Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Welcome to the new blog for Bampton Classical Opera's 2012 season - our twentieth at Bampton itself since we began with Handel's Acis and Galatea in July 1993. In those days we were 'Bampton Summer Opera', changing our name after a few years when we began performing at other seasons as well. This change also reflected our increasing and now much-respected, dedication to the classical period, especially the second half of the eighteenth-century. Since then we have certainly put Bampton on the operatic map - we even appear this year in the new Rough Guide to the Cotswolds. Following in our remarkable tradition of performing rarities otherwise unheard, this summer we come for the first time to the remarkably fertile genre of the French opéra-comique - although, as always, we are busily working on translations of the libretti into English. We'll be performing at our usual venues - the Deanery Garden at Bampton in Oxfordshire, Westonbirt School in Gloucestershire, and St John's Smith Square London. You'll get two operas for the price of one - Philidor's romp, Blaise le savetier (which we're calling Blaise and Blaisine) and Grétry's L'amant jaloux (The jealous Lover). Both contain the most wonderful music, driven by ensembles well suited to the strengths of our casting and company. Conveniently, they also both require a large wardrobe..... And whilst we're working on those, we'll also be reviving Marcos Portugal's The Marriage of Figaro for our fourth invitation to the glorious Buxton Festival. It's Portugal's 250th birthday on Saturday 24th March, and we're delighted to be able to give a wider audience the chance of experiencing this alternative Figaro, which we first performed in 2010.