Community Companies' Performance, 2019
On Friday 2 August the Garsington Opera Youth and Adult Companies took to the stage at Wormsley to present two new works: A Fool's Paradise and The Happy Princess.
The 76-strong Garsington Opera Youth Company performed the world premiere performance of The Happy Princess, a new commission written specially for them by composer Paul Fincham with a libretto by Jessica Duchen (Silver Birch, 2017). Based on Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince, the story tells of the dazzling statue of the Princess who instructs a Swallow to use the jewels and gold encrusting her to help her suffering people - but at a terrible cost. Soprano Lara Marie Müller, winner of the 2017 Simon Sandbach Award, sung the title role with a number of solo roles given to members of the Youth Company, including Maia Greaves, Sebastian von Wenden and William Saint who all performed in Silver Birch, 2017.
The 32 members of the Adult Company performed A Fool's Paradise, an abridged version of Offenbach's Fantasio, arranged by composer John Barber and including a poem called Love, written by Company member Sheila Bristow. Members of the chorus became storytellers, navigating the audience through the twists and turns of the story, with professional baritone Robert Gildon singing the role of the Prince of Mantua.
Both performances were directed by Garsington Opera's Creative Director of Learning & Participation, Karen Gillingham, and designed by Ruth Paton, with Lea Cornthwaite (A Fool's Paradise) and Suzi Zumpe (The Happy Princess) as Vocal Directors. They were accompanied in the pit by members of the Garsington Opera Orchestra.
For further information about joining the Youth Company or Adult Company, please contact our Learning & Participation Producer Judy Knowles