Applicable to Sundays only
Composer | Benjamin Britten
Librettist | Peter Pears
Orchestra | Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Sung in English
We celebrate the 61st anniversary of one of opera’s most popular adaptations. It would have been the 60th anniversary in 2020, except…… Full of sensuality, fun, argument, chaos and reconciliation, Benjamin Britten’s voluptuous and translucent music illuminates Shakespeare at his luscious and comic best.
Paul Curran’s heralded European production is remade for The Grange. Hampshire children play the fairies, rising stars the lovers, Jonathan Lemalu returns to sing Bottom aided by a feast of British stars as his fellow mechanicals. The Grange Festival is proud to welcome a winner of our 2019 International Singing Competition Samantha Clarke as Tytania and new kid on the block Alexander Chance as Oberon. Anthony Kraus conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Wild thyme, oxlips, nodding violets, luscious woodbine, sweet musk roses and eglantine launch your sensory trip into dreamland…
Director & Set Designer
Anthony was educated at St Paul’s School and read Music at Bristol University, where he was also University Organ Scholar. Further studies followed at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he won the Ricordi Conducting Prize for his performances of Der Kaiser von Atlantis (Viktor Ullmann), and the National Opera Studio, supported by Welsh National Opera.
Anthony is now in demand as a conductor, chorus master and accompanist throughout the UK and Europe. He has worked for many British and European opera companies, including English Touring Opera, The Grange Festival, Garsington Opera, Almeida Opera, Bampton Classical Opera, Opéra National du Rhin (Strasbourg and the Rossini Opera Festival) (Pesaro). He was Organist of St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge, and has worked extensively with the Royal School of Church Music. In 2000 he joined English National Opera as a trainee répétiteur, becoming a full member of the music staff later that year.
From 2003 until 2017 he was on the staff of Opera North, initially as Chorus Master, and subsequently as Acting Head of Music and Assistant Head of Music. While on the music staff there he conducted several productions, including The Marriage of Figaro, Così fan Tutte, Don Giovanni, Madama Butterfly, Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, Cautionary Tales! (Errolyn Wallen), The Bartered Bride, L’enfant et les sortilèges (Ravel), The Adventures of Pinocchio (Jonathan Dove), Carousel (Rogers and Hammerstein), Ruddigore (Gilbert & Sullivan) and Joshua (Handel). He was also Chorus Master for the critically acclaimed Grimes On The Beach at the 2013 Aldeburgh Festival.
Since leaving Opera North he has conducted Hansel and Gretel for the Royal Northern College of Music, Dido and Aeneas and Trouble in Tahiti (Bernstein) for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, La Scuoloa di Gelosi (Salieri), Gli Sposi Malcontenti (Storace) Amahl And The Night Visitors (Menotti). He has also appeared with the Chorus and Orchestra of Opera North and Sinfonia Viva in concert, and is Music Director of the British Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, and Associate Music Director of Sinfonia of Leeds. He has also worked regularly with the Leeds Festival Chorus, and with Huddersfield Choral Society and The Sixteen, amongst others.
Future plans include a return to Opera North for both concert and opera work, and working with the opera students at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.
Paul Curran is a much-awarded Scottish stage director with productions at The Metropolitan Opera, ROH Covent Garden, La Scala, La Fenice, Royal Opera Copenhagen, LA Opera, Lyric Opera Chicago, National Theatre Tokyo, Covent Garden Festival, Paulau Valencia, Mariinsky Theatre St Petersburg, Garsington Opera, Maggio Musical Florence, Norwegian National Opera among others. A graduate of The National Institute of Dramatic Art Sydney, he was Artistic Director of the Norwegian National Opera from 2007 until 2012. Recent productions include: La Donna del Lago Metropolitan Opera , Santa Fe Opera; Der Fliegende Hollaender, Maggio Musicale Firenze; Golden Cockerel Santa Fe Opera, Dallas Opera; Khovantshchina BBC Proms; My Fair Lady Teatro San Carlo, Teatro Regio Torino; Bartered Bride, Death in Venice Garsington Opera; Carmen Opera Philadelphia, Seattle Opera, Irish National Opera; Lady McBeth of Mtsensk, Tosca, Otello Canadian Opera; Tristan und Isolde Teatro La Fenice Venice; Peter Grimes Norwegian National Opera, Washington National Opera, Savonlinna Festival; Billy Budd Albert Herring Santa Fe Opera; Daphne, Ariadne auf Naxos Teatro La Fenice; Man of La Mancha Covent Garden Festival; Il Trovatore Bunka Kaikan Tokyo, Teatro dell’Opera Rome, Teatro Comunale Bologna, Teatro Regio Torino; The Tsar’s Bride ROH Covent Garden.
