On the 2nd, 4th, and 5th September 2021, Duchy Opera will be performing Donizetti’s popular romantic comedy The Elixir of Love at Truro’s brand-new venue, Park House.
Since its debut in 1977, Duchy Opera has been delighting audiences across Cornwall with both traditional and contemporary productions.
It has built up a reputation as one of the finest regional, semi-professional opera companies in the UK, using Cornwall-based performers wherever possible.
As well as looking out for young and emerging talent, Duchy Opera arranges masterclasses with renowned singers and teachers such as Richard Jackson and Russel Smythe.
For this particular opera, in addition to wonderful local talent, the company has engaged a world-renowned music director, as well as professional soloists from across the UK.
In Britain, opera has often been seen as entertainment for a particular demographic, but its popular roots are much more widespread, with Opera Buffa (Comic Opera) having been enjoyed for centuries across Europe by young and old, rich and poor alike – filling the same gap in popular culture that modern television soap operas do today!
Duchy Opera is working hard to engage wider audiences, making opera as accessible as possible so it can be enjoyed by everyone.
The story of The Elixir of Love is both melodramatic and funny, bringing together themes of unattainable love, class, love potions, and subterfuge.
The characters are larger than life, and the music memorable. It is a great story for both opera buffs and first-timers, and the opera has remained consistently popular since it was first performed almost 190 years ago.
Set in a unique location, the opera will be taking place at a charming Georgian country house situated just outside Truro.
About Park House
Positioned near St Clement on the site of the ancient Forest of Moresk, Park House is now owned by Robert and Sam Salvoni.
Opera fans might know that the forest features heavily in the tale of Tristan and Isolde, a 12th-century romance made famous by Wagner’s opera of the same name.
According to the legend, Tristan and Isolde’s illicit passion is fired up by ‘the elixir of love’, leading to their inevitable tragedy.
This inspired Donizetti to create his own Opera on the subject in 1832.
Robert Salvoni from Park House says:
“We’re just thrilled to be opening up our home and hosting this event for the first time. My ancestry is Italian, and it seems a great idea to combine our love of music, food, wine, and my Italian heritage.
“We’re all about reviving the principles of ‘Opera Buffa’, which means being entertained and having fun.”
The opera will take place across three dates, and while the performances will remain the same, each event is a different experience, with different themes and refreshments.
Saturday night is the ‘Gala Dinner’ event, when the evening will start with a welcome glass of Prosecco, followed by an Italian feast created by Rupert and the team from Philleigh Way Cookery School.
Guests will be able to enjoy the produce of popular Cornish brands such as Cecily’s ice cream, Tarquin’s Gin, Navas Tonic, and Wildlife Botanicals, as well as a bar selling a range of specially selected Italian wines from Old Chapel Cellars and Espresso Cornwall’s Coffee Van.
Sunday afternoon is perfect for anyone looking for a memorable day out with the family. Park House will throw open its doors early in the day to host an afternoon picnic with a matinee performance of The Elixir of Love.
Aside from enjoying the performance and introducing youngsters to the world of opera, an ‘Italian Picnic’ will be supplied to you by Rupert and his team. The bar will be open before and after the performance, offering wines and other beverages.
If, on the other hand, you would like to be one of the very first people to attend the opera, then Thursday night will be the perfect way to view the performance. The opening night always carries a fresh and exciting atmosphere, and although there is no meal on offer, all guests can socialise over a drink and discuss the performance throughout the evening.
About Duchy Opera
Duchy Opera is proud to be part of the Cornish community and to provide entertainment for our local population.
The performances of The Elixir of Love would not be possible without the generous support of headline sponsors and supporting organisations. For this year’s production, Duchy Opera are pleased to be working with Ocean BMW, PKF Francis Clark, Stephens Scown, and The Cornwall Kitchen Company.
The Duchy Opera and Park House would like to thank all these businesses for their ongoing support, and look forward to seeing them and their guests at the performance later this year.
For anyone interested in learning more about the event, please visit our website at: www.parkhouseopera.com