OPERA PREVIEW: Alcina produced by Opera Alumnus

November 6, 2016

Turn on, tune in and drop out – but don’t fly off the Händel with Opera Alumnus’ psychedelic production of Alcina.


Translated into English, Händel’s famous opera Alcina is set in Mexico, 1965. Alcina is still bewitching young men, but this time she is using magic mushrooms, and the young men are Americans, running away from being drafted into the Vietnam War.

This exciting new take on Händel’s classic opera will be reimagined and directed by Saskia Wesnigk-Wood with musical director Joe Paxton. This vibrant production is perfect for first time opera goers.

Opera Alumnus is a new Brighton based opera company, founded in 2014 by Joe Paxton who realised that there are limited opportunities for the many wonderful classical performers emerging from British Universities and Conservatoires. Opera Alumnus provides a platform for the finest vocal studies graduates to showcase themselves in a professional production.

Joe Paxton is a Brighton based Music Director who currently works with Brighton Early Music Festival, Brighton Gay Men’s Chorus and at the University of Sussex.

Saskia Wesnigk-Wood is a Brighton based Director, co-founded the New Marlborough Theatre Company and directed the first Brighton version of Schnitzler’s once forbidden play La Ronde in her new translation. Saskia has translated five operas by Philip Glass. She recently translated into English Kepler, an opera about the medieval astronomer, which was commissioned in German by Landestheater Linz in Austria and had its American premiere at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston, South Carolina. Saskia also translated The Woman in Black; plays by Michael Frayn; Peter Whelan, Arnold Wesker.

Event: Alcina – an opera by Georg Friedrich Händel, produced by Opera Alumnus. Conductor: Joe Paxton, Directed/Reimagined by: Saskia Wesnigk-Wood. With Singers: Christine Cunnold, Jessica Wise, Emma Lewis, Lindsay Thomson, Andrew Robinson, Alexander Pullinger

Where: St George’s Church, St Georges Road, Kemp Town BN2 1ED

When: November 17-19

Time: 7.30pm

Cost: £12

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