A Mozart treat for Dorset Opera fans

DORSET Opera will be back this summer – good news after last year’s sad Covid-related cancellation – with a very different programme, which will certainly delight some regular opera-goers.

Running from 19th to 24th July, this year’s festival, at the usual venue, Coade Hall, at Bryanston School, will, for the first time in its 47 years, feature two of Mozart’s finest and best-loved operas.

With the government suggesting that everything will be back to normal by 21st June, Dorset Opera is planning to present an expanded festival: “We have something flexible up our sleeve just in case the summer brings another Covid peak and further restrictions …but let’s be optimistic,” says artistic director Rod Kennedy..

A key aspect of Dorset Opera Festival has always been the summer school for singers and technical theatre students from across the world, who sing and work alongside the professionals. The festival specialises in large-scale grand opera, with first-class international soloists and the chorus. This year, sadly, the festival management feels it would be unwise to run the summer school.

“So, for the first time ever, we are presenting a MozartFest featuring operas that, as they have little or no chorus, we would never normally be able to consider.”

The programme will be two of the three da Ponte operas, Don Giovanni and Cosi fan tutte. There will also be a semi-staged version of Händel’s Acis and Galatea, using the Mozart orchestration.

The plan is to stage the operas in the Coade Theatre but there are options to go outdoors if social distancing is reintroduced. For this reason, tickets will initially be sold for a 50 per cents capacity audience. If the government lifts all restrictions on theatrical performance on 21st June, the remaining seats will then be released.  Bookings can be made on the festival website, dorsetopera.com