Gabriella Ingram trained as a theatre designer at Wimbledon School of Art. She has designed costumes for baroque and Indian dance, circus, fashion shoots, plays and TV commercials but she primarily works with opera companies.
She has designed shows for the Teatro Maggio Florence, Herod Atticus Theatre Acropolis Athens, Chateau de Blois and Chambord France, Teatro Massimo Palermo, Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik, Palau de les Arts Valencia, Oldenburgisches Staatstheater and in London at Sadlers Wells, Holland Park Opera, Royal Opera House Linbury Studio, The South Bank Centre- Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall, Almeida Theatre, Lyric Theatre, Royal College of Music and the Swan Theatre Stratford upon Avon. Gabriella also costume supervises for productions at the Opera de Lausanne, Opera de Oviedo, Dallas Opera, New York Broadway, Wiener Staatsoper, Goettingen Handel Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Garsington Opera and London’s West End.
She is based in London and Bibbiena Italy where she also designs handbags.
Australian / British soprano Samantha Clarke was a member of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama Opera School as a Baroness de Turckheim Scholar, Help Musicians, Tait Memorial and Countess of Munster Trust Scholar where she recently appeared as Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Fiordiligi Cosi fan tutte. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Guildhall Gold Medal, Leverhulme Royal Northern College of Music Award, the Dame Eva Turner Award and the Michael and Joyce Kennedy Award for the singing of Strauss. Samantha was awarded a 2017 RNCM Gold Medal and was a Ferrier semi finalist in April.
She is supported by the Australian Music Foundation.
Alexander Chance was born in London in 1992, and educated at New College, Oxford, where he was a Choral Scholar and read Classics, graduating with a first-class degree and a university prize for Latin. During his time as a student, many opportunities for solo performances came his way all over the world – most notably in Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, where he sang the alto arias in Bach’s St John Passion. He made a number of recordings with the New College Choir, including a disc of the Symphony Anthems by John Blow, on which he featured heavily as a soloist. At university he also developed a love of ensemble singing, especially of Renaissance works, and he continues to devote some of his busy concert schedule to this repertoire with groups such as The Tallis Scholars, Vox Luminis and The Gesualdo Six.
Recent solo appearances include Handel’s Triumph of Time and Truth at King’s Place in London with Edward Higginbottom and The Instruments of Time and Truth; Purcell’s King Arthur at Stour Music with Mark Deller; Messiah with Richard Cooke at Canterbury Cathedral; Bach’s St John Passion with Vox Luminis and Café Zimmermann; Christmas Oratorio with Robert Quinney at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford; Bach’s Magnificat with Edward Higginbottom at King’s Place; St Matthew Passion with Geraint Bowen at Hereford Cathedral; the role of ‘Micah’ in Handel’s Samson at Stour Music; Bach’s B Minor Mass at Utrecht Early Music Festival; works by Arvo Pärt at Nargenfestival in Tallinn; and regularly in Oxford with Tom Hammond-Davies and the Oxford Bach Soloists. In summer 2019, Alexander performed solo songs by the 20th Century Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi at the Salzburg Festival; a recital for solo countertenor by JC Bach, Schütz and others at Musikfest Bremen; and toured a programme of lute songs with the lutenist Toby Carr in Germany and Holland, featuring works by John Dowland, John Danyel and Thomas Campion.
2019/2020 solo projects include recording Bach Cantatas and touring St Matthew Passion with the Freiburger Barockorchester; Handel’s Messiah in Estonia with Voces Musicales, and in Saarbrücken with Le Concert Lorrain; and a recital with tenor Guy Cutting and pianist Roger Vignoles in Norfolk.
