Opera in Space www.operainspace.com comes to Bonchurch
The Semele Project : a bold reimagining of Händel’s masterpiece
Ventnor is a centre of creativity, hosting cultural events which have recently attracted world class performers. It is for this reason that Opera in Space, a company founded with the aim of rethinking the performance of operatic repertory, has chosen the spectacular historic house of East Dene in Bonchurch as a venue to perform their highly acclaimed reinvention of Händel’s masterpiece, Semele on 21/22 October 2011.
Recently returned from performing in Berlin, Opera in Space’s Semele Project had its inaugural showing to sell-out audiences at the Georgian Society, London. In this adaptable show the performers take on multiple roles, interacting with the audience; the performers themselves play instruments and there is no theatrical set, rather the performers make use of the space in original ways. Condensed to make it accessible to modern audiences, and with a specially-written narrative verse and cast of five performers The Semele Project includes some of Händel’s most memorable arias such as “Where’ere you walk”.
The performers are classical musicians and actors with a range of professional experiences such as singing at Glyndbourne, studying at English National Opera, singing with the Welsh National Youth Opera and acting in film and the West End.
The Semele Project takes its inspiration from the architectural features of the venue, ranging from churches to deserted buildings and the grand hall at East Dene is a perfect romantic setting for The Marriage of Semele and Athamus. The fabric of the house is steeped in cultural history, being the home of the Victorian poet, Algernon Swinburne and having been visited by many eminent literary figures who were drawn to Bonchurch, such as Charles Dickens.
Opera in Space will be performing for just two nights and due to the intimate venue tickets are limited to 70 guests for each performance. Those purchasing tickets for the Saturday evening may also enjoy a delicious post-performance supper and meet the performers.
Alice DeVille (mezzo-soprano), is a founding member of Opera in Space is delighted to be performing on the Isle of Wight, the home of generations of her ancestors (The Ratsey family of sailmakers in Cowes), who have a long a fascinating history going back over hundreds of years.
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