This year we invited you to experience the heady romance of Vienna in an unforgettable night of wine, women and song to celebrate Mozart's 250th birthday with sumptuously dressed and staged scenes from Cosi fan Tutte; Marriage of Figaro and Die Fledermaus.
We brought the production to Budleigh Salterton as well as our usual places and found the perfect venue at the South Street Baptist Church in Exeter: it looks like pure 18th century theatre and has a great acoustic and visibility.
All your favourite singers were there and some wonderful new voices.
We’re absolutely delighted to have Jenny Goode and Mary Pickard on board this autumn. Jenny, who is well known to the Exeter stage as director and actress with the Campion Players, directed this impressive production, making her first foray into the world of Opera, while the multitalented Mary conducted the company in the "Mozart and more" performances. Once again the nimble fingers of our musical director, one-man orchestra and general musical genius, Gordon Martin, flew over the piano.
The evening began with "Cosi fan Tutte" (all women are like that). Here, in one of Mozart's more light-hearted operas, the fidelity of two sisters is put on trial when their fiancés, disguised as Albanians, woo the other’s lover. Even those unfamiliar with this opera will have recognised the famous trio "soave sia' il vento."
In "Le Nozze di Figaro" (the marriage of Figaro), the second of our Mozart sections, Figaro and Susanna are servants to the Count and countess Almaviva. The young couple are preparing to marry, but Susanna fears the amorous attentions of the Count. The plot to thwart the nobleman eventually involves everyone, even the young page, Cherubino. All must be reconciled before the marriage of Figaro can take place.
Finally, we came to our grand finale, the Act II party scene from Johann Strauss' "Die Fledermaus" (The Bat). This is the charmingly ridiculous story of Eisenstein, who would rather party than go to jail! Eisenstein's wife, however, is a woman keen to teach her husband a lesson. Some great songs and choruses in this included these party pieces: Mein Herr Marquis; Bruderlein and the Champagne aria.