Originally from Malta, Chris trained at Central School of Ballet in London, where he graduated with BA (Hons) Degree in 2012. He then went on to study a postgraduate diploma in contemporary dance at the Northern School of Contemporary Dance. Chris’ credits include Phoenix Dance Theatre; New Adventures’ Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake; Jaschiu in Garsington Opera’s Death in Venice; Puck in Palau De Les Arts’ A Midsummer Night’s Dream, as well as it’s revival at Teatro Massimo; Mercury in the Royal Opera House’s Adriana Lecouvreur; Salzburg Festival’s Ariodante (2017); Theater St Gallen’s Premiere performances of On The Town, and it’s revival at Gärtnerplatz Theater. Chris is very excited to be revisiting the role of Puck for The Grange festival.
Roberto Lorenzi is a graduate of the “Luigi Boccherini” Institute of Musical Studies in Lucca, Italy. He won the First Prize in the AsLiCo’s Competition and took part at Young Singers Project at the Salzburg Festival and the Opernhaus Zürich International Opera Studio graduating in 2015. In these years he performed: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (F. Luisi conducting; DVD for Accentus), Médée by Charpentier (W. Christie conducting), Otello, Orlando Paladino, Il matrimonio segreto, La Straniera, La Cenerentola, Il Viaggio a Reims, Le Comte Ory, Carmen and La Clemenza di Tito (O. Dantone conducting).
Lorenzi made his La Scala debut in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of La Bohème, under the baton of Daniele Rustioni. Elsewhere he appeared in Tosca, Le nozze di Figaro, Don Giovanni (title role) in Lucca; Alidoro in La Cenerentola in Tuscany and Lille; Ferrando in Il Trovatore for AsLiCo circuit; Der fliegende Holländer in Rome, Bologna, Turin; Don Giovanni in Tel Aviv; Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle in Pesaro; La Straniera in Amsterdam; I Puritani in Palermo; La Cenerentola (Alidoro) in Martigny, Lecce and on tour; Il Viaggio a Reims at the Musikverein in Vienna; Carmen in Rome; Don Giovanni in Bologna; Il Trovatore in Fermo and Jesi; Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Grange Festival in London; Verdi’s Requiem in Pisa; Mozart’s Requiem in Lucca and Händel’s Messiah in Madrid, Gdansk and Sevilla with Fabio Biondi and Europa Galante; Rossini’s Stabat Mater with the Verdi Orchestra in Milan. Future plans: Guglielmo in Così fan tutte in Nice and Antibes; Leporello at the Guangzhou Opera House; Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Norske Opera in Oslo.
Mezzo-Soprano Angharad Lyddon is a graduate of the Royal Academy of Music.
She made her professional debut for English National Opera in 2015 as Kate in Pirates of Penzance, performing the role again in their 2017 revival. In 2019, Angharad sang the role of Daughter of Akhnaten in ENO’s production of Akhnaten.
Other roles include Flosshilde in Das Rheingold (Grimeborn Festival), Olga in Eugene Onegin (Buxton Festival Opera), Hansel in Iford Arts’ Gingerbread, Julia Bertram in Mansfield Park (The Grange Festival) and Dritte Dame in Die Zauberflöte (Åbo Svenska Theater in Finland).
Angharad is a Samling Artist and concert highlights include the roles of Marta and Pantalis in a concert performance of Mefistofele for Chelsea Opera Group, Mozart’s Requiem at Windsor Castle, Stravinsky’s Requiem Canticles with Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Bach Cantatas with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and Handel’s Messiah at the Royal Albert Hall.
Following her success at the 2018 Welsh Singer Showcase at Cardiff’s St David’s Hall with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, conducted by Gareth Jones, Angharad represented Wales in the 2019 BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition and was a Finalist in the Song Prize competition.
British tenor Peter Kirk studied at the University of Wales, the Royal College of Music International Opera School (graduating with the Eric Shilling Prize for Opera), and on l’Opéra national du Rhin’s Young Artist’s Programme.
