Magic and realism with Dorset Opera

DORSET Opera Festival returns to the Coade Hall at Bryanston from 25th to 30th July with two great operas – Puccini’s Manon Lescaut and Mozart’s Die Zauberflote (The Magic Flute).

It’s an interesting and contrasting choice, musically and dramatically – an operatic version of the 1731 novel, Histoire du Chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut, a story of doomed love, by the Abbé Prévost, and the seductive magic of Mozart’s mythical Queen of the Night and her battle with the high priest Sarastro.

The principal roles in Die Zauberflote are taken by Canadian lyric soprano Jamie Groote as the heroine Pamina, coloratura soprano Hannah Sawle as the Queen of the Night, tenor Ted Black as Tamino, baritone Felix Kemp as Papageno, the bird-catcher, the young bass-baritone Ossian Huskinson as Sarastro and Aled Hall as Monastatos.

The Dorset Opera orchestra will be conducted by Jeremy Carnall and the production is directed by Paul Carr.

The title role in Manon Lescaut sees a welcome return for the dazzling soprano Anna Patalong, who previously sang Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin and Marguerite in Faust with Dorset Opera. The Hungarian baritone Gyula Nagy sings the role of Manon’s brother, and the acclaimed American tenor Todd Wilander plays her lover, Des Grieux.

Manon Lescaut will be conducted by José Miguel Esandi and the production is directed by Christopher Cowell.

The designer for both productions is Bridget Kimak and the costumes have been designed by Stewart J Charlesworth.

On Thursday, 28th July at 4pm in Bryanston’s Elder Concert Hall, there is a recital by the Dorset-born mezzo-soprano, Kate Royal. I’ll tell you how the Sun rose – a song for each hour of the day will be a programme of 24 songs inspired by the poem, A Day (I’ll tell you how the Sun rose) by American poet Emily Dickinson.

For performance dates and times see the Arts Diary and for more information visit

Pictured: Jamie Groote, Gaetz Photography; and Anna Patalong.