Magical opera event returns

Christopher Gilmour and his wife Mardi at their home, Winslow Hall
Christopher Gilmour and his wife Mardi at their home, Winslow Hall

Winslow Hall Opera returns for a fourth season with six performances of a new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s opera, La Traviata.

The performances will take place from Wednesday July 8 through to Sunday 19 in the grounds of the 17th century mansion owned by restauranteur Christopher Gilmour and his Australian born wife Mardi.

Mr Gilmour’s brother Oliver, a world renowned conductor who took the baton at Winslow Hall Opera last year, will return with his orchestra for this year’s production.

A Verdi aficionado Oliver Gilmour has assembled an exciting cast including Greek Australian soprano Elena Xanthoudakis as Violetta and Argentine tenor Pablo Bemsch as Alfredo.

English baritone Quentin Hayes will sing the role of Giorgio Germont.

La Traviata (the fallen woman), based on La Dame aux Camelias (1884) by Alexander Dumas, is an opera in three acts that tells the tragic tale of a Parisian courtesan who sacrifices all for love.

Stage director Ptolemy Christie joins Winslow Hall Opera for the first time having worked at Sydney Opera House, San Francisco Opera and Grange Park Opera.

Four evening performances will take place at 6pm on Wednesday 8, Friday 10, Wednesday 15 and Friday 17, and two matinee performances will take place at 3pm on Sunday 12 and Sunday 19.

There will be a 90 minute supper interval during the evening performances.

The interval for the Sunday matinee will be only 30 minutes.

However, the gardens of the hall will open from noon on the Sundays for those who would like to picnic before the opera.

Tickets cost £65 per person and are available from the website www.winslowhallopera.co.uk.

Before the performance on Friday 17, the Gilmour family are opening the hall for a charity drinks reception in aid of Restore Research, a charity which funds research into the treatment and cure of burns and scars with wide-ranging implications from curing scar-related disfigurements to Alzheimer’s.

The event starts at 5pm and tickets cost £25.

Contact Restore on 07801106930 or vivien@restore-research.org.uk for tickets and information.