Whilst on l’opéra national du Rhin’s programme Peter sang the roles of Paolino Il Matrimonio Segreto, Prince la Belle au Bois Dormant, 2nd Peasant Ariane et Barbe-Bleu, Tchaplitsky Queen of Spades. He has since been invited back to sing the roles of Antonio Das Liebesverbot, Pasek Cunning Little Vixen and 3rd Jew Salome.
In 2017 / 2018, Peter sang Tamino Die Zauberfloete (Opera Up Close), Almaviva Il Barbiere di Siviglia (Opera Nomade at the Theatre Imperial de Compiegne and with Opéra de Vichy), Tom Rakewell The Rakes Progress (Latvian National Opera), Lysander A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Opéra de Tours), and the Sailor Dido & Aeneas (Festival d’Aix en Provence). On the concert platform notable performances included a Berstein Gala with the Vienna Tonkünstler Orchester under the Baton of Yutaka Sado, and Mozart’s Requiem at the Gasteig with David Reiland and the Münchner Symphoniker.
Other productions in recent seasons include Lucano L’incoronazione di Poppea (English Touring Opera), Charlie Mahagonny Songspiel ( London Philharmonic Orchestra), the Congressional Page Two Boys (ENO), Chulak in The Firework Makers Daugter (ROH) and Lysander (Hyogo Performing Arts Centre Japan, Opéra de Lyon) Wagner/ Nero Mefistofele (Aix-en-Provence Festival) Sailor Dido and Aeneas, Mr Erlanson, A little Night Music (Nederlandse Reisopera, Japan) New Years Eve Bernstein Gala (Nishinomiya, Hyogo Performing Arts Centre).
Described as “ruling the stage” (Opera Magazine) in his debut as Pluto last season in English National Opera’s new production of Orpheus in the Underworld, British baritone Alex Otterburn delights audiences and critics alike with his bright tone and commanding stage presence. As an ENO Harewood Artist, Alex has appeared as Morales in Calixto Bieito’s production of Carmen conducted by Valentina Peleggi, and Squibby in the world premiere of Iain Bell’s Jack the Ripper: The Women of Whitehall, conducted by Martyn Brabbins. He returns this season in his debut as Ned Keene in David Alden’s production of Peter Grimes, conducted by Nicholas Collon.
Alex’s critically acclaimed debut as Eddy in Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek at the Edinburgh International Festival defined him as an exciting and important artist of the new generation, with further performances given in Glasgow for Scottish Opera and on tour to the Brooklyn Academy of Arts, marking his US operatic debut. Further successes have included Chip in Antony McDonald’s new production of On the Town at the Hyogo Performing Arts Centre and on tour in Tokyo, Harlequin in Ariadne auf Naxos for both Scottish Opera and Opera Holland Park, Pallante in Agrippina for The Grange Festival, and his company debut at Opera North as Cascada in The Merry Widow under Martin André.
Angela Simkin began her training at the Royal Northern College of Music, furthering her studies at the International Opera School of the Royal College of Music and the National Opera Studio.
Between 2016 and 2018, Angela Simkin was a member of the Jette Parker Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, where she sang Mlle Dangeville Adriana Lecouvreur, the title role in Handel’s Oreste (at Wilton’s Music Hall), Second Lady Die Zauberflöte, Annina Der Rosenkavalier, Tebaldo Don Carlo and Flora Bervoix La traviata.
Elsewhere, her engagements have included Teseo Arianna in Creta and Iside Giove in Argo for the London Handel Festival, Lucilla Il Vologeso and Messiah for Classical Opera, Beethoven Symphony No. 9 and Mozart Requiem with the Orion Orchestra and Messiah by Candlelight for Raymond Gubbay Ltd at the Royal Festival Hall.
Engagements during 2018 / 2019 include a return to the Royal Opera House to sing Mercédès Carmen and Flosshilde Der Ring des Nibelungen for the Royal Opera House, the Russian premiere of George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Dorcas Haddon Hall for a recording with the BBC Concert Orchestra, The Angel The Demon for Chelsea Opera Group and Siegrune Die Walküre with the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
Angela Simkin made her debut at The Grange Festival as Meg Page Falstaff in 2019.
