Into Opera

The inaugural Norfolk Into Opera Festival has recently taken place, and Adrian James Acoustics was delighted to be one of the festival’s sponsors.

Photography credit: Peter Marsh at Ashmorevisuals

Three operatic performances and a gala concert were staged in the Octagon Barn, just a stone’s throw from the AJA office. For a few days, this remarkable venue was transformed into an intimate setting for Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love.

Photography credit: Peter Marsh at Ashmorevisuals

Capacity audiences enjoyed the opportunity to experience close-up the kind of professional performances normally only available in large venues at very high ticket prices.

Photography credit: Peter Marsh at Ashmorevisuals

Conducted by John Andrews, this new production of The Elixir of Love took place beneath the ancient beamed ceiling of the Octagon Barn.

Octagon Barn ceiling detail. Photography credit: AJA

The stage hire was sponsored by Adrian James Acoustics, and our in-house theatre consultant Ian Rees, played a key role as Technical Director for the production. Ian’s expertise in theatre design and seating layouts ensured the audience very much felt part of the performance.

Opera seating concept. Image: AJA

The aim of Into Opera is to widen the audience for opera in Norfolk and in particular to get more young people involved. In addition to a cast of experienced professional soloists, the production featured children from the Into Opera Youth Company. Educational links with local schoolchildren were an important element prior to the festival, and young performers provided a significant contribution to the performances themselves.

Photography credit: Peter Marsh at Ashmorevisuals

Director Genevieve Raghu devised an inventive interpretation of this operatic favourite by setting the action in 1915, with a lively English translation by David Parry.

Thomas Elwin as Nemorino. Photography credit: Peter Marsh at Ashmorevisuals

The weather held for the opera performances, allowing picnics on the lawn outside the Barn.

Pre-performance picnic for some AJA staff members & families. Photo: AJA

An excellent Gala Concert was another successful part of the festival, and we trust that this festival will be the start of a new operatic tradition – Norfolk’s answer to Glyndebourne.

Octagon Barn interior featuring lighting rig and stage. Photography credit: Peter Marsh at Ashmorevisuals