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Martinu meets Goldoni at Garsington

Martinu’s 1959 comic opera Mirandolina is receiving its UK premiere as part of Garsington Opera’s summer season. The work, a bubbling comedy based on Carlo Goldoni’s 1753 play, has only been seen once before in the British Isles – at Wexford in 2002.

The opera follows Goldoni’s comedy closely, telling the story of a feisty lady innkeeper (the original is called La Locandiera or The Mistress of the Inn) who breaks a misogynistic visitor, the dour Baron of Ripafratta. It could be seen as a sort of Taming of the Shrew in reverse.

Martinu’s music is as bright and sunny as Goldoni’s play, mingling the rhythms of his native Czechoslovakia with plenty of Italianate sparkle. Running for just under two hours, it is perfect for a night under the Garsington canopy. There’s the usual lengthy dinner period to break up the acts and enjoy a picnic in the gardens .

There are performances on 18, 21,26,28 June, 2,5 July, all at 6.30pm. Tickets are available on 01865 361636. Further details at www.garsingtonopera.org

- Simon Thomas


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