Dorset Opera – new star and old favourite

FANS of Dorset Opera Festival will thrill to the glorious high notes of the young South Korean tenor David Junghoon Kim who sings the role of Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, one of this year’s two operas, at Bryanston School’s Coade Hall,  near Blandford, from 23rd to 27th July.

The festival’s many loyal supporters will also be delighted that the charismatic African-American bass-baritone Mark S Doss is returning to Dorset, this time to make his role debut as Nabucco in Verdi’s dramatic biblical epic. His previous roles with Dorset Opera include the Dutchman in Der Fliegende Hollander, Pizarro in Fidelio, Amonasro in Aida and Macbeth.

The part of the tragic Lucia, heroine of Donizetti’s opera and Sir Walter Scott’s original novel, is sung by Letitia Vitelaru, the Romanian soprano who studied at the Accademia della Scala, and with Mirella Freni, Renato Bruson and Luciana Serra. One of the most psychologically demanding roles in the grand opera repertoire, Lucia has a famous mad scene.

The leading female role in Nabucco is Abigaille, the daughter of the Babylonian emperor, Nabucco. It will be sung by Claire Rutter, who has recently sung the title roles of Lucrezia Borgia, Tosca and Aida at ENO. She has also sung Tosca alongside Mark S Doss at Welsh National.

It follows the plight of the Jews as they are assaulted, conquered and subsequently exiled from their homeland by the Babylonian King Nabucco (in English, Nebuchadnezzar II). The most famous number in the opera is the Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves, –Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate.

Lucia di Lammermoor on Wednesday and Thursday, 24th and 25th July, at 7pm, and on Saturday 27th, at 2pm. is directed by Christopher Cowell and the conductor will be Jose Miguel Esandi. Nabucco, on Tuesday 23rd and Saturday 27th at 7pm, and Thursday 25th at 2pm, is conducted by Jeremy Carnell and directed by Peter Relton.

On Friday 26th at 7pm, there will be a gala concert, conducted by Jeremy Carnell, celebrating Dorset Opera’s 15 years at Bryanston, and the chairmanship throughout this period of Alan Frost, who is stepping down this year. The programme will include popular choruses, arias, overtures, ensembles, featuring emerging and guest artists, singing Bizet, Mozart, Verdi and even some Wagner.

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Pictured: Letitia Vitelaru, David Junghoon Kim, Mark S Doss.