Quirijn de Lang on Il turco in Italia
This season Quirijn de Lang makes his sixth appearance at Garsington Opera, having previously performed in Ariadne auf Naxos, La Cenerentola and last year's L'Italiana in Algeri. Here he shares his memories of the first season at Wormsley and his excitement at returning to the production of Il turco in Italia.
In the first season that Garsington Opera moved from Garsington Manor to the Wormsley Estate, I had the privilege of working on Il turco in Italia as Selim, the Ottoman prince, who lands in Italy and marvels at the beauty of the country, the women, and the many strange Italian customs. Arriving at Wormsley for the first time, I marvelled at the beautiful countryside, and the incredible opera house that had been built there. The barn had only just been converted to dressing rooms, heating for the orchestra and the audience had not yet been installed, and the sides of the stage were still open to the elements, yet the nostalgic beauty of the Italian sets and costumes by Francis O'Connor, the enthusiastic fizz of David Parry's conducting, and the joyful thrill of Martin Duncan's production charmed and warmed us all, on stage and in the auditorium.
I am thrilled to return to this production, that I remember so fondly, and to reshape it with many of the original cast as well as some new additions. The role of Selim is a proper princely Rossini role that is a joy to sing. I especially remember the act two duet with Geoffrey Dolton as Geronio, where I try to buy his wife from him, as a great highlight for us both. In fact, there are too many enjoyable scenes to name here. You must come and see it for yourself!