Isabeau

Investec Opera Holland Park 2018

 

The UK premier of Mascagni's 1911 opera. Learn more about the music, cast and crew behind this Out of the Ordinary opera.

Watch the trailer for Isabeau

 

Exclusive footage from the Investec Opera Holland Park 2018 season prelude and interviews from director of opera James Clutton.

Exclusive footage from the Investec Opera Holland Park 2018 season prelude and interviews from director of opera James Clutton.

 

We talked to James Clutton, director of opera at Opera Holland Park, about the UK premier of Mascagni's opera.

If Opera Holland Park is known for one thing it is our success in reviving works by the giovane scuola composers. From Montemezzi’s L’amore dei tre re (2007) to Wolf-Ferrari’s I gioielli della Madonna (2013), these are scores that only truly come to life on the stage.
 
Mascagni’s operas have been a house speciality since 1997. This year we have what we believe to be the UK premiere of Mascagni’s 1911 opera Isabeau, which will transfer to New York City Opera next year in our first transatlantic co-production. With Francesco Cilluffo conducting, Martin Lloyd-Evans directing, and designs by takis, we have the ingredients for a spectacular realisation of this rarely heard medieval fantasy, with bespoke costumes for every member of the cast and an expanded orchestra.
 
The great soprano Anne Sophie Duprels sings the title role, and is joined by tenor David Butt Phillip, whose performance as Hamlet in Glyndebourne on Tour’s production of Brett Dean’s opera was lauded across the press. Our third major star is the brilliant OHP chorus, which plays a critical role in a drama where fate hangs on the mood of a volatile, oppressed people.

David Butt Philip as Folco and Anne Sophie Duprels as Isabeau in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

George von Bergen as Cornelius, Mikhail Svetlov as King Raimondo and Anne Sophie Duprels as Isabeau in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

Anne Sophie Duprels as Isabeau with members of the Opera Holland Park Chorus in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

David Butt Philip as Folco in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

George von Bergen as Cornelius and Mikhail Svetlov as King Raimondo in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

David Butt Philip as Folco and Anne Sophie Duprels as Isabeau in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

Photo credits: Opera Holland Park/ Ali Wright

George von Bergen as Cornelius, Mikhail Svetlov as King Raimondo and Anne Sophie Duprels as Isabeau in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

Photo credits: Opera Holland Park/ Robert Workman

Anne Sophie Duprels as Isabeau with members of the Opera Holland Park Chorus in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

Photo credits: Opera Holland Park/ Ali Wright

David Butt Philip as Folco in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

Photo credits: Opera Holland Park/ Ali Wright

George von Bergen as Cornelius and Mikhail Svetlov as King Raimondo in Isabeau at Opera Holland Park

Photo credits: Opera Holland Park/ Robert Workman

Isabeau, by Pietro Mascagni

  • Act 1

    In short, this is Lady Godiva given a Wagner makeover all’italiana.
     
    Welcome to Saxon England, c. 1012, where Princess Isabeau is highly unkeen to get hitched but her dad King Ray says she has to. He arranges a quiz night of sorts for posh knights, with Isabeau the prize. Now a young man called Folco shows up, looking for a job as a falconer. He claps eyes on Isabeau and falls for her like a ton of bricks. After the quiz, Isabeau sends all the posh knights walking, so her dad says she has to ride naked through the streets.
    Isabeau - Investec Opera Holland Park
  • Act 2

    The honest locals reckon it’s all a dreadful shame and, out of respect, don’t look at Isabeau. Folco,
    who is behind with the news, sees her, and likes what he sees. However, this results in his being condemned to death.

    Isabeau - Investec Opera Holland Park
  • Act 3

    Folco’s grandmother asks Isabeau whether she can get the sentence commuted. She can’t. She has a
    chat with Folco where he gallantly says he’s happy to die having seen her naked. He gets the chop, and Isabeau kills herself too for good measure, collapsing on his body.

    Isabeau - Investec Opera Holland Park
  • Fancy that!

    Mascagni is generally remembered for just one opera – his first, Cavalleria rusticana – but actually wrote more than ten, all completely different from each other and (mostly) by no means bad. He just had the misfortune to live at the same time as Puccini.

    Isabeau - Investec Opera Holland Park

Isabeau, by Pietro Mascagni

Act 1
Act 2
Act 3
Fancy that!

Isabeau - Investec Opera Holland Park
In short, this is Lady Godiva given a Wagner makeover all’italiana.
 
Welcome to Saxon England, c. 1012, where Princess Isabeau is highly unkeen to get hitched but her dad King Ray says she has to. He arranges a quiz night of sorts for posh knights, with Isabeau the prize. Now a young man called Folco shows up, looking for a job as a falconer. He claps eyes on Isabeau and falls for her like a ton of bricks. After the quiz, Isabeau sends all the posh knights walking, so her dad says she has to ride naked through the streets.

Isabeau - Investec Opera Holland Park
The honest locals reckon it’s all a dreadful shame and, out of respect, don’t look at Isabeau. Folco,
who is behind with the news, sees her, and likes what he sees. However, this results in his being condemned to death.

Isabeau - Investec Opera Holland Park
Folco’s grandmother asks Isabeau whether she can get the sentence commuted. She can’t. She has a
chat with Folco where he gallantly says he’s happy to die having seen her naked. He gets the chop, and Isabeau kills herself too for good measure, collapsing on his body.

Isabeau - Investec Opera Holland Park
Mascagni is generally remembered for just one opera – his first, Cavalleria rusticana – but actually wrote more than ten, all completely different from each other and (mostly) by no means bad. He just had the misfortune to live at the same time as Puccini.

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