News: Richard Bonynge to conduct opening production of Opera Holland Park 09 season

Leonardo Capalbo, Majella Cullagh and Mark Stone to star, Lindsay Posner to direct Donizetti rarity

18 October 2008

Jiri BelohlavekKorn/Ferry Opera Holland Park has announced that Richard Bonynge will conduct their new production of Donizetti's Roberto Devereux in June 2009.

Working alongside him on the staging of the bel canto classic will be double-Olivier-Award-winning Director and former Associate Director of the Royal Court Theatre, Lindsay Posner

Richard has conducted at acclaimed opera houses throughout the world including New York, Covent Garden, Paris, Barcelona, San Francisco, Chicago and Tokyo. He has worked with many of great opera talents throughout his career and created a legendary artistic partnership with his wife, the legendary soprano Dame Joan Sutherland. Their career together encompassed the operas of Donizetti, Bellini, Rossini and Verdi, especially at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York and on Decca Records.

Bonynge will conduct the performances of Roberto Devereux on June 2, 4, 6, 12, 18 and 20, with Richard Burgess Ellis taking over for one performance on 10 June.

Lindsay Posner has most recently directed Sam Shepherd’s Fool for Love at the Apollo, Tom and Viv at the Almeida, and Fiddler on the Roof, which came into the West End for an extended run last year. His new production of Carousel starring Lesley Garrett is due to arrive at the Savoy Theatre in November, while his opera work includes Love Counts (Almeida), Guilio Cesaré (Royal Opera House at the Barbican), Jenufa (Opera Theatre Company, Dublin), and Dada: Man and Boy at the Almeida and Montclair Theatre, USA.

Casting for Devereux has also been confirmed. American tenor Leonardo Capalbo will play Roberto Devereux, the Earl of Essex. Capalbo’s recent credits include Nemorino in Berlin and at New York City Opera, Rodolfo in Bordeaux and various appearances with Opera North. He has previously appeared at Opera Holland Park as Macduff in Macbeth.

Bel canto specialist Majella Cullagh will sing Elisabetta. The Irish soprano is well known for performing this repertoire: her debut recording with Opera Rara was in the title role of Donizetti’s Zoraida di Granata, while her other recordings include Rossini’s Bianca e Falliero, Elisabetta regina d’Inghilterra and Adelaide di Borgogna, Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei, Il diluvio universale and highlights from Mercadante’s Zaira.

British baritone Mark Stone completes the cast as Duca di Nottingham. Stone has risen to prominence in recent years with many roles at ENO, including Don Giovanni, Almaviva, Guglielmo, Marcello, Rossini’s Figaro, and Enrico in last season’s new Lucia di Lammermoor. In March, he stepped in to sing the role of Eugene Onegin from the side of the stage at Covent Garden when Gerald Finley came down with an infection, reprising a part that he has sung at Glyndebourne.

Roberto Devereux will open the Opera Holland Park 2009 season in repertory with Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel. General booking for the season opens in April 2009.

By Dominic McHugh

See also our preview of the Royal Opera, Covent Garden's 2008-09 season here.

See also our preview of ENO's 2008-09 season here.

See also our preview of the Opera national de Paris' 2008-09 season here.

See also our preview of the 2008 Edinburgh Festival here.

Plus our preview of the Barbican's Great Performers 2008-09 season here.

And read our preview of the London Philharmonic's 2008-09 season here.

Also see details of Welsh National Opera's 2008-09 season here.