As our Director of Artistic Administration, Scott oversees casting for all our productions. So who better to give us the inside scoop on what to look forward to at this year’s festival?
Which opera are you most excited about and why?
That’s such a hard question. All three of the productions we’re putting on this year are fantastic examples of works by genius composers, but the one I’m most excited about is Falstaff. Verdi’s final opera is one of the only two comedies he wrote. An irresistibly entertaining tale inspired by Shakespeare (adapted from The Merry Wives of Windsor with text from Henry IV), it was conceived in a late burst of creative energy when Verdi had been a composer for nearly sixty years. I have to say, it’s simply joyous. Christopher Luscombe (director) and Simon Higlett (designer) have produced a staggeringly good concept that will be a treat for the eyes and ears. I can’t wait for opening night.
There are some big characters in this production – what do you look for when you’re casting these roles?
Obviously, one wants great voices (and this is a marvellous cast), but of absolutely equal importance for me is what a singer does with text and language – their intention for the character, the way they mould the words and music and communicate it all to the audience. Add a big dollop of stagecraft to the mix and that really gets me excited. When it all comes together like that, it’s the best sort of job satisfaction I can imagine.
We know the production team always likes to keep that element of surprise, but can you share anything at all about what we can expect?
It’s so tempting to reveal all the details to you, because I know you will love it, but I must resist. Suffice to say that you will not be disappointed. Indeed, I believe you will be thrilled with this production. It’s going to be an absolute treat.