The Lovely Galatea – Die Schöne Galathèe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BEAUTIFUL GALATEA

(Opera comique, in two acts; text by Zell and Genèe. First produced in Vienna, 1865)

CHARACTERS:

Galatea…………………………the statue

Ganymede…………………….Greek boy (or girl!)

Pygmalion…………………….sculptor

Midas…………………………..art patron

Chorus of Ladies

 

The opera of “Die Schöne Galathèe” (“The Beautiful Galatea”), though of slight construction, is one of Suppè’s most melodious works, while the story is a clever setting of the familiar mythological romance in a somewhat modern frame, in which respect it resembles the stories of Helen of Troy and Orpheus and Eurydice, which Offenbach so cleverly travestied.

 

The Opera opens with a graceful chorus of People on their way to worship at church, at dawn (“Aurora is awaking in Heaven above”). Ganymede, Pygmalion’s servant, declines to go with them, preferring to sleep, and bids them good-by with a lullaby (“With Violets, with Roses, let the Temple be decked”). His master, Pygmalion, who has finished a statue of Galatea, his ideal woman , also goes to church, and Ganymede decides to take a nap. His slumbers are interrupted, however, by Midas, a professional art patron, who has heard of the statue and informs Ganymede that he is ready to buy it, but first wishes to see it.

The servant declares it is impossible, as his master is in love with it. Midas makes a further appeal to him in a long descriptive arietta (“My Dear Father Gordias”) in which he boasts of his abilities, his patronage, and his conquests. He finally bribes Ganymede to show it to him, and as he stands gazing at it and praising its loveliness, Pygmalion, who has suddenly returned, enters and upbraids them.  After a spirited trio, “Boiling Rage I feel within me,” Ganymede takes to his heels and Midas is driven out. When Pygmalion is alone with the statue, a sudden impulse moves him to destroy it because it has been polluted by Midas’s glances, but his hand is stayed as he hears the chorus of the returning worshippers, and he makes an impassioned appeal to Venus (“Venus, oh, see, I fly to thee”) to give life to the marble.

Venus answers his prayer. The statue comes to life, and Galatea falls in love with Pygmalion, the first person she has seen, which gives an opportunity for a charming number, the Awakening Duet (“I feel so warm, so sweet”), and for a solo (“Lightly sways and gently sweeps”).

The opera continues with the couplets of Ganymede (“We Grecians”), at the close of which he espies Galatea gathering flowers. As soon as the fickle Galatea sees Ganymede, she falls in love with him (or her!) because he (or she!) is younger and handsomer than Pygmalion. As they are discoursing admiringly, Midas appears and recognizes Galatea, and proceeds to woo her with offers of jewels. A pretty trio follows, “See the Trinkets I have brought you.”She accepts his trinkets and his money, but declines to accept him. As they are negotiating, Pygmalion returns. Ganymede once more takes to his (or her!) heels, and Galatea conceals Midas by putting him on the pedestal under the sheet where she had stood. She then hides her jewels, and tells Pygmalion she is hungry. Ganymede is summoned and arranges the table, and they sit down, the servant with them at Galatea’s request. She sings a brilliant drinking-song (“Bright in Glass the Foaming Fluid pass”), in which Pygmalion and Ganymede join. During the banquet Midas is discovered behind the screen, and Pygmalion also learns of Galatea’s fickle conduct later, when he surprises her and Ganymede in a pretty love scene (“Ah, I’m drawn to Thee”). By this time Pygmalion is so enraged that he prays Venus to let her become a statue again. The goddess graciously consents, and the sculptor promptly gets rid of Galatea by selling her to Midas.

CAST:

Sarah Gallop (Galatea)

