Jennifer France on Le nozze di Figaro
For our series of introductions to members of the 2017 cast and creative teams, we spoke to soprano Jennifer France who returns to Garsington following her role debut as Marzelline in Fidelio in 2014, for which she was awarded the prestigious Leonard Ingrams Foundation Award for outstanding young artists. In 2017 she makes another role debut as Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro. She talks about what it means to her and what she enjoys about singing at Garsington.
For me, the role of Susanna is a dream come true. Le nozze di Figaro is a true masterpiece and I have always wanted to sing in it. To have the opportunity to sing my first Susanna at Garsington is incredibly exciting and she is a character I am really looking forward to exploring. She is central to the whole opera. Apart from having glorious music to sing (thank you Mozart!) she is cunning, wise, funny, cheeky and extremely smart and it is going to be a fun challenge to get to know her.
There are a few members of the cast that I have been lucky enough to work with before and it is always great to see old friends again. In fact, my Figaro, Joshua Bloom, and I last worked together in Fidelio at Garsington in 2014 when he was Don Fernando. It is also wonderful to meet new colleagues and get to know them. An opera cast truly becomes your family during the process and I am sure we are going to have a lot of fun (and work extremely hard of course!).
Garsington is such a special place for me. It is so beautiful - from the stunning gardens and lake, the fabulous Opera Pavilion to the cosy and friendly backstage area, it is one of the best places to work (and there is always seriously good cake for sale in the green room). Even more special for me is that I had the opportunity to sing my first principal role at a summer festival at Garsington in 2014 which was a real life changer. I am so looking forward to seeing many familiar and friendly faces and being part of the Garsington family again.
I am a local girl as I grew up only ten minutes down the road, and my husband Bradley (who is performing in Silver Birch at Garsington in 2017) and I have recently moved to the utterly picturesque village of Brill which is also close by. Garsington really is my local opera company now!