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In The Stage newspaper this week: May 18

Oliver Mears at the Royal Opera House
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The Stage newspaper comes out once a week and is brimming with industry news, advice, analysis and reviews from all over the UK. Here are some of the highlights from the May 18 issue which focusses on opera…


The Big Interview: Oliver Mears

Covent Garden’s youngest ever director of opera is on a mission to draw new fans to a genre often derided as stuffy and exclusive. He tells George Hall how his love of theatre led to a job assisting playwright Howard Barker before a series of enlightening operatic encounters inspired him to uncover neglected works.

How pop-ups are making opera more accessible than ever

Tete a Tete’s outdoor opera festival in Cubitt Square, near London’s King’s Cross Station in 2015. Photo: Claire Shovelton

Quirky locations and inspired staging are breathing life into opera. Inge Kjemtrup meets the pioneering producers bringing ingenious shows to audiences who might never have appreciated the genre before.

Antony Feeny: Country-house opera: at risk from its own champagne image?

With as many supporters as detractors, country-house exudes an exclusive appeal. Antony Feeny discusses its past, present and future.

Wasfi Kani: ‘Opera is a form of religious aspiration reaching to the stars’

Wasfi Kani. Photo: Robert Workman

Having been ‘turfed out’ of her previous role, impresario Wasfi Kani found herself days later setting up a  700-seat theatre in woodland with the aid of a former TV quiz host. David Gutman reports on her progress.

Michael Chance: ‘Every time I wake up in the morning, I have a different idea’

Michael Chance. Photo: Annelies van der Vegt

As the first artistic director of the Grange Festival, the world-renowned singer talks to Graham Rogers about what’s on offer in its inaugural season and his plans for a more varied programme than the Grange is used to, and not just serious operas but also operetta – as well as ballet, concerts and even a drama season.

Opera Holland Park: ‘The secret to our success? As little bullshit as possible’

It started out as something of a gamble 20 years ago, but west London’s independent Opera Holland Park has flourished, with its arresting programme of late Italian rarities. Its directors tell George Hall why attitude matters.

International: ‘This is the largest open-air stage in the world’

Arena di Verona. Photo: photos: Foto Ennevi/courtesy of Fondazione Arena di Verona

Government spending cuts have left opera companies across Italy in a precarious position, but the Arena di Verona is carrying on regardless. Edward Bhesania finds a packed programme for this year’s opera festival, including Nabucco, Madama Butterfly, Aida and Tosca.

Backstage: Setting the scene for WNO, the West End and far beyond

An operation like no other in the UK, Cardiff Theatrical Services began life as a workshop for a single opera company. Steph Power finds out how it grew to produce sets for theatres across the world.

A notorious past: Wagner’s unfussy place of pilgrimage

Founded by the composer more than 140 years ago, the Bayreuth Festival has been run by his descendants for generations. Gary Khan explores its history, its links to the Nazi regime during the 1930s and 1940s and its progressive modernisation.


Matt Trueman Video archives risk overshadowing live theatre
Samir Bhamra Asian theatre needs ongoing funding
West End Producer Any advice for drama school auditions?
Mary Elizabeth Williams ‘I train over Skype’
Trina Haldar ‘I studied drama alongside engineering’
Careers Clinic Is my schedule putting off agents?
The Green Room How should theatre look in 50 years?

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