OPERA IN THE CITY FESTIVAL | London’s new summer opera festival from 20th August - 7th September at Bridewell Theatre, City of London

Now in its third year, the festival creates a dynamic new hub for opera right in the heart of the City of London, presenting innovative productions which push the boundaries of classical music. Rarely performed pieces, new works and multi-disciplinary projects with a focus on international collaborations promise a unique season: including an opera with a touch of Jazz which sets Othello in the world of rugby, a love story told through Vivaldi and Goethe, and contemporary sci-fi music theatre about fashion at the end of the world.

We are delighted to open this years’ festival with the UK premiere of Caccia Lontana by Croatian-Italian composer Antonio Smareglia (1854-1929), presented by Istrian National Theatre Pula and Croatian National Theatre in Varazdin, and the first fully-staged production of the award-nominated opera WEAR by Scottish composer Alastair White, a project which brings together high fashion and contemporary dance. Our in-house production Vivaldi meets Werther: Four Seasons fuses Antonio Vivaldi’s violin concert The Four Seasons with texts from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s epistolary novel The Sorrows of Young Werther. This multi-disciplinary project takes its audience on a journey into the mind of the tortured anti-hero Werther, a defining figure of the Romantic-era imagination. Starring renowned violinist Alda Dizdari (Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, BBC Radio 3, UK wide and international concert tours) who appears as Werther’s love interest ‘Lotte’, this production creates a unique theatrical experience through interactions between music and text: actor and violinist communicate with each other, the dramatic movements of Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons interweave with Goethe’s text to bring its haunting story to life.

“I am excited to team up with Bridewell Theatre once more, and to welcome a variety of British and International artists to our boutique festival”, says festival director Pamela Schermann. “We present a mix of new works, rediscoveries, and multi-disciplinary projects, such as this year’s in-house production Vivaldi meets Werther. Different art forms reframe and reimagine one another to create an original piece, which is accessible to those new to classical music and offers a bold new reading to those familiar with Vivaldi’s famous violin concert.”

Another highlight is GAFA Samoa Arts Collective’s acclaimed production of R’Otello the rugby opera, an imaginative retelling of the tragedy with music from Otello, Carmen and Tosca arranged for orchestra and jazz band, and scenes written by Sani Muliaumaseali’i.

The festival programme further includes a new, physical theatre take by British theatre maker Emma Muir-Smith on The Seven Deadly Sins (Die Sieben Todsünden) by Kurt Weill/Bertold Brecht, with further events as well as as concerts, workshops and talks to be announced.


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