Guildhall School Presents Digital Double Bill Operas by Respighi & Purcell

By David Salazar

Hundreds of artists have come together to make Guildhall School’s double bill of “Dido and Aeneas” and “La Bella Dormente nel Bosco” into a digital production.

The double bill was originally scheduled as part of the organization’s season but had to be canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19. However, the production team, led by director Olivia Fuchs and conductor Dominic Wheeler endeavored to move forward with the show in a digital space.

Artists from 14 countries around the world all did their part to ensure that the opera would take place. Cast and chorus members filmed their performances via visual direction from Fuchs; these were then edited together by filmmaker Karl Dixon. Meanwhile, instrumentalists recorded their parts in concert with Wheeler.

In sum, over 100 artists participated in the project.

“When we started this project, we had to reinvent our way of working so quickly that we felt it would put too much pressure on everyone involved to share the full finished result publicly,” stated Dominic Wheeler, the Head of Opera at Guildhall School in a press release. “However, whilst the process has certainly been a healthy challenge, it has also been exciting and eye-opening. We feel that the students’ enthusiasm and commitment to telling stories meaningfully in such difficult circumstances transcends all the challenges they’ve faced, and makes us proud to share their work with everyone.”

“Dido and Aeneas” stars Elsa Roux Chamoux, Ema Niklovska, Tom Mole, Lara Marie Müller, Collin Shay, Nils Wanderer, Jack Lindberg, Olivia Boen, Kirsty McLean, and Alexandra Meier.

“La Bella Dormente nel Bosco” stars Ellie Neate, Nils Wanderer, Adam Maxey, Chuma Sijeqa, Lara Marie Müller, Elsa Roux Chamoux, Ema Niklovska, Faryl Smith, Elissa Sreet, Damian Arnold, and Laura Lolita Persivana.

The production can be viewed here through July 1, 2020.