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Bampton Classical Opera:Stephen Storace's Bride and Gloom(Gli sposi malcontenti)

Tuesday September 17, 2019 at 19:00
St John's Smith Square, London
£38, £28, £18
Phone for tickets: 020 7222 1061
Other Sources: by post: St John's Smith Square, London SW1P 3HA
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Gli sposi malcontenti, 'Bride and Gloom' - Stephen Storace

This year Bampton Classical Opera is staging Stephen Storace’s lively comedy of unhappy newlyweds 'Gli sposi malcontenti' (1785) under the title 'Bride and Gloom'. The libretto is by Gaetano Brunati, in an English translation by Brian Trowell, and the director/designer is Jeremy Gray.

Stephen Storace is an undeservedly neglected 18th century composer, who was the brother of the legendary soprano Nancy Storace (Mozart’s first Susanna in 'Le nozze di Figaro'). Stephen and Nancy spent time in Vienna from 1785-87, and were friends with Mozart. 'Gli sposi malcontenti' was commissioned in 1785 by the Emperor Joseph II, and partly came about because the Emperor was infatuated with Nancy. Unfortunately on opening night Nancy lost her voice in the first Act, and retired from the stage for several months. 'Gli sposi malcontenti' was one of several operas which had an effect on Mozart and Da Ponte in their creation of 'Figaro' and 'Così fan tutte'.

Stephen Storace returned to England a couple of years later, and introduced Viennese classical style to London. His hugely popular English operas dominated the Drury Lane Theatre from 1788 until his death in 1796. Storace had a lyrical gift and more sense of the theatre than practically any other English opera composer of the eighteenth century apart from Thomas Arne. His hugely successful later London operas such as ‘The Pirates’ helped establish a trend which eventually led to Gilbert and Sullivan.


Newly-wed Casimiro and Eginia hardly seem to be enjoying a state of marital bliss. Why does Eginia sleep on her own, and why is her ex, Artidoro, still hanging around? He now seems to have an eye for the undoubted charms of Casimiro’s sister, Enrichetta – but she’s also attracted the lustful interest of dull and dusty Dr Valente, a man likely to turn nasty if thwarted…

Bampton Classical Opera is delighted that Gavan Ring joins the company for Bride and Gloom, having previously performed for Bampton in Mozart’s ‘La finta semplice’. These will be among Gavan’s first performances as a tenor, having already enjoyed a highly successful career as a baritone, including appearances with Glyndebourne, Garsington and Wexford. The talented team of singers assembled includes both company debuts and some familiar faces.

There will be a pre-performance talk at 6pm

St John's Smith Square
Smith Square
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