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Opera in Oborne

18 August 2017

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August 11th, 12th and 13th saw another fantastic weekend of music at St. Cuthbert's Church, Oborne.  On the Friday and Saturday evenings the audience were wowed by 'A Grand Night of Opera', four scenes from four wonderful operas; Die Fledermaus, La Traviata, L'elisir d'amore and La Boheme.  On Sunday, the usual but ever-popular Gala Concert was a huge success.  All three nights were sell-out performances.  Proceeds go the upkeep and repair of our historic church.

The week before, the church was also used by the Village Hall to host a Jazz night with the Wriggle Valley Jazz Band.  People were dancing in the aisle between the pews (including our lovely Vicar!).  

At The Grange, we are delighted to have been able to support this wonderful event - it is amazing what a small village community can achieve when they pull together!

How it Began

Opera in Oborne began out of a chance meeting between Oborne residents, Sir Robert and Lady Susan Corbett and Gill Ford, the musical director of a group of opera singers, Classical Connections. A lasting friendship between the whole merry band ensued. They often speak wistfully of the night that Sir Robert shimmied to La Bayadere!

Some years later, St Cuthbert's was looking for a fund-raiser and Sir Robert and Lady Susan had the wonderful idea of hosting a concert at St. Cuthbert’s Church performed by Classical Connections. On a very cold January evening in 2012, four singers and a pianist gave a breath-taking performance of popular arias to Oborne’s residents. Such was the success of the evening that they were immediately press-ganged into returning. 2013 saw another wonderful performance, but the unreliable church heating and the icicles on the pulpit persuaded the villagers that this should be a summer event.

In 2014, to refresh the format, it was decided to produce an abridged opera. With the help of Gill and the singers, Mozart’s The Magic Flute was decided upon and a version was arranged by Stephen Brown. On a balmy August weekend, the inaugural Oborne Opera Weekend took place. The Magic Flute was a triumph, and the Sunday concert was as good as ever. All three evenings were sell-out performances.  In 2015 and 2016, this successful format was used again, with Don Giovanni and The Marriage of Figaro featuring alongside the Sunday concert of Arias. 2017 saw 'A Grand Night of Opera'.  For information on 2018 watch this space!  You can email jonathan@thegrange.co.uk to be added to the mailing list for the opera and you will be kept up-to-date of any performances.

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