Experience the magic of the Salzberg State Theatre when a new English adaptation of Gaetano Donizetti’s comic opera Viva la Diva comes to Buxton this summer.
The Salzberg State Theatre production enjoyed a sell-out run in Salzberg in 2019 and will now take centre stage at the Buxton Opera House.
Combining lively ensembles and virtuosic arias, Viva la Diva is set to delight Buxton audiences.
Directed by Stephen Medcalf and conducted by Iwan Davies, Donizetti’s original script has been translated by renowned screenwriter Kit Hesketh-Harvey to create a brand-new English version, especially for the Buxton International Festival.
Kit Hesketh-Harvey has received critical acclaim for previous opera translations including the Grammy-nominated The Bartered Bride for Sir Charles Lackerras at the Royal Opera House; The Caribbean Tempest, starring Kylie Minogue which was performed in Barbados and Sydney and more recently, The Life and Death of Alexander Litvenenko with the Grange Park Opera.
Fresh and wonderfully ridiculous.
So what can we expect from this new English translation of Viva la Diva? Fresh and wonderfully ridiculous, this uniquely witty production parodies the plight of a regional opera company as they prepare for a performance of an opera seria. Expect heightened emotions and larger-than-life personalities in the face of casting disputes, financial struggles and an overarching sense of crisis.
With the cast constantly bickering about who has the most important role, the whole production looks on the brink of collapse. Until Agatha – the ageing diva at the centre of the plot – declares that she is taking over. Baritone George Humphries sings the role of the indestructible Agatha – but will she be able to save the show?
Operatic farce at its best.
Combining lively ensembles and virtuosic arias, Viva la Diva is set to delight Buxton audiences. First performed in Naples in the nineteenth century, Donizetti’s opera makes amusing musical references to two of Rossini’s operas also written for the city, Otello and La donna del lago ( also being performed at this year’s Buxton International Festival).
Playful and feel-good, Viva la Diva is essentially a delightful and cleverly crafted spoof centred around the opera world. Packed with laughs, cross-dressing and cases of mistaken identity, this is operatic farce at its best.