Duchy Opera’s ‘The Vampire’
I’ve got some excellent news for our British readers! This October the Duchy Opera will be presenting a touring production of Heinrich Marschner’s classic German romantic opera, The Vampire.
Originally adapted from the short story by John Polidori, The Vampire was first performed in 1828, in Leipzig. Since 2011 is the 150th anniversary of Marschner’s death, the Duchy Opera group felt it was the perfect time to bring this beautiful work back to life. They will be performing a new version of The Vampire, a version which be sung in English using a new translation by Duchy’s Musical Director Paul Drayton and the show’s director Keith Sparrow.
While the opera is based on John Polidori’s tale, Marschner set his original version in the Scottish Highlands, but Keith is relocating it slightly south to the Gorbals area of Glasgow, in 1954 due to the history.
“I’m very interested in the idea of using interesting or dramatic real-life events in history as a back-drop to opera stories,” said Keith. “What drew me to that particular time and place in Glasgow, was a curious incident which saw a horde of young boys descend on the Southern Necropolis cemetery in the Gorbals on the night of September 23rd 1954, armed with knives and sharpened sticks, in search of a 7ft Vampire which they firmly believed was lurking there. This belief was allegedly the result of a story in an American horror comic, called ‘The Vampire with the Iron Teeth’, and led directly to a change in censorship laws with the introduction of ‘Children and Young Persons (Harmful Publications) Act 1955, banning the showing of ‘incidents of a repulsive or horrible nature’ in publications aimed at minors (such as comics!). The idea for The Vampire then was simple – what if the rumors were true, and there really WAS a Vampire hiding out in the Necropolis cemetery? Cue blood-curdling laughter and a terrified shriek!”
Performances are as follows:
- OCT 14th HELSTON Epworth Hall
- OCT 16th WADEBRIDGE Town hall
- OCT 20th CALLINGTON Town hall
- OCT 25th TRURO Burrell Theatre
- OCT 26th TRURO Burrell Theatre
- OCT 28th FALMOUTH Princess Pavilion
- OCT 29th ST IVES Gulidhall*
*Special Gala performance to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Carn to Cove, the rural arts touring programme.
What do you think of the opera? If you live in the area, do you plan on going? If I could I most definitely would.