Scottish soprano Eleanor Dennis is a graduate of the Royal College of Music’s International Opera School and a former Harewood Artist at the English National Opera where her roles included Contessa Le nozze di Figaro, Micaëla Carmen, Helena A Midsummer Night’s Dream, High Priestess Aida and Laura Fleet in the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s Marnie.
Highlights elsewhere include Helena at the Aldeburgh Festival, Contessa for Scottish Opera, Fiordiligi Così fan tutte for Opera Holland Park, Cominio in Caldara’s Lucio Papirio Dittatore for the Buxton Festival and Ginevra Ariodante for the Salzburger Landestheater.
In the 2019/20 season Eleanor makes her debut with Opera North as Miss Jessel in The Turn of the Screw and her debut for the Grange Festival as Helena in a new production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
On the concert platform, her engagements include Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem (CBSO/Andrew Manze); Britten’s A Spring Symphony (Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra/Cornelius Meister & BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra/Ilan Volkov); Mendelssohn’s Elijah(Three Choirs Festival); Haydn’s Harmoniemesse (Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra/Sir András Schiff); Elgar’s Une Voix dans le Désert(CBSO/Andris Nelsons); Strauss’ Vier Letzte Lieder (Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Martyn Brabbins) and Beethoven’s Egmont(BBC Philharmonic/Juanjo Mena), Missa Solemnis (Three Choirs Festival & RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland/Macelaru), Christus am Ölberge (Bamberger Symphoniker/Rolf Beck) and Symphony No. 9 (Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España/David Afkham).
Jonathan Lemalu, a New Zealand born Samoan, is already at the very forefront of today’s young generation of singers. He is a joint winner of the 2002 Kathleen Ferrier award and the recipient of the 2002 Royal Philharmonic Society’s Award for Young Artist of the Year.
His roles include Papageno, Figaro, Leporello, Rocco, Colline, Porgy, Basilio, Osmin, Neptune, Saul, Rodomonte, Nourabad, Queequeg, Moby Dick and Bluebeard. He has worked at houses including the Royal Opera; Opera de Lyon; Opera Australia; Cincinnati Opera; San Francisco Opera; Dallas Opera, Seattle and The Chicago Lyric; The Metropolitan Opera; the Staatsoper of Munich and Hamburg; Festspielhaus Baden-Baden; and the Glyndebourne, Salzburg, Edinburgh and Gergiev Festivals.
His concert and recital performances span both classical and contemporary repertoire and include the Berlin, New York, Rotterdam, Hong Kong, Strasbourg and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras, and the New Zealand, London, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Paris and Tokyo Symphony Orchestras with conductors that include Davis, Dutoit, Gergiev, Harding, Harnoncourt, Mackerras, Mehta, Norrington, Pappano, Rattle and Summers.
Jonathan’s debut recital disc was awarded the Gramophone Magazine Debut Artist of the Year award. He subsequently released his first solo recording, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, and then a recital disc with Malcolm Martineau, also featuring the Belcea Quartet.
Recent and future engagements include Salome and The Magic Flute for ENO, Sacristan Tosca for the ROH, King Arthur for Theater an der Wien, Idomeneo at the Salzburg Festival and returns to the Theater and der Wien and Liceu Barcelona.
For Covent Garden, he has sung: Billy Jackrabbit; Charrington (1984); Gonzalo (The Tempest); Second Armed Man; Casino Manager (The Gambler) and Sacristan.
For ENO, he has sung roles including: Bartolo; Basilio; Collatinus; Dulcamara; Quince; Pistol; Pooh-Bah; Ribbing; Sacristan; Sarastro; Snug and Somnus in over 1000 appearances with the company.
Further UK engagements include: Bartolo for Opera North and the Garsington Festival; Antonio for Glyndebourne; Collatinus, Talbot (Giovanna d’Arco) and Alvaro (Alzira) at Buxton; Superintendant Budd (Albert Herring) and Ashby (La Fanciulla del West) for Opera North and Don Magnifico, Sacristan and Don Magnifico for Scottish Opera.
