2018 saw Nevill Holt Opera open their stunning 400-seat theatre designed by Stirling Prize-winning architects Witherford Watson Mann in conjunction with theatre designers Sound Space Vision, acclaimed as a place that can make opera feel fresh and alive (The Observer).
The 2019 summer festival will open with a new production of Benjamin Britten’s magical A Midsummer Night’s Dream directed by Anna Morrissey (Noye’s Fludde 2017) and designed by Simon Kenny (Le Nozze di Figaro 2018). Based on Shakespeare’s comedy, a lovers tiff between fairy-king Oberon and his queen Tytania leads to a night of mistaken identities, confused lovers and alarming transformations. Committed to supporting local talent, Leicestershire singer Tim Morgan (Bach’s St John Passion, European tour; A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nevill Holt Opera) will shine in the role of Oberon, accompanied by Daisy Brown (Messiah, Royal Albert Hall; Die Entführung aus dem Serail, The Grange Festival; The Queen of Spades, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Opera Holland Park) as Tytania. The fantastic NHO Children’s Chorus will make a welcome return as the Chorus of Fairies, drawn from the Academy of Schools of the David Ross Education Trust. Their role in NHO’s 2019 Festival will be the culmination of a five-year long education programme delivered by NHO in schools across the East Midlands.
Featuring the Britten Sinfonia and under the baton of Artistic Director Nicholas Chalmers A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the great masterpieces of English opera and the perfect fit for a midsummer festival.
Nevill Holt Opera welcomes another female director Adele Thomas (Berenice, Linbury Studio, Royal Opera House; Eyam, The Oresteia, Shakespeare’s Globe; Cosi fan Tutte, Northern Ireland Opera) who will take the helm of an elegant art-deco staging of Cosi Fan Tutte – Mozart’s high energy tale of love, temptation and partner-swapping. Reviving the original hit production from Northern Ireland Opera, this showing will continue the highly successful partnership with Royal Northern Sinfonia under the baton of Nicholas Chalmers.
After the festival closes its doors, Cosi Fan Tutte will journey to Sage Gateshead for two fully staged performances on 5th and 6th July after a very popular visit in 2018.
Following the award-winning outdoor production of Britten’s Noye’s Fludde in 2017, which reached over 1,000 children, the NHO Education programme continues. In response to this festival, the programme will lead a project, creating mini Midsummer Night’s Dreams across schools in the East Midlands. This important project supports and encourages children’s engagement with music and singing at a crucial part in their learning as they move from primary to secondary education. Using dance, drama and music to produce a meaningful response to Shakespeare’s text and Britten’s music, this project will culminate in a performance in Nevill Holt Opera’s new theatre in April.