The Grange Festival: 2018 season begins

The Grange Festival begins this week with opening nights for several productions. The season features a quartet of Askonas Holt singers: Ashley Riches, Jonathan Lemalu, David Soar and Robert Murray.

2017/18 BBC New Generation Artist Ashley Riches takes on the role of Claudio in Handel’s Agrippina, performing with The Academy of Ancient Music under Robert Howarth on 8, 16, 23, 28 June and 6 July. This season, Ashley has made debuts at ENO (as the Count in Fiona Shaw’s critically acclaimed Marriage of Figaro) and with the LSO (under Sir Simon Rattle).

Then, opening on Saturday is The Barber of Seville, with David Soar in the role of Basilio. With the Bournemouth Symphony and conductor David Parry, performances take place on 9, 15, 17, 22, 27 and 30 June. Other highlights for David this season have included Colline La bohème (Metropolitan Opera), Zuniga in a new production of Carmen (Royal Opera), Raleigh in a new production of Gloriana (Teatro Real Madrid).

Jonathan Lemalu will star as Osmin in The Abduction from the Seraglio (Die Entführung aus dem Serail) directed by John Copley, and conducted by Jean-Luc Tingaud. The production opens on 24 June with further performances on 26, 29 June and 1, 7 July. Recent and future highlights for Jonathan include his debut at the newly-opened Irish National Opera, and a return to Royal Opera House next summer as Sacristan in Tosca.

Completing the quartet, Robert Murray performs the title role in Bernstein’s Candide in a one-off and already sold out performance on 8 July, with the Bournemouth Symphony conducted by Alfonso Casado Trigo. Ahead of performing at The Grange, Robert travels to Amsterdam to reprise the role of Angel 3/John in George Benjamin’s Written on Skin.

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