News: Charles Court Opera to present an outdoor staging of their Offie Best Opera award-winning ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’…and more

Charles Court Opera – ‘the masters of G&S in small spaces’ – are to come out of lockdown with a specially customised outdoor staging of their Offie award-winning production of ‘H.M.S. Pinafore’ at The Malting’s Open Air Theatre Festival on Monday 24 August.

CCO are also presenting ‘A Summer’s Evening of G & S’ at Hever Festival on Sunday 23 August.

Both these events should be welcome news for G&S fans. Charles Court Opera and Opera Holland Park’s much anticipated co-production of ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ was due to open this week but, inevitably, has been postponed. And at the beginning of lockdown, CCO’s production of ‘Iolanthe’ was about to officially open at London’s King’s Head Theatre, where the scenery is still standing on the stage, waiting to be dusted off at the earliest opportunity.

Artistic Director, John Savournin, said: “We are thrilled to be getting our singers and production teams back to work, and bringing some much needed pleasure to audiences at this trying time.”

‘H.M.S. Pinafore’, which won Best Opera Production at the Offies after a sell-out run at the King’s Head Theatre and a UK tour in 2019, will be in the Roman Theatre of St. Albans at The Malting’s Open Air Theatre Festival on Monday 24 August, at 3pm and 6pm.

The 8-strong cast, led by Joseph Shovelton (D’Oyly Carte) as Sir Joseph Porter, is directed by John Savournin in this specially customised outdoor staging, with musical direction from David Eaton.

Adam Nichols, the Artistic Director of The Maltings Theatre, said: “I’m delighted to welcome the fabulous Charles Court Opera to add their customary wit and irreverence to our entertaining outdoor programme at The Maltings Open Air Theatre Festival.”

The company’s summer concert – ‘A Summer’s Evening of G & S’ – will be presented at the Hever Festival on Sunday 23 August at 8pm. With the beautiful backdrop of Hever Castle, a quintet of singers, including the company’s artistic director John Savournin, Llio Evans, who sang in ENO’s ‘Iolanthe’, and CCO regulars Meriel Cunningham, Matthew Kellett and Philip Lee, will perform a selection of songs, scenes and ensembles from the Savoy operas. The gates will be open from 6.30pm for picnics.

John Savournin, said of both these events: “We are thrilled to be able to programme these performances, and be part of helping to get the opera industry moving again.”

H.M.S. Pinafore – http://maltingstheatre.co.uk/hms-pinafore – Monday 24 August, 3pm and 6pm, 90 minutes without interval

G&S Summer’s Evening – https://heverfestival.co.uk/index.php/gilbert-and-sullivan/ – Sunday 23 August, 8pm, 75 minutes without interval. Gates 6.30pm for picnics.

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