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1999

The Barber of Seville The Marriage of Figaro La Mère Coupable  

In 1999, as part of the bicentenary celebration of the playwright Beaumarchais, EPOC performed the three most famous musical settings of his great trilogy of comedies.  Rossini’s The Barber of Seville and Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro were presented in two dramatically integrated productions alongside the first British premiere performances (in concert version) of Milhaud’s La Mère Coupable.

The Barber of Seville

Of the Figaro trilogy, two were fully staged and dramatically integrated productions.  They toured in “pocket” versions with piano accompaniment, in over 40 performances to venues nationwide.

   
Cast Darren Fox (Count Almaviva); Richard Burkhard, Giles Davies (Figaro); Rebecca Sharp (Rosina); Orlando Schenk (Don Bartolo); Martin Nelson, Andrew Tinkler (Don Basilio); Eleanor Bennet (Berta); Dennis Haggerty, Paul Trotter, Andrew Morton (Ambrogio, Officer, Fiorello, Notary).
Artistic Team Mark Tinkler (director); Jeremy Silver (conductor, pianist); Annabel Lee (designer); Rachel Shipp (lighting designer).
Venues Dulwich Festival; Thames Ditton; ADC Theatre Cambridge; Ryan Theatre, Harrow School; Leighton Buzzard Theatre; Limelight Theatre, Aylesbury; Institute of Directors, London; Hovingham Hall, Ryedale Festival; Players Theatre, London; Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead; Lincoln’s Inn, London; Cholmondely Castle; Longborough Festival; Cressing Temple Festival; Watermans Arts Centre; Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath; Kings Lynn Arts Centre; Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow; Queens Hall Edinburgh; Haddo House, Aberdeen; Brick Lane Music Hall; Queen’s College Taunton; West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge; Stubbings House, Maidenhead; Marlborough College.
Partners Ryedale Festival; Goldberg Ensemble; Wimbledon School of Art; London College of Fashion; Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Supporters Friends of EPOC, MRC Consultants Ltd; Limit plc; Roebuck Ventures Ltd; Stubbings Nursery; Rice-Jones & Smiths Solicitors; Lloyd Piggott Accountants.

“From the moment Figaro sings his famous signature song while juggling three oranges, you know this performance is being played for every possible laugh—and Camberwell Pocket Opera don’t miss a trick.”

Alan King  Evening News (Bristol)

“The intimate nature of the production, and the skill of the performers, encourages a rapport between the characters and audience and gives greater depth to their personalities … This is an evening of first-class entertainment by a group of true musicians and actors, as delicious as a cup of cappucino—frothy yet stimulating.”

Michael Saffell  The Bath Chronicle

"Longborough offered English Pocket Opera's production by Mark Tinkler of Rossini's The Barber of Seville (in the English of Robert David MacDonald). There have been subtler stagings, but this is good fun. Under Jeremy SIlver's baton the music sparkled and the audience enjoyed every minute. Rebecca Sharp's Rosina was a charmer, with Martin Nelson's Basilio stealing the show from Orlando Schenk's Bartolo. I liked Giles Davies's understated Figaro and Eleanor Bennett's robust Berta."

Michael Kennedy Sunday Telegraph

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The Marriage of Figaro

Another joint production with the RSAMD with opened at the Ryedale Festival with the Goldberg Festival Orchestra before joining The Barber of Seville on the National Tour.

