tour to Sage Gateshead, home of Royal Northern Sinfonia, for two performances in July as part of the Great Exhibition of the North.
The festival will continue with the first revival of the acclaimed production of Adès’ Powder her Face, originally created by Northern Ireland Opera and directed by Antony McDonald.
With a history of hosting touring opera productions on the estate since 2005, Nevill Holt Opera was itself founded in 2013 as an independent festival with its own distinctive vision. Since then NHO has been committed to casting and working with young UK opera singers.