London's Rose Theatre Hosts Mozart's Earliest OperaDate: 28 February 2010
For their inaugural show, The Rose Opera Company will perform Mozart’s very first opera Apollo et Hyacinthus, written when he was just 11 years old. It is the first opera ever to be performed at an Elizabethan theatre, the Rose on London’s Bankside.
The company has a close relationship with The Rose, Bankside’s first playhouse (where both Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe worked and performed) and plan to perform there again with future productions. All money made from ticket sales go to support the Rose Theatre Trust, which was formed during the theatre’s archaeological excavation in 1989 to address fears that the new building proposed for the site would bring about the destructions of the Rose Theatre's remains.
Founded in 2009 by soprano Eleanor Briggs, the company was created to enable young operatic singers to gain experience in unusual repertoire, and to encourage the performance of opera in venues previously only used to host traditional plays. Members of the cast have recently worked with high-profile groups such as Grange Park Opera, British Youth Opera, the Royal Opera Covent Garden, and the Monteverdi Choir.
The company is accompanied by The Rose Opera Orchestra, an ensemble of London-based players with a love of opera, and is directed from the keyboard by award-winning pianist and repetiteur James Williams.
The Rose Theatre’s well-preserved archaeology was discovered in 1989 during a routine exploratory excavation held in the interval between site clearance and re-development of an office block. The Rose became a major international news story, and the site attracted many thousands of visitors. A campaign to ‘Save the Rose’ and protect it from redevelopment was launched with enthusiastic support from actors (including Lord Olivier, who gave his last public speech on behalf of the Rose), scholars and the general public.
The site today inspires actors and other artists just as it did over four hundred years ago and Apollo et Hyacinthus is just one of many regular events and open days when their many talents can be put on show. Future plans for The Rose Opera Company include a UK tour of Apollo et Hyacinthus alongside short one-act operas performed in English, and fundraising concerts featuring cast and orchestra members to raise funds for the 2011 production. More information at www.theroseoperacompany.com
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