Award-winning opera set to light up autumn season at Saffron Hall

PUBLISHED: 17:27 12 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:27 12 October 2018

Saffron Hall

Saffron Hall


The English Touring Opera (ETO) is bringing a series of productions to Saffron Hall as part of the venue's autumn season.

The Olivier-award winning company prides itself on bringing live and accessible opera to theatres around the country, and will be featuring pieces from Bach, Handel, Purcell, Carissimi, and Gesualdo.

First up, at 7.30pm on Friday, October 26, is a triple bill of 17th century baroque opera, oratorio, and madrigals sacred and profane, featuring Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Carissimi’s Jonas and Gesualdo’s I Will Not Speak.

Director Seb Harcombe promises to conjure a Jacobean night-world as he directs Dido and Aeneas, with designs by Adam Wiltshire.

Director, dancer and choreographer Bernadette Iglich directs a staging of Jonas. She works alongside ETO general director, James Conway on a candle-lit performance of some of the extraordinary renaissance Prince Carlo Gesualdo’s Madrigals and Music for Tenebrae under the title I Will Not Speak, taken from the madrigal Io tacerò.

The cast of eight performing in all three parts of the evening include soprano Sky Ingram as Dido, Frederick Long as the Sorceress, Nicholas Mogg as Aeneas, Peter Kirk as Jonas, and Susannah Fairbairn, Benjamin Williamson, Alison Manifold and Richard Dowling.

On Saturday, October 27, at 7.30pm, is ETO’s new production of Handel’s Radamisto. Taking the Armenian setting as inspiration, Adam Wiltshire’s designs draw on a rich history of early Christian art and design from the Caucasus.

ETO’s period orchestra the Old Street Band will be directed from the harpsichord by conductor Peter Whelan in his ETO debut. Cast includes Katie Bray (Zenobia), William Towers (Radamisto), Ellie Laugharne (Polissena), Grant Doyle (Tiridate), John-Colyn Gyeantey (Tigrane) and Andrew Slater (Farasmane).

On Sunday, November 4, at 3pm, ETO concludes its three-year Bach choral project with a strong, simple staging of Bach’s St Matthew Passion.

The Saffron Hall performance features local choirs Granta Chorale, Saffron Centre for Young Musicians Junior Choir and SWCHS Voices.

Soloists include Katie Bray, Ellie Laugharne/Susannah Fairbairn, William Towers/Benjamin Williamson, John-Colyn Gyeantey, Richard Dowling, Frederick Long, and Andrew Slater.

Tickets for all performances are available from or 01799 588535.

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