Small picture of Donizetti




Donizetti  Lucrezia Borgia

Buxton Festival, July 10-28, 2009.

(Thanks to the Buxton Festival for providing the photographs below)

 The Buxton Festival 2009 presented two new full stage productions: Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia and Messager's Véronique  and a concert performance of Mendelssohn's Camacho's Wedding (Die Hochzeit des Camacho).  There were also three touring productions: Mozart's Mitridate, Handel's Orlando and Maxwell Davies's The Lighthouse.

The team for Lucrezia Borgia was:-

Lucrezia Borgia - Mary Plazas

Alfonso - David Soar

Gennaro - John Bellemer

Orsini - Miroslava Yordanova

Astolfo - Donald Maxwell

Gubetto - Johnathan Best

Liverotto - Christopher Steele

Gazella - Adrian Clarke

Petrucci - Mark Evans

Vitelozzo - Peter van Hulle

Rustighello - Colin Judson


Conductor - Andrew Greenwood

Director - Stephan Medcalf

Designer - Francis O'Connor

Lighting - John Bishop

The Buxton Festival continued its practice of giving audiences the chance to see rarer operas by presenting Donizetti's Lucrezia Borgia, popular in its day but generally only seen today when providing a vehicle for a star prima donna such as Sutherland. Unfortunately, not for the first time at the festival, illness struck rather inhibiting Plazas's opening night but she made a full recovery for the remaining performances.  Although Plazas was clearly the star of the show, Buxton's production was much more of a team effort with good performances all round, not least the Festival Chorus and Northern Chamber Orchestra under Andrew Greenwood, the festival's artistic director.

Rupert Christiansen in the Daily Telegraph wrote that as "Orsini, the Bulgarian mezzo Miroslava Yordanova sang her rumbustious drinking song with pungent bravado. John Bellemer made an ardent, clarion-toned Gennaro and the excellent young bass baritone David Soar was smoothly sinister as Lucrezia's horrible husband Alfonso". The opera was set as a 1920's or 30's American gangster story, which gave rise to a few good sight gags, such as shooting the B off the Borgia restaurant's neon sign, and did not interfere otherwise.


Lucrezia on first finding Gennaro



Lucrezia trying to persuade her husband to spare Gennaro



Orsini and friends



Orsini and Gennaro



 Lucrezia discovering the death of Gennaro



Lucrezia takes her own life




Page initially published in  2009