David Sawer’s latest opera ‘The Skating Rink’ receives world premiere with Garsington Opera

5 July 2018

On the 5th July 2018, David Sawer’s highly anticipated new opera The Skating Rink receives its world premiere at the Wormsley Estate. A major new commission by Garsington Opera, the work is based on the novel La pista de hielo by Chilean author Roberto Bolaño, which tells the tale of love, jealousy, political corruption and murder in a Spanish seaside town.

Douglas Boyd, Artistic Director of Garsington Opera, says: “David Sawer is one of the leading lights of our generation and has a wonderful flair for dramatic character. Together with librettist Rory Mullarkey they are creating a work that is theatrically thrilling and musically exhilarating. This is a very important step for us and I can’t wait to share this new work with our audience and the wider world.”

The Skating Rink is David Sawer’s fourth opera. A one-act chamber opera entitled The Panic was premiered in 1991, and his first full-length opera, From Morning to Midnight (2001), was commissioned by English National Opera and received an Olivier Award nomination for Outstanding Achievement in Opera. Skin Deep, an operetta about plastic surgery with libretto by Armando Iannucci, was commissioned by Opera North and toured around the UK in 2009. Southbank Centre Director of Music Gillian Moore says of David in Garsington Opera’s introductory video to The Skating Rink, “[he is] one of our most interesting composers … he is someone who is of the theatre”.

Conducting The Skating Rink is Garry Walker, who said of The Skating Rink in a recent interview with BBC Music Magazine: “David Sawer has such a grasp of the [operatic] form. His work deals with very primitive emotions such as jealousy, revenge, murder, corruption, which a lot of contemporary operas tend to shy away from… I respect David enormously – it really is a remarkable opera.”

Starring in the opera are Rayfield Allied artists Sam Furness (Gaspar) and Grant Doyle (Enric). Earlier this summer at Garsington Opera, Sam Furness made his role debut as Flamand in Capriccio in a production collaboration with Santa Fe Opera, while Grant Doyle, who stepped in at short notice for an indisposed Neal Davies, has been warmly received by audiences at Garsington Opera in many notable roles, most recently the title role in Don Giovanni (2012) and Forrester in The Cunning Little Vixen (2014).

An Insight Talk with David Sawer and Rory Mullarkey was held at the Royal Academy of Music, in which the creative processes of writing The Skating Rink were discussed with Garsington Opera Director of Membership Johnny Langridge, which can be viewed on Youtube here, and an interview with Claudia Pritchard for iNews can be found here.

For tickets and more information on The Skating Rink world premiere performances, visit the Garsington Opera website here.

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