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Blog 28 Opera Themes from The Royal College of Music

Blog 28 Opera Themes from The Royal College of Music

The Parks were Alive with the Sound of Music…
at least for a day in Hyde Park opera soared amongst the leafy glades.

The production of ‘Opera Scenes’ from our neighbouring Conservatoire, the Royal College of Music (RCM), would normally, be a keenly anticipated show to packed audiences in their own Britten Theatre.

Life has changed though and with amazing ingenuity, clever and creative direction and some of the most glorious young singers you could wish to hear, ‘Opera Scenes’ were adapted for our times.

On a very small budget filming took place throughout the college building in Prince Consort Road and in Hyde Park for two intriguing scenes.

In the morning Handel’s ‘Tolomeo’ was set amongst the massive plane trees in a dry valley close to the Old Police House and Nursery. At an earlier rehearsal alarmed visitors (from a distance) saw hooded men using heavy ropes, tying young people to trees…..and called the police.

On the day, the sun shone and apart from all the shredders, tractors, leaf blowers and crowds of gambolling Labradors there were no distractions.

In the afternoon, in the setting sun, an informal audience of lucky passers-by were entranced, just as the star-crossed lovers were, by a scene from Britten’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s dream’.

Enjoy the whole production, kindly brought to us by the RCM in an evening’s entertainment. Each half lasts about an hour.

‘Separation and Reconciliation’ has some passionate scenes but all are socially distanced and with careful props management.

Jason Taylor, Hyde Park manager, and the Royal Parks events team couldn’t have been more helpful. Many thanks to them for enabling the enterprise.

Enjoy the performance and I hope you all have a wonderful evening.

Sue Price

Opera Themes – Separation and Reconciliation
Nicholas Sears, Head of Vocal and Opera, and Michael Rosewell, Director of Opera, would be delighted if you could join us virtually, for our upcoming production, a collection of opera scenes on the theme of ‘Separation and Reconciliation’, presented by the RCM Opera Studio.

The star crossed lovers prepare themselves for their roles in Benjamin Britten’s opera
‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’

The scenes will be broadcast in two parts, on the 27th and 28th November at 7pm.
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As these are online performances, there is no need to RSVP for tickets in the normal way, but if you are going to be in the virtual audience, please do let me know just so that we, and the students, have a sense of who is there! One of the benefits of an online performance is the lack of ticket constraints, so please do feel free to forward this email to any other colleagues who may be interested.

Tolomeo has been exiled as rightful heir to the throne of Egypt by his mother Cleopatra. He is now living in hiding on Crete, where his wife Seleuce has followed him in disguise. Araspe, King of Crete, is in love with Seleuce and has followed her into the woods. Tolomeo intervenes in Araspe’s planned seduction. Furious, Araspe has Tolomeo and Seleuce taken prisoner and tied up.

Special thanks to Sue Price (Chairman) and the Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, as well as the staff at the Royal Parks.

We hope you enjoy the performances and that it won’t be long until we can join together for live music once again.

Isabella Young
Opera Assistant
Royal College of Music

The Royal Parks have asked us to forward this to you:

The Parks are here and free for whoever needs them over the winter months, to engage with nature, to get fresh air, and to boost wellbeing.

Share our hashtag #WelcomeWinter and website link:
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along with our messages: Stay well outdoors; Immerse yourself in nature, and care for The Parks.

Do download these amazing drone photos (copyright The Royal Parks):
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The Royal Parks’ chief executive, Andrew Scattergood, said: “The parks were a lifeline for many Londoners during the first lockdown, staying open throughout and providing beautiful, free spaces for Londoners to stay healthy and lift their mood. And the parks remain here for everyone now, as a refuge for whoever needs them.

It may be cold outside but we know that being outdoors, seeing trees, hearing birdsong, seeing the sky and feeling in contact with nature are associated with increased levels of happiness and wellbeing. It’s never been more important to look after ourselves than now. Put simply, a walk in the park makes you feel better.”

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