Resurrecting The Vampyre
A rare Gothic treat is in store for Halloween as a Berwick venue plays host to The Vampyre.
Berwick Festival Opera will present the near 200-year-old tale at The Maltings Henry Travers Studio this weekend.
It is the most ambitious production arising from The Maltings’ three-year partnership with the North East’s flagship opera company Rocket Opera, featuring the latest lighting and projection equipment.
And the cast includes Berwick Festival Opera stalwarts Austin Gunn, local resident Tamsin Davidson and Kath Ireland.
The production harks back to John Polidori’s literary sensation of the same name in 1819 that brought together the numerous threads of folklore and Gothic romance that still shapes the vampire image we have today, following the ghoulish tale of a dead man able to come back to life by drinking the blood of the living.
Within a decade of the book Heinrich Marschner had turned it into a smash hit opera that played to packed houses all over Europe.
Now rarely seen, the Berwick production is one of the Uk’s first live professional performances of the string quartet and keyboard version that was staged shortly after the original full-scale premiere in Leipzig in March 1828.
The show has been edited to offer a pacier, more audience-friendly production that lasts just two hours with an interval, and it is set in a more contemporary world. However, sung in English, every note is one of those that so enthralled audiences almost two centuries ago.
The intimate studio setting should only add to the gripping entertainment.
The opera, which is suitable for over eights, can be seen on Saturday, at 7.30pm.
Tickets cost £20, £18 concessions, free for accompanied children under 16, available from The Maltings Box Office on 01289 330999 or www.maltingsberwick.co.uk