Music, Mischief and Mayhem – Opera at Layer Marney
Many Colne Stour members will remember Orlando Jopling from his days as the founder Musical Director and Conductor of the wonderful, and much-missed, Stanley Hall Opera productions. Or they may know him from the excellent Roman River concerts he has been organizing for the last fifteen years every September in churches and unusual venues around Colchester.
His latest project is Opera at Layer Marney, a new collaboration with Nicholas and Sheila Charrington. The inaugural production will be Mozart’s Così fan tutte, on Thursday 7th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th July 2022, in the newly renovated Quintin’s Barn within the gardens and grounds of the 500-year-old Layer Marney Tower, in Essex.
Così fan tutte is Mozart’s great exploration of human relationships. It will be performed in English by a cast of talented young singers, directed by Poppy Burton-Morgan and musically directed by Orlando Jopling. The performance relies on Orlando’s reworking of Mozart’s original score for a six-piece chamber orchestra, bringing the colours of each instrument vividly to life and showcasing the talent of the chamber musicians.
Poppy Burton-Morgan is the Artistic Director of Metta Theatre, and has worked with Rupert Goold, Matthew Lloyd, Jonathan Munby, Phyllida Lloyd, Samuel West, Tim Carroll, Peter Duncan, James Conway and Tim Albery among others, and for companies including The Almeida, Opera North, ENO, ETO, Manchester Royal Exchange, Oxford Playhouse and Shakespeare’s Globe.
“Mozart’s delightful comedy of young lovers tying themselves in romantic knots is given a new lease of life in our brand new production” says Poppy. “We have transposed the action to 1970s Cambridge where a bunch of buttoned up students are about to get a tutorial in love-making…”
Before arriving at Layer Marney the company will have completed a 6-week, 25-venue UK tour. The tour is an essential element in the success of the project. It gives informal but valuable opportunities to the young singers, and makes the venture financially viable by spreading the sources of support and enabling a wide variety of people to contribute to and support the company.
Orlando is in the process of setting up a new charity called Wild Arts to support the Layer Marney Opera festival and tour. The long-term vision of Wild Arts is a new opera house, performance space and arts education centre, built from sustainable materials and with regenerative, carbon positive operation.
“The performance centre will enable us to fully realise three founding ideals”, says Orlando. “World-class performance, one-planet living, and 50% of our activity and income spent developing emerging talent and bringing opera and music to young people.”
There are plenty of ways for people in the area to get involved with this new production or to become supporters of the new charity. “You may wish to sponsor one of the singers, or the costumes, or perhaps one of the musicians,” says Orlando. “Our supporters will be a main part of our story and will be invited to rehearsals, dress rehearsals and coaching sessions to see the production take shape. There will also be a fabulous after-show party!”
You are welcome to contact Orlando with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org
2022 - Read about the wonderful new gallery being built in Sudbury for Gainsborough's masterpieces; follow the trail of a tireless local environmental campaigner; get ready for the second EA cultural festival, the Bures music festival and Opera at Layer Marney; discover the beautiful garden of Holm House with its wildflower meadow and lake; travel through the Colne valley along the Gainsborough line; find out where you can get local financial advice; enjoy an illustrated walk in the Stour Valley; and read our Chairman's update on proposed housing developments, solar farms, and the National Grid's Bramford to Twinstead electricity grid reinforcement project.
2020 - Welcome to our 2020 lockdown edition - only published ONLINE. Read about the wonderful Alfred Munnings Exhibition "Behind the Lines"; find out how the beavers have been getting on at the Spains Hall Estate in Finchingfield, introduced back into Essex after an absence of 400 years; explore the link between Ferriers in Bures and the Voyage of the Mayflower, the Salem Witch trials and Wampum belts; read a fascinating interview with Carl Shillingford, talented Michelin chef and keen local forager; and enjoy a celebratory update from Ken Forrester on South African wines and his support for a wonderful local school.
2019 - Read about Tudor living on a grand scale at Alston Court, how Samuel Courtauld & Co. shaped our towns and villages, hear inspiring stories of local vineyards Tuffon Hall and West Street, get an update on the Dedham Vale AONB extension, and take a tour round Polstead Mill, one of East Anglia's beautiful secret gardens.
2018 - Read about Hedingham Castle, a new National Centre for Gainsborough in Sudbury, award-winning new Gins from Adnams, aspects of our Industrial Heritage, the Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds, the Dedham Vale AONB and Stour Valley Project, and take a look at the proposed new Constitution for CSCA..
2016 - Interesting articles on medieval graffiti, farming in the Stour Valley, exploring our AONB, early settlers from the Stour Valley to America, the archaeology of a local farm, a wonderful catalogue of British birds, celebrating a Suffolk joinery business, the weather from a South African winery.