A Buxton International Festival production, with the Northern Chamber Orchestra.
The world premiere of a specially commissioned 40th Anniversary opera pasticcio, illustrating the life and times of Georgiana Cavendish, the 5th Duchess of Devonshire. While her husband was building Buxton’s magnificent Crescent, Georgiana Cavendish was setting London society alight with a mixture of dangerous liaisons, political activism and reckless gambling. Her life (1757–1806) inspired a best-selling biography by Amanda Foreman and the Keira Knightley Hollywood film, The Duchess.
Georgiana’s life is a story of obsession, the high life and celebrity, and of the relationship between two women in an age of male dominance. The score weaves together music by many of the composers Georgiana would have heard: Martín y Soler, the composer of Una cosa rara, quoted in the supper scene of Don Giovanni; Giovanni Paisiello, the most popular opera composer of his day; Stephen Storace, the brother of Nancy Storace, who created the role of Susanna in Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro; Thomas Linley, known as ‘the English Mozart’; and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself.
Lyrics by Michael Williams, text by Janet Plater. Music compiled by Mark Tatlow. Sung in English, with side-titles.
Thanks to The Duke of Devonshire's Charitable Trust, Granada Foundation, Foyle Foundation, Ida Carroll Trust and members of the Georgiana Syndicate for their support.
Samantha Clarke Georgiana
Ben Hulett Duke of Devonshire
Susanna Fairbairn Bess
Olivia Ray Lady Spencer
Geoffrey Dolton Sheridan
Katherine Aitken Grey
Aled Hall Fox
Rhys Thomas Blackmailer
Mark Tatlow Conductor
Matthew Richardson Director
Shelby Williams Assistant Director/Choreographer
Jon Morell Designer
Zoe Spurr Lighting Designer