[email protected] brings Wayne McGregor to The Grange for his first season as Director of Dance, with Edward Watson from The Royal Ballet
New productions of Handel’s Agrippina, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio
The Grange Festival celebrates Bernstein 100 with a star-studded Candide
Anna Bonitatibus, John Copley and Jean-Luc Tingaud return after a triumphant first season
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra & The Academy of Ancient Music continue their residencies with BSO in Rossini, Mozart and Bernstein and The Academy of Ancient Music in Handel

After The Grange Festival’s triumphant inaugural season, Artistic Director Michael Chance CBE today announces a 2018 summer season full of “fun, wit, humour and brilliance.” In June and July 2018, The Grange Festival presents three new productions: Handel’s Agrippina, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Mozart’s The Abduction from the Seraglio, a concert staging of Bernstein’s Candide as well as Wayne McGregor CBE’s first season as Director of Dance with Royal Ballet principal dancer Edward Watson.

Becoming the first country-house festival to make ballet and dance a central pillar of its programming, the season opens with [email protected] The first performance is co-curated by Wayne McGregor, The Grange Festival’s newly appointed Director of Dance, and Royal Ballet dancer Edward Watson.

The programme is a curated evening of contemporary work performed by Company Wayne McGregor, alongside classical iconic ballet pieces performed by dancers chosen by McGregor including Edward Watson.

Michael Chance, director Walter Sutcliffe and designer Jon Bausor join forces to create a new production of Agrippina, Handel’s satire, composed to the witty libretto of Vincenzo Grimani. Italian mezzo Anna Bonitatibus returns to The Grange after her stellar debut as Penelope in Il Ritorno di Ulisse in Patria, with a starry cast including Ashley Riches as Claudio, much sought-after countertenor Raffaele Pe, and 2011 London Handel Singing Competition winner Stefanie True.

The Grange Festival’s Barber reunites director Stephen Barlow and designer Howard Hudson, widely praised for their extraordinary work on such productions as La bohème at Opera Holland Park. The international Rossini cast includes John Irvin, Josè Maria Lo Monaco, Charles Rice, David Soar, Riccardo Novaro and Jennifer Rhys-Davies. Resident orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra is conducted by David Parry.

A new production of Mozart’s tale of love and loyalty, The Abduction from the Seraglio, sees Michael Chance bringing together the perfect team: conductor Jean-Luc Tingaud, returning to The Grange after last year’s triumphant Carmen, director John Copley and designer Tim Reed, whose Albert Herring last year at The Grange Festival was highly praised. Kiandra Howarth, Daisy Brown, Ed Lyon, Paul Curievici and Jonathan Lemalu sing Mozart’s comic masterpiece.

Bernstein’s Candide will celebrate the composer’s centenary year with the full force of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and The Grange Festival Chorus, conducted by Alfonso Casado and directed by Christopher Luscombe. The strong line-up of soloists include West End and Broadway stars. More casting announcements to follow.

Michael Chance commented: “After the successes of our inaugural season, I am proud of the variety on offer for our second Festival. Part of my job at The Grange is to make sure we put on ambitious shows, with high musical standards and production values, bringing the best talents to the stage of our jewel box theatre in this glorious corner of Hampshire. We are delighted to offer our first major evening of dance, as well as three brand-new opera productions and a Broadway classic. I am excited about the artistic collaborations, directors, singers and designers who are making their debut at The Grange or returning after the glorious first season. We are also thrilled to welcome notable international stars to The Grange. Giving an opportunity to Anna Bonitatibus, for instance, to sing her first Agrippina is important for the Festival. And I greatly look forward to our Barber cast, highlighting other highly regarded Italian performers.”

The Grange Festival launched its inaugural season in June 2017, less than 18 months after the company was formed, to outstanding critical acclaim and enthusiastic audiences. The new team refurbished the theatre’s lighting, stage equipment and seating donated by Delfont Mackintosh Theatres.

The Times saluted “a bold and innovative launch to the new Grange Festival… risen phoenix-like in Hampshire. The Grange Festival expanded beyond the summer season with the world premiere of Jonathan Dove’s new version of Mansfield Park in September, predicted to become “a summer opera favourite” (The Times).

Later in September, soprano Rowan Pierce was awarded the first prize in the first ever Grange Festival International Singing Competition, which gathered 90 singers from 28 different countries in the preliminary rounds, with an average age of 28 years old.


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