Sarah’s singing journey started when she gained a choral scholarship to Woodbridge School. From the age of 11 she had singing lessons, and successfully auditioned for the National Youth Choir of Great Britain at 14. With NYCGB, Sarah travelled across the UK for various performances, including the Proms. She also completed a world tour with NYCGB, where amongst other adventures, she sang for the King of Samoa and performed in a canyon in Western Australia. Sarah went on to study music at degree level, and subsequently completed a Masters degree in vocal and operatic performance at Birmingham Conservatoire. Other operatic performances include: Lady Ella Patience,Cleopatra Giulio Cesare, Yvette La Rondine, Despina Così fan tutte, and Alms sister 1 – Suor Angelica. She has also performed as chorus for a recording of Franz von Suppé’s Die Afrikaheiss, and in productions of Massenet’s Manon, Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice and Puccini’s Il Tabarro. As a concert soloist, Sarah has most recently sung for Gippeswick Singer’s Good Friday performance of Bach’s St John Passion. In 2017 she sang for Billericay Choral Society in their performance of Haydn’s Nelson Mass. Other oratorio works include Haydn’s Creationand, Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Pergolesi’s Magnificat,Vivaldi’s Gloria, Fauré’s Requiem and Barber’s Agnus Dei.  She is due to perform Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in November.  Sarah is working regularly as part of a trio, with a clarinettist and pianist. With this trio she has discovered new and exciting repertoire, such as Spohr’s Sechs Deutsche Lieder. Other interesting ensembles include working with a jazz band, performing a wide variety of repertoire alongside some standards. Sarah is the Musical Director of Hadleigh Community Choir, and gave her debut performance as conductor in February of this year. She has an array of singing and piano students of all ages and abilities. She continues to study with Christine Cairns.

Ziazan Horrocks-Hopayian (Ganymede)

Ziazan is a singer and an independent researcher on the history of singing. She received vocal training from Rae Woodland, Stephen Varcoe, and Dame Emma Kirkby, and scholarly guidance from Edward V Foreman. She is passionate about bringing ancient singing techniques and styles to modern music, and her approach, as well as her unique sound, has inspired and intrigued composers such as Anna Meredith, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian, Richard Bullen and Barrington Pheloung.

She is currently writing the libretto for a new opera, 1000 Songs, an extract of which will première at Grimeborn festival in August 2018, and in which she will play the rôle of the Enchantress.

James Bowers (Pygmalion)

James graduated with his MA in Music Performance from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2015 where was generously supported by Christopher Ball. Opera roles during this time include Le Remendado (Carmen (cover)) and Filch (Beggar’s Opera) for Opera’r Ddraig, Delivery Boy (A Dinner Engagement) for Bute Park Opera, and covered Paśek/Cock/Woodpecker (Cunning Little Vixen) for RWCMD opera. He also performed various in an opera scenes project for Music Theatre Wales directed by Michael McCarthy. Recent appearances included world premieres in the 10th and 11th Malcolm Arnold Festival, Blind in Opera’r Ddraig’s production of Die Fledermaus and Rodolfo (cover) in Iford Arts opera’s 2017 production of La Bohème, where is was an Iford Arts New Generation Cover Artist. James regularly tours with Philharmonia Voices and privately studies with Anthea Parashchak.

David Phillips (Midas)

David Phillips graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire in 2017 where he studied as a scholarship student with vocal tuition from Gordon Sandison and Henry Herford. During his time at the Conservatoire David took leading roles in many productions, most notably as Figaro in ‘Le Nozze di Figaro’ (Mozart) and as Adonis in ‘Venus and Adonis’ (Blow). Outside of education David has performed in operas, plays and films. In 2016 he took the role of Wu Tianshi in Welsh National Youth Opera’s production of ‘Kommilitonen’ (Maxwell-Davies) which was awarded best opera production at the National Welsh Theatre Awards. Most recently David has appeared as Justinius in the production of ‘The Passion of Jesus’ which played in Trafalgar Square and Guildford High Street to thousands-strong live audiences, plus hundreds of thousands of online viewers world-wide. David will later this year be performing as Benoit/Alcindoro in La Boheme and Antonio in The Marriage of Figaro, in which he will also understudy Figaro. Both of these productions are with Flat Pack Music, a touring opera company.