   
Cast Richard Strivens (Figaro); Felicity Hammond, Ailsa Mooney (Susanna); Ashley Thorburn (Count Almaviva); Anne-Marie Hetherington (Countess Almaviva); Orlando Schenk (Bartolo, Antonio); Anna-Louise Wood (Marcellina); Andrew Morton, Dennis Haggerty (Don Basilio); Sarah Castle (Cherubino); Charlotte Jackman, Lisa Moffat (Barbarina).
Production Team Mark Tinkler (director); Jeremy Silver, Rosalind Jones, Duncan Robertson (conductor, pianist); Annabel Lee (designer); Rachel Shipp (lighting designer).
Venues Dulwich Festival; Thames Ditton; ADC Theatre Cambridge; Ryan Theatre, Harrow School; Leighton Buzzard Theatre; Limelight Theatre, Aylesbury; Institute of Directors, London; Hovingham Hall, Ryedale Festival; Players Theatre, London; Old Town Hall, Hemel Hempstead; Lincoln’s Inn, London; Cholmondely Castle; Longborough Festival; Cressing Temple Festival; Watermans Arts Centre; Ustinov Studio, Theatre Royal Bath; Kings Lynn Arts Centre; Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow; Queens Hall Edinburgh; Haddo House, Aberdeen; Brick Lane Music Hall; Queen’s College Taunton; West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge; Stubbings House, Maidenhead; Marlborough College.
Partners Ryedale Festival; Goldberg Ensemble; Wimbledon School of Art; London College of Fashion; Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.
Supporters Friends of EPOC, MRC Consultants Ltd; Limit plc; Roebuck Ventures Ltd; Stubbings Nursery; Rice-Jones & Smiths Solicitors; Lloyd Piggott Accountants.

“Once in a while - not often - there is a production of the Marriage of Figaro in which everything conspires to reassert what we all know but do not always perceive: that this is the greatest of all operas. The performance may be by a star cast in one of the world's great theatres or - as on Monday - by a team of ingenues in the improbable surroundings of a small Edinburgh concert hall, but when the magic works you are instantly aware that it has done so.  Camberwell Pocket Opera's Figaro, with ingeniously minimalist decor and some wonderfully interactive young singers - undoubtedly worked In a big opera house it might not - could not - have been so emotionally potent, but in close-up its effect was overwhelming, with every character, major or minor, precisely and lovingly observed .......... this was a Figaro in a thousand.”

Conrad Wilson, The Herald (Glasgow)

“An impressively strong young cast responds to Tinkler’s direction with relish.  They should all be performing it in larger houses.”

David Blewitt  The Stage

“Mozart would have loved it - the freshness, the energy, the sense of a young cast truly united in the telling of a story with the drama as vivid as the music and the singing, the serious a?las apart, delivered as glorious glittering gossip Mark Tinkler's production uses simple, eloquent shapes which open like giant wardrobes (handy for concealing illicit lovers and eavesdropping servants) and moves his cast with  near-flawless skill.”

Mary Miller -  The Scotsman

“.......... somebody had the excellent idea of bringing operas across to Edinburgh, where the Festival Theatre is about as ideal for opera as anything in this world. Annabel Lee's delightful sets would have fitted any stage; basically three painted boxes that could be opened, swivelled round, moved across the stage and permutated in many combinations with lots of spirit and sparkle and a certain amount of careless abandon.  Most important of all, this performance attracted a large audience and, in the end, brought the house down.”

Raymond Monelle, Opera

“Might I suggest that Scottish Opera transfers its base to Sunderland … leaving the way open for Camberwell Pocket Opera to move into the Theatre Royal, Glasgow …”

correspondent to the Glasgow Herald

“Camberwell Pocket Opera's neat and often sexy touring version of Mozart's masterpiece gives genuine pleasure.  Director Mark Tinkler ensures a clean narrative and is inventive at important moments, not afraid to point up the physicality of sexual hunger - something which Mozart on his cloud must surely enjoy though it may upset devotees of the clean. An impressively strong young cast responds to Tinkler's direction with relish.  They should all be performing it in larger houses.”

David Blewitt The Stage

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La Mère Coupable

Concert performances of the final part of Beaumarchais’ Figaro trilogy performed in the Lost Operas concert performance format at the Player’s Theatre, London. British première.

   
Cast Margaret Cameron (Suzanne); Adrian Powter (Figaro); Anne-Marie Hetherington (Countess Almaviva); Stefan Holmström (Count Almaviva); Ludmila Marchadier (Florestine); Andrew Mackenzie Wicks (Léon); Martin Nelson (Bégearss), Andrew Foster (Maître Fal).
Artistic Team Mark Tinkler (director); Jeremy Silver (conductor, pianist);
Venues Players Theatre, Charing Cross, London.
Partners Friends of EPOC; MRC Consultants Ltd; Limit plc; Roebuck Ventures Ltd; Stubbings Nursery; Rice-Jones & Smiths Solicitors; Lloyd Piggott Accountants.

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