BAMPTON CLASSICAL OPERA 2019
STEPHEN STORACE Bride & Gloom (Gli sposi malcontenti)
The Deanery Garden, Bampton, Oxfordshire: Friday 19, Saturday 20 July
The Orangery Theatre, Westonbirt School, Glos: Monday 26 August
St John’s Smith Square, London: Tuesday 17 September
In summer 2019 Bampton Classical Opera will present Stephen Storace’s lively two-act comedy of marital manners Gli sposi malcontenti (1785), under the title Bride & Gloom. The company has already staged Storace’s other Viennese opera Gli equivoci (The Comedy of Errors) with great success in 2000-1. The production will be designed and directed by Jeremy Gray, conducted by Anthony Kraus and will be sung in English.
The plot concerns an unhappy and listless marriage between Casimiro and Eginia, and the unsettling presence of past lovers and would-be rivals. Brunati’s libretto is sharp and the pacing dramatic and varied. Storace’s operatic music is characterised by a keen understanding of ensemble, often piling in the voices in ever-changing textures, orchestration and tempi. It is in fact a refined and luscious Viennese concoction, more Sachertorte mit Schlag than steak-and-kidney pudding.
Gli sposi malcontenti was never performed in England in the 18th or 19th centuries, although Storace reused much of its music in his varied English-language operas in London. The English premiere was given by Opera Viva at King’s College in London in 1985, but it has not been performed since.
Bride & Gloom performances, with free pre-performance talks:
The Deanery Garden, Bampton, Oxfordshire OX18 2LL
7.00 pm Friday 19 and Saturday 20 July
The Orangery Theatre, Westonbirt School, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire GL8 8QG
5.00 pm Monday 26 August
St John’s Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA
7.00 pm Tuesday 17 September