Ruxandra Donose

Meet the 2020 casts

The 2020 season combines the traditional and the unexpected.

The world premiere of The Life & Death of Alexander Litvinenko contains all the themes ripe for opera: power, politics, betrayal, love, jeopardy.

Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, the grandest of all Italian grand operas, was triumphant when first staged at La Scala, Milan.

The season is rounded off by perennial favourite La Bohème and Meet Me in St Louis, the stage version of MGM’s iconic movie, a vehicle for Judy Garland. Jo Davies directs a show that oozes charm. Like Hamlet, it contains lines you didn’t know you knew.

For The Final Fling we welcome guest artists from The Royal Ballet for the very first Ballet in the Woods on 19 July.

What's on

Ponchielli’s La Gioconda, our biggest operatic statement, opens on 4 June with a starry international cast of vocal powerhouses.

Our line-up fits the demanding bill; Joseph Calleja, fresh from Simon Boccanegra at the Met, returns as Enzo.
Calleja opened our first season in Surrey as Cavaradossi in Tosca. 

He heads a team of GPO favourites: Donose, Fiorillo, Bayley, Stout.


The title role, Gioconda, marks a house début of the remarkable South African soprano Amanda Echalaz, already acclaimed at ROH and the Met.

Rambert School presents the famous Dance of the Hours.

Amanda Echalaz

Ruxandra Donose returns as Laura in La Gioconda, after her exceptional Princess Eboli in Don Carlo last summer.

She appears in Don Carlo and Tristan and Isolde at Covent Garden next summer and as Elektra in Orest at Wiener Staatsoper.

Ruxandra is studying for a PhD whilst singing at opera houses worldwide.

Gemma Summerfield makes her house début with Grange Park Opera as Musetta in La Bohème.

Gemma has been described as “pure vocal champagne” and she was a finalist in the Glyndebourne Opera Cup in 2018.

She has previously sung Fiordiligi in Cosi Fan Tutte with Bury Court Opera and Pamina in The Magic Flute with Scottish Opera.

Gemma Summerfield
Cody Austin

American tenor Cody Austin plays Rodolfo in La Bohème in a house début.

His voice, described as “a warm, rich quality… with an evenness that’s rare” recently sang Pinkerton Madama Butterfly in Colorado, Pittsburgh and North Carolina.

Other engagements include Alfred in Die Fledermaus at Opera Tampa.

Offstage, Cody supports baseball team the Houston Astros.


We look forward to welcoming you back to the Theatre in the Woods in 2020.

Public booking opens Tuesday 3 March.


More about the cast

Ailish Tynan

Ailish Tynan returns to sing Mimì in La Bohème. Ailish was Vixen in our 2009 production of The Cunning Little Vixen. 


Cody Austin

Cody Austin makes his house début with us next summer as Rodolfo in La Bohème.


Joseph Calleja, Tosca

Joseph Calleja is Enzo in La Gioconda. He is a Maltese tenor with an international career like no other.