2012 Season of Mozart, Vivaldi and Offenbach are Garsington Opera’s Olympic Games

L’Olimpiade by Vivaldi is a rarely produced piece but now the Garsington Opera is preparing to perform the opera which takes place near Olympia and revolves around the ancient games and in turn rivals in love who are also rivals on the track.

Wormsley estate in the Chiltern Hills is the first class new home of the opera company which will also play host to Mozart’s Don Giovanni as well as Offenbach’s charming operetta La Périchole during the summer season between 2 June to 3 July 2012, financial backing for the series will come from leading global investment banking firm, Jefferies.

Vivaldi’s L’Olimpiade takes place near Olympia on the day of the ancient games – rivals on the race track are also rivals in love. It features a number of artists new to Garsington Opera including Italian soprano Rosa Bove (Aristea) who recently took part in Claudio Abbado’s Pergolesi project, and Emily Fons (Megacle) currently a member of the Ryan Opera Center at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, both making their UK debuts; the talented BBC New Generation artist Ruby Hughes (Argene) and two counter-tenors – the extraordinary American Michael Maniaci (Aminta) who has a rare and thrilling voice with a stratospheric range, and Tim Mead (Licida).

William Berger (Alcandro) and Riccardo Novaro (Clistene) complete the cast. Garsington Opera’s Vivaldi team of conductor and baroque specialist Laurence Cummings and director David Freeman will bring all their skills and inventiveness to bear on the opera which will be the third and final production in this ground-breaking enterprise. This will be the world premiere of the new critical edition of L’Olimpiade, recently published by Ricordi.
Offenbach’s delightful La Périchole features rising Irish soprano star Naomi O’Connell in the title role. This will be her professional operatic UK debut. She is joined by Robert Murray (Piquillo), Geoffrey Dolton (Don Andrès de Ribeira), Diana Montague (Berginella), Mark Wilde (Le Comte Miguel de Panatellas), Jennifer Rhys-Davies (Guadalena) and Fiona Kimm (Mastrilla). Jeremy Sams, who is currently at the Metropolitan Opera in New York working on The Enchanted Island, which he has devised and written, will direct and David Parry, recent winner of a Gramophone Award for best opera (Ermione) 2011, conducts.

Mozart’s Don Giovanni will feature Grant Doyle making his UK debut in the title role with Joshua Bloom singing Leporello. The cast includes a number of exciting young talents including Sophie Bevan (Donna Elvira) and her sister Mary Bevan (Zerlina), Natasha Jouhl (Donna Anna), Jesús León (Don Ottavio) and Callum Thorpe (Masetto). Greek based Christophoros Stamboglis, seen recently at the Royal Opera House in La Sonnambula, returns to Garsington Opera to perform the role of the Commendatore. Mozart specialist and current Chief Conductor at Switzerland’s Musikkollegium Winterthur, Douglas Boyd conducts and Daniel Slater, whose productions of La Cenerentola and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Garsington Opera were a great success, directs.


This will be Garsington Opera’s second season in its stunning new Opera Pavilion. Designed by Robin Snell to complement, and give spectacular views out into the outstandingly beautiful surrounding landscape, the Pavilion offers superb acoustics and is an idyllic setting in which to experience opera performances of the highest quality.

The Wormsley estate, home of the Getty family, is an English country estate on the grand scale, complete with lake and deer. It is given a magical sense of seclusion by the thickly wooded slopes that surround it. This magnificent location in the Chiltern Hills, on the border of Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire, is within easy reach of Oxford and is only an hour away from London by car. The train journey from Marylebone to High Wycombe takes as little as 25 minutes and a dedicated bus meets a particular train to bring passengers to and from the Wormsley estate.


Performances start in the early evening and there is a long dinner interval when audiences can picnic or dine in the marquees, with catering provided by Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts. Audience members may arrive from 4pm. During the interval patrons may choose to enjoy dinner in the restaurant, settle with picnics enjoying views across the deer park or over the famous cricket pitch or stroll towards the lake and beyond. Those arriving early will be able to take afternoon tea, enjoy a glass of champagne, and visit the historic walled gardens which are a short drive from the opera site (there is a shuttle bus to the garden).The Opera Pavilion’s covered verandas and terraces offer opportunities to linger and admire the views.

BOX OFFICE: GENERAL PUBLIC BOOKING OPENS 16 April 2012 Tickets £95 – £170
Telephone 01865 361636 The Old Garage, The Green, Great Milton, Oxford OX44 7NP