 

Melissa Sampson (chorus)

Melissa attended classical singing lessons with Stephen Miles in Fulmodestone and performed with the Norfolk & Norwich Operatic Society at The Theatre Royal Norwich regularly since 2003, most recently in Top Hat in January 2018. Other operatic roles include  Cunegonde in ‘Candide’ at ROSS summer school in 2016,  Amor in Orpheus and Eurydice, Sister Genevieve in Suor Angelica, Sukey Tawdry in The Threepenny Opera, Nancy in Albert Herring, Micaela in Carmen, Lauretta in Gianni Schicchi and Papagena in The Magic Flute with the North Norfolk Chamber Opera at The Auden Theatre in Holt, Valencienne in The Merry Widow with Livewire Opera Group touring around Norfolk, Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls and Honoria Glossop in By Jeeves. Sarah gularly performs at Opera Masterclasses with Gedding Music and Opera da Camera and attends weekly ballet & tap classes at the Anglia Academy of Performing Arts. She  also slalom ski races for Norfolk Snowsports Race Team

Lily Whear (chorus)

Lily has been singing classically since I was 12 years old. ‘The Beautiful Galatea is Lily’s debut in an operatic production and an exciting milestone in her singing career. At the age of 14 she was one of the youngest cantors to be honoured with singing the Kol Nidre and continue to do so, regularly leading the singing in her synagogue community.Lily is also a keen flautist and has both sung and played the flute in the school jazz band in the UK and Germany. Lily is also studying the piano and guitar.

Emma Nuule (chorus)

Emma Nuule is a passionate cross over singer who is known recently for her classical work. She started her training aged 10 at the central school of performing arts where she studied dancing, acting and singing, classical training in voice and musical theatre. Emma has appeared at numerous shows at Theatre Royal in Norwich such as Fiddler on the Roof, Norwich Pantomime, and Carousel.  She received honours in her Guildhall School of Music singing exams when she was growing up.She received an outstanding award at the Norfolk County music festival, winning the Musical Theatre Category. Recently Emma’s career has taken off after she took part in a global talent competition “Sercos Got Talent” in Trafalgar Square. She sang ‘O Mio Babino Caro’, and won the UK and European rounds and then the global award, singing against America, India, the Middle East and Australia.  She was mentored by David and Carrie Grant from the BBC. Since then Emma is now furthering her career and having professional training with Marie Vassiliou who teaches in London. She sings for large events such as the Serco Global Pulse Awards, performing along side Kerry Ellis from ‘Wicked’ at the Park Plaza Westminster hotel in London. Emma recently sung at a Royal Society of Chemistry Conference at Dunston Hall in Norfolk, closed the royal Norfolk show with the national anthem, performed soprano soloist for a New Year’s Day concert with Norwich pops orchestra , opened a world music festival in Southburgh and sang for BBC music day from the forum balcony .

Eleanor Parsons (director)

Welsh Soprano Ellie Parsons graduated with first class honours from Birmingham Conservatoire and continued her studies at the Guildhall school of Music and Drama.Whilst studying she had the opportunity to work with some of the most accomplished names of the industry, and has performed in public Masterclasses with Roderick Williams and Catherine Foster. She has won several competitions including the Mario Lanza Opera Prize, the Edward Brookes Prizes for both English Song and German Lied, the Somerset Song Prize, and placed second in the Andrew Downes performance prize. She has also appeared in the finals of the Ambache Prize for the Performance of Women’s Music, the Cecil Drew Oratorio Prize, the John Ireland Song Prize, the Delius Prize, and the Llangollen International Eisteddfods Voice of the Future. On the stage, Ellie has performed several roles including Lady Macbeth and Violetta from Verdi’s operas Macbeth and La Traviata, Madame Larina from Tchaikovskys Eugene Onegin, Madam Lidoin from Poulencs Dialogues des Carmelites, and received accolades for her performance of Poulencs La Voix Humain. Eleanor also enjoys working with composers in new operas and projects, creating the title role in Michael Wolters Ava’s Wedding and Queen Aethelfreda in Sophy Smiths Tigress. She works closely with composers writing vocal film music and opera, and takes great pleasure in being part of the entire process right through to premiering the work. Ellie was appointed Musical Director of Billericay Choral Society in 2016, and has since led performances of Elgars The Dream of Gerontius, and The Spirit of England, The Messiah, Hayden’s Nelson Mass, Mozart’s Requiem, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s Trial by Jury. She is also very interested in how music is introduced and taught to young children and particularly to babies and toddlers. She is currently working on a project with children’s theatre Hullabaloo, devising, and later performing shows incorporating complex musical and theatrical ideas for under twos.

Dario Salvi – Musical Director and Executive Producer

Hannah Salvi – Stage Manager

Simon Ireson – Lights

James Webber – Make-up