Posted by: buxtonfestival | July 4, 2012

More about the Festival Double Bill

Kate Ladner

The chance of a lifetime to see two rare operas – with beautiful melodies, mythical settings and magical storylines – our Double Bill features damsels in distress from captivating Russian and Finnish fairytales. The acclaimed director Stephen Lawless and conductor Stuart Stratford lead a top-class team including Kate Ladner, Richard Berkeley-Steele, Robert Poulton, William Dazeley and Emma Selway. These two operatic rarities each reflect their composer’s nationalism:

Kashchei the Immortal
Rimsky-Korsakov’s extraordinarily original one act opera tells the story of an evil wizard who has imprisoned a beautiful young princess in his gloomy underworld. He will keep her there and remain immortal as long as his daughter, Kashcheyevna, a cold-hearted witch, holds back her tears.

The princess longs for her beloved Prince Ivan-Korolevich to rescue her, but Kashcheyevna has other ideas. Will the prince escape the witch’s charms, rescue his beloved and defeat the wicked sorcerer?

The Maiden in the Tower
Sibelius’s only completed opera demonstrates the authentic voice of the composer in refined orchestral writing, a beautiful choral scene and distinct folk influence.

When a young maiden rejects the advances of a malevolent bailiff she is kidnapped and imprisoned. Racing to her rescue, her heroic lover prepares to fight a duel to rescue his sweetheart in this bright and evocative opera.

We’re delighted to welcome back Stephen Lawless to the Festival, who came to Buxton in 2005 to direct Ascanio in Alba. Stephen has directed operas throughout the world, including the Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Opera. He said:

Sibelius’s The Maiden in the Tower and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kashchei the Immortal share a common story-line – that of men who incarcerate women for their own gains. For me Sibelius’s short opera presents a naive vision of the darker side of the games that children play. Rimsky-Korsakov’s opera presents the same premise but in a much more adult fashion. The challenge for Russell Craig (set and costume designer) and me, is to find a way of linking the two operas, whilst preserving their individuality.

Save the date! The Double Bill will be performed on July 9, 12, 17 (matinee), 20, 24.

Book tickets here

 See video interviews with the creative team and rehearsal clips here

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