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Berwick Festival Opera

BFO: Die Walküre (The Valkyrie)

An epic end to a wonderful Summer of opera!

This event was previously scheduled to take place at Berwick Guildhall, but due to the immense power of the singers voices, we've decided our plush Main House is perfectly suited to the performance!

Listen to an extract of Die Walküre Act 1 from Berwick Festival Opera 2014 HERE.

Die Walküre (The Valkyrie) is the second of the four operas that form Wagner's epic Ring Cycle – his extraordinary saga of love, lust, power and betrayal rooted in the Gods and legends of Norse mythology. 

The story focuses on the forbidden passion and flight of Siegmund and Sieglinde, and their rapidly changing fortunes as the Gods argue over their fate and intervene at will. The opera contains some of the Ring cycle’s most memorable music, and is forever lodged in popular consciousness for providing us with the instantly recognisable Ride of the Valkyrie.

Jonathan Dove’s superb 18 piece re-orchestration (originally commissioned by the City of Birmingham Touring Opera) is  performed by principal players from the Hebrides Ensemble and the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland.

Building on last year’s fantastically well-received concert performance of Act 1, Scenes 1-3 and Siegfried’s Idyll, Berwick Festival Opera 2015 ends on an unmissable dramatic high with this enhanced concert performance, exploiting our state of the art stage projection and lighting facilities to perform the full opera in all its exhilarating musical glory.

We are delighted to have gathered together a fantastically high calibre cast of experienced Wagnerians :
  • Internationally acclaimed soprano Janice Watson heads our all-star line up as Sieglinde.   After winning the Kathleen Ferrier Award at 23, she has gone on to perform at many of the world’s major opera houses with many leading conductors, and has been a regular guest artist with both English National Opera and Welsh National Opera. She has sung regularly at both the Royal Albert Hall Proms and the Edinburgh International Festival.
  • The Irish dramatic soprano Miriam Murphy (Brunnhilde) won the Bayreuth bursary, was a prizewinner at the Seattle Wagner competition, and has appeared in the Opera North Ring Cycle  and sung for the Royal Opera, Welsh Natioanal Opera and Glyndebourne.
  • American mezzo Andrea Baker has sung Fricka nearly 100 times and has sung various Wagner roles all over the world, including Germany, China, Salzburg and Aix en Provence with Sir Simon Rattle.
  • Trinadad-born tenor Ronald Samm sang Siegmund in the Graham Vick Ring Cycle in Lisbon and has sung major roles, including Otello, at WNO, Opera North, Birmingham Opera Company and for numerous other opera companies outside the UK.
  • This is Welsh baritone Paul Carey Jones' first Wotan, and he has sung major roles for WNO, Scottish Opera and in Ireland, Italy and China.
  • British conductor Peter Selwyn was assistant conductor on the Ring Cycle in Bayreuth and Nuremberg, having first worked as repetiteur on the Ring at Covent Garden under Bernard Haitink. He has conducted for WNO, Opera North, and extensively abroad in Germany, Italy, Hungary and Singapore.

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Berwick Festival Opera 2015

The most memorable experiences can happen in the least expected places, and Berwick Festival Opera is a shining example. After a triumphant debut season in 2014, welcome to another Summer of seductively beautiful music.

Enjoy vibrant new productions of four works, carefully chosen for their fabulously tuneful music and accessible drama - all created and performed by a superb team of internationally acclaimed musicians and singers. Together, they offer us a dazzling array of skills and expertise gleaned from their work in the world’s greatest opera houses.

Each opera has been lovingly re-orchestrated to perfectly match the immediacy and intimacy of three of Berwick’s brilliant venues, all with excellent acounstics (Caesar's Palace on Hide Hill, the historic Guildhall and the pluch richness of our Main House Theatre) whilst retaining all their musical and emotional magic. 

From Gilbert & Sullivan’s playful  Japanese romp The Mikado, to two deftly handled tales of tangled love affairs, comic confusion and happy-ever-after in  Rossini’s The Silken Ladder and Mozart’s definitively romantic The Marriage of Figaro, and culminating in the towering drama of Wagner’s The Valkyrie
The Maltings Theatre & Cinema is operated by The Maltings (Berwick) Trust Registered Charity No: 701194