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Foreword by Lady Clifford
I am delighted to support Devon Opera, the county’s only professional opera company, delivering superb performances using young, talented singers in wonderful venues at affordable prices. Some of these singers have benefitted from the Christine Collins Young Artists Scheme; the late Christine Collins, a dear friend, was given a posthumous award for philanthropy at the International Opera Awards last May. Devon Opera’s Chairman, Robert Hough, has transformed the company and we all need to support his vision and enthusiasm; the company is a registered charity and gives young talented singers great performance experience.
Be sure to see this year’s production of Verdi’s Rigoletto , an abridged version of the spell binding drama, sung in Italian with piano accompaniment; it will be an operatic highlight for Devon.
From: Robert Hough, Chairman Devon Opera
This year Devon Opera offers a semi-staged production of Verdi’s Rigoletto. Considered to be one of Verdi’s masterpieces, Rigoletto contains some of Verdi’s most famous arias, including ‘la donna e mobile’.
A tragic tale of love, revenge and sacrifice, this opera follows the tale of court jester Rigoletto, his beautiful young daughter, Gilda, and his playboy master the Duke of Mantua. Written in 1851 and based on a story by Victor Hugo, Verdi’s opera has gripped audiences since its premiere.
Our stellar cast for Rigoletto includes Philip Smith as court jester Rigoletto, Natasha Day as Gilda, Alison Kettlewell as Maddalena, Leonel Pinheiro as The Duke of Mantua, Matthew Buswell as Count Monterone and Roderick Hunt as Sparafucile. See our web site www.devonopera.co.uk for full cast details, biographies and where and how to buy tickets.
Ruth Bettesworth, our director who lives in Devon, has won national awards for stage direction and will direct this our first full length production. Natalie Birch, born in Devon and educated at Exeter’s Maynard School, now a graduate from King’s College London, has joined Devon Opera this year as a young and talented Project Music Director/Accompanist.
Devon Opera seeks to nurture and encourage some of the best of British talent by deliberately casting young singers, and offering them a performance platform at Devon Opera. Such experience has provided this young talent with an invaluable stepping stone to the larger professional productions.
With performances at Aeolian Court, Chudleigh; the home base of Devon Opera, The Great Hall, Dartington and The Flavel, Dartmouth on the 10th,12th & 14th October 2016 respectively, opera lovers of all ages should come and experience what promises to be a superb production.
We our most grateful to Hawksmoor Investment Management for supporting our production of Rigoletto and to Devonshire magazine for promoting the production in the magazine and on their splendid HubCast event promotion platform.
Two other Vice Patrons comments
Beatrice d’Aft says:
“It’s so exciting to be involved with Devon Opera which uses talented and accomplished young singers who also have excellent acting skills. The combination of these two vital qualities makes for quite amazing performances which can be seen in Devon at beautiful venues. The direction Devon Opera is taking under Robert Hough’s inspired vision is to be applauded and fully supported.”
Fiona Walters says:
“It is a privilege to support the Devon Opera. The opportunity to be directly responsible for nurturing and encouraging young talent and bringing such a fantastic art form to the local community is a real pleasure. Whilst we have very little live classical music performed in Devon, particularly in its more remote outreaches, it is joyous to know that those who for whatever reason are unable to travel to larger conurbations to indulge such exclusive entertainment know that there is a thriving indigenous opera on which they are able to rely.”