The Chelsea Opera Group has announced its three-opera programme for the forthcoming season, confirming once again its commitment to the rediscovery of rarely performed and yet unmissable works.
The COG plans include concert performances of Gluck's 1776 version of Alceste, Verdi's La traviata and Rossini's Guillaume Tell, all of them featuring great interpreters of the operatic repertoire such as Nelly Miricioiu and Majella Cullagh.
The first opera to be performed is Gluck's Alceste. It will be on the stage at the Cadogan Hall on 28 November 2009. The COG chose to offer their audience this fine opera in its 1776 French version. Based on Euripides' tragedy, this revised version is renowned for being a richer and more intimate work than Gluck's original 1767 score. The COG musicians, under the baton of Nicholas Collon, will take advantage of the suggestive space of the Cadogan Hall to bring to life all the nuances of Gluck's piece. A free pre-performance talk for ticket holders will take place at 6pm in the auditorium.
On 21 February 2010, the COG will present their interpretation of Verdi's most beloved piece, La traviata, at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Gianluca Marcianó will conduct. The COG decided to perform this piece especially because it is rarely seen in concert performance. The absence of a staging will allow the musicians to concentrate carefully on the score to give life to the immortal story of the generous courtesan Violetta, who will be interpreted by one of COG's favourite artist's, Nelly Miricioiu. Her established collaboration with the COG has always had superb artistic outcomes. In a recent interview with Dominic McHugh, Miriciou referred fondly to her relationship with the COG: 'I found my home. I found a tremendous love and passion, not only for what I was doing, but in themselves. They were taking pride in their work, and I was amazed. We have a long-standing relationship now'.
The COG artists will be back at the Southbank Centre on 23 May, when they will perform Rossini's Guillaume Tell, a work full of memorable tunes and yet rarely performed in the UK. Singing the role of Mathilde will be Irish soprano Majella Cullagh. The COG will perform under the prestigious baton of Dominic Wheeler.
Renowned for its passionate interpretations of the operatic repertoire and for its recherché artistic choices, the COG is also famous for being one of the most committed half-amateur half-professional groups in the UK. In the last part of its 2008-09 season, the COG has undertaken the rediscovery of the 1857 version of Simon Boccanegra and its venture, as most of its operatic projects, was positively received. We cannot but look forward to the next COG season for new passionate performances.
For further information about the Chelsea Opera Group visit http://www.chelseaoperagroup.org.uk/.
Photo: Nelly Miricioiu.
Interview: Nelly Miricioiu about her first Violetta with the Chelsea Opera Group
Review: Chelsea Opera Group's rare 1857 Simon Boccanegra
Review: Chelsea Opera Group's Adriana Lecouvreur
Review: Chelsea Opera Group's La favorite
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