International engagements include: Brag (Fairy Queen) in Barcelona; Somnus, Bartolo and Doctor Swallow in Antwerp; Don Magnifico in Rouen; Doctor (Wozzeck) and Publio in Salzburg (Landestheater); Xuthus (Ion) in Strasbourg; Snug and The Big Boss/Fyodor/Newspaper Seller (A Dog’s Heart) at La Scala; Parsons (1984) in Valencia and Dr Swallow in Lisbon.
2019/20 engagements include: Don Magnifico (La Cenerentola) with INO; Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia) with NO Friborg and the Israeli Opera, and Lady Bracknell (The Importance of Being Earnest) in Paris.
His recordings include: Lulu, A Masked Ball, The Magic Flute and Salome for Chandos; and The Tempest for EMI.
Recent highlights have included his debut at the Royal Opera House in a new production of Shostakovich’s The Nose directed by Barry Kosky; Hans Schwarz Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg and Snug A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Glyndebourne Festival Opera); Quince A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stadttheater Klagenfurt); Snug A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Teatro Massimo Palermo & Aldeburgh Festival); Marchese d’Obigny La Traviata (Longborough Festival Opera); and joins the roster of the Israeli Opera, Tel Aviv. In the current season Mr Goronwy returns to Welsh National Opera, English National Opera and Scottish Opera.
Previous seasons’ highlights have included Snug A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Glyndebourne Festival Opera; Opera North; Garsington Opera; Longborough Festival); Bass Roles The Nose (Aix-en-Provence Festival & Opera de Lyon); Bass Roles The Martyrdom of Saint Magnus (Den Norske Opera/Oslo Kammermusikkfestival); Rodrigo Gloria von Jaxtberg (Bregenzer Festspiele & ROH); Pistola Falstaff, Antonio Le nozze di Figaro, and Doctor/Herald/Servant Macbeth (Glyndebourne on Tour); Sarastro Die Zauberflöte, Dikoj Kát’a Kabanova & Osmin Die Entfürung aus dem Serail (English Touring Opera); Sarastro Die Zauberflöte, Gremin Eugene Onegin and Micha The Bartered Bride (Mid Wales Opera); Osmin Die Entfürung aus dem Serail, Caspar/Hermit Der Freischütz, Alvise Badoero La Gioconda, King Filippo Don Carlo, title role Mefistofele, Gremin Eugene Onegin (Opera Valladolid). Subsequent roles include Don Magnifico La Cenerentola, Banquo Macbeth, Ferrando Il Trovatore, Sparafucile Rigoletto, Sacristan Tosca, Bottom A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Vodnik Rusalka, Talpa, Betto and Simone Il Trittico, Truffaldino Ariadne auf Naxos, Tiresias Oedipus Rex, Zio Bonzo Madama Butterfly, Bartolo Le nozze di Figaro, and the title role Falstaff.
Engagements have seen him feature as guest soloist with orchestras including London Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Royal Opera House, Opera de Lyon, Kristiansand Symfoniorkester with conductors including Sir Andrew Davis, Kazushi Ono, Vladimir Jurowski, Robin Ticciati, Steuart Bedford, Jonathan Cohen, Stuart Stratford, Daniel Cohen, Terje Boye Hansen, and Alexander Soddy.
Acclaimed for the clarity and beauty of his singing and dynamic stage presence, British tenor Gwilym Bowen performs internationally with orchestras and ensembles of the highest calibre. His engagements in the 2019/20 season include James MacMillan’s All the Hills and Vales Along at the Edinburgh Festival and Dussek’s Mass in G with the Academy of Ancient Music; a Purcell programme, ‘Gabriel – An Entertainment with Trumpet’ with The English Concert, Alison Balsom and Harry Bicket at the Barbican Centre; Messiah with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra conducted by Stephen Layton; Christmas Oratorio with the Oslo Philharmonic; St John Passion with the Ensemble Orlando Fribourg and the English Concert and Evangelist in the St Matthew Passion with BBC National Orchestra of Wales conducted by John Butt.
