The Grange Festival’s 2017 production of Benjamin Britten’s opera Albert Herring has been nominated for a South Bank Sky Arts Award in its Opera category. The production, which formed part of The Grange Festival’s critically-acclaimed inaugural season last year, received rapturous reviews from critics and audiences alike, with The Times stating it was “a delicious delight, all the more so when it’s as impeccably directed, conducted and sung as it was here”.
Directed by veteran opera director John Copley and starring British tenor Richard Pinkstone in the title role, the production also featured Britten’s former music assistant, Steuart Bedford, who conducted the Aurora Orchestra in Britten’s witty and inventive score.
John Copley returns to The Grange Festival in their 2018 summer season to direct Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, presented in a brand-new English translation by David Parry, with performances starting from 24 June. The Grange Festival 2018 season will open on 7 June with DANCE@THEGRANGE, evenings of dance co-curated by Director of Dance and internationally-renowned choreographer Wayne McGregor.
One of the world’s most coveted arts awards, the South Bank Sky Arts Awards are an annual celebration of the best of UK art and culture over the past year, acknowledging a range of theatre, music, dance and more in 10 categories. Previous winners in the Opera category include Opera North’s Ring Cycle (2017), English National Opera’s production of The Force of Destiny (2016), and George Benjamin’s Written on Skin (2014).
Michael Chance, Artistic Director of The Grange Festival, said: “Albert Herring was one of those felicitous moments in this most elusive of the performing arts when all the elements aligned brilliantly and hilariously. This is a wonderful thumbs-up for all our team at The Grange Festival and a substantial vote of confidence for what we are doing. It is really all about the quality of the people, and I am so thrilled that our conductor Steuart Bedford, our director John Copley, a cast which I am sure Britten would have loved, the Aurora Orchestra, and the whole unseen team are saluted for their brilliant work. This announcement comes in the frantic days before we open our second festival. We are all rushing around with springs in our steps.”
The awards will take place on Sunday 1 July at the Savoy Hotel in London and will be presented by Lord Melvyn Bragg.