A regular with the Academy of Ancient Music, Gwilym’s most recent recording with the orchestra, of Handel’s Brockes-Passion conducted by Richard Egarr, was released in September 2019.
Gwilym’s repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the contemporary, with a specialist interest in Bach, Monteverdi and Handel. His operatic highlights include Valletto L’incoronazione di Poppea for Angers-Nantes Opéra; Eurimaco/Giove Il ritorno d’Ulisse in Patria at The Grange Festival; Damon Acis and Galatea and multiple roles in Poppea and Ulisse with Academy of Ancient Music at the Barbican, the Ateneul Roman in Bucharest and Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice; Sylph in Rameau Zaïs with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment at Queen Elizabeth Hall and Father in Hasse’s Piramo e Tisbe with Classical Opera. Opera roles have also included Tom Rakewell The Rake’s Progress and Davey in Jonathan Dove’s Siren Song; forthcoming engagements include Flute A Midsummer Night’s Dream and his debut at Opera de Lille.
A passionate proponent of new music, Bowen has created the roles of Tamino in Be With Me Now at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence, with performances at the Philharmonie de Paris, La Monnaie and the National Opera of Poland, the protagonists in two operas by Kate Whitley, Unknown Position and 0520, and Smith in Matt Rogers’ and Sally O’Reilly’s And London Burned.
In concert, Gwilym has sung Evangelist in the St John Passion with John Butt and BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and the St Matthew Passion for De Nederlandse Bachvereniging and the Auckland Philharmonia, and has sung Bach cantatas with Masaaki Suzuki at Lincoln Center; Monteverdi and Schütz with the Dunedin Consort; Christmas Oratorio across Australia with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra, and with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Das Lied von der Erde with the City of London Sinfonia; Ernst Wilhelm Wolf’s Passionsoratorium with Die Kölner Akademie; Messiah with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, Hanover Band and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; and Bach Mass in B Minor with the OAE at St John’s, Smith Square. His recordings include the St John Passion arias with De Nederlandse Bachvereniging and in a world-first Welsh language broadcast for S4C, and Mass in B Minor with the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge and OAE for Hyperion.
Born in Hereford, Gwilym was a choral scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, graduating with double-First class honours in Music, before studying at the Royal Academy of Music.
Oberon and Tytania have quarrelled over a boy whom Tytania refuses to relinquish to her husband. Oberon decides to punish her and sends Puck in search of a magic flower. Four young people appear: Hermia and Lysander wish to marry but have run away to escape her father’s order that she must marry Demetrius. The latter is being pursued by Helena, whom he does not love. Oberon decides that, with the aid of the magic flower, he will be able to make Demetrius reciprocate Helena’s love. Six rustics, led by Quince and Bottom, meet to prepare a play which they hope to perform in front of Theseus and Hippolyta, to celebrate their wedding. Oberon squeezes the juice of the magic flower into the sleeping Tytania’s eyes: when she awakes she will fall in love with the first creature that she sees.
Bottom and his companions rehearse their play. Puck transforms Bottom into an ass. Tytania awakes, sees Bottom, and is enraptured. She summons four of her attendants to wait on her new lover, then she and Bottom fall asleep. Oberon observes this with satisfaction, but is angry when he discovers that Puck has confused Demetrius with Lysander. Oberon’s attempt to correct this mistake makes things even worse: the two men who were in love with Hermia now both love Helena. When the four lovers quarrel violently, Oberon orders Puck to separate them and restore order.
Oberon, now in possession of the disputed boy, is prepared to make peace with Tytania. He frees her from her infatuation and husband and wife are reconciled. The four young people wake up: love is renewed between Hermia and Lysander, and new-born between Helena and Demetrius. They decide to ask Theseus’s permission to marry. The rustics lament the loss of their friend Bottom, and the inevitable cancellation of their play. Bottom, now restored to normal, joins his friends and they leave joyfully.
Theseus pardons the young lovers, and gives them permission to marry. He then invites the rustics to perform their entertainment at his and Hippolyta’s wedding reception. When midnight strikes, Theseus declares that it is time for bed. Oberon, Tytania, the fairies and Puck appear and give their blessing.