GRANGE PARK OPERA IS A CHARITY    |    DONATE TO BAMBER GASCOIGNE LEGACY PROJECT

Island of Dreams

A treacherous game

SUMMER 2024

Shakespeare’s Tempest has attracted composers across the centuries. Its most recent reinvention comes from Anthony Bolton, whose Life & Death of Alexander Litvinenko thrilled Grange Park Opera audiences in 2021.

We welcome back director Sir David Pountney who adopts an ingenious filmic approach to conjure the magic of Prospero’s island and a magic carpet ride.

Brett Polegato stars as Prospero in this world première.

An opera in two acts

Sung in English

Music  Anthony Bolton

Libretto from Shakespeare’s The Tempest abridged by R.D. Hamilton & Anthony Bolton

First performance 11 July 2024, Grange Park Opera, Surrey

Back to What’s On

Cast & Creatives

PROSPERO, magician and former Duke of Milan  BRETT POLEGATO
MIRANDA, his daughter FFION EDWARDS
ARIEL, his captive servant spirit HUGH CUTTING
CALIBAN, a native of the island, Prospero’s slave ANDREAS JANKOWITSCH

ALONSO, King of Naples  WILLIAM DAZELEY
FERDINAND, his son  LUIS GOMES
SEBASTIAN, the King’s brother ∙ HENRY GRANT KERSWELL

ANTONIO, Prospero’s brother who stole his Dukedom of Milan ∙ PHILIP CLIEVE
GONZALO, his councillor HARRY NICOLL
TRINCULO, his jester ADRIAN THOMPSON
STEPHANO, his drunk butler RICHARD SUART

CONDUCTOR GEORGE JACKSON
DIRECTOR SIR DAVID POUNTNEY
STAGE VIDEO DESIGNER DAVID HANEKE
COSTUME DESIGNER APRIL DALTON
LIGHTING DESIGNER TIM MITCHELL
MOVEMENT SEETA PATEL

Before the opera begins

Prospero was Duke of Milan. His Dukedom was stolen by his brother Antonio, aided by the King of Naples,  Alonso. Prospero, with his infant daughter Miranda, escaped to an island where he has been living ever since. Using his magical powers he has enslaved Caliban, the island’s only inhabitant, and a local spirit Ariel.

 

Act 1

Scene 1
The dream begins with the gentle lap of surf.

Prospero conjures up a violent storm to batter the nearby ship carrying the people who betrayed him.

Prospero’s brother,  Antonio, is attended by his councillor Gonzalo, his jester Trinculo ​and his butler Stephano.  Alonso, King of Naples, is attended by his son Ferdinand and his brother Sebastian.

The ship splits into pieces.

Scene 2
Prospero’s daughter, Miranda, has been watching the ship in peril and is distraught at the thought of lost lives.

Her father reassures her: all will be well. He explains how they escaped when his Dukedom was stolen by his brother.  They were pushed out into the unknown…

It is Prospero’s servant spirit  Ariel who has executed the order to wreck the ship.  Ariel explains the ship’s passengers are dispersed across the island. Prospero conspires to split up the seven men and promises  Ariel that he will soon be freed.

Prospero and Miranda visit Caliban, the island’s sole native inhabitant.

Scene 3
Four of the seven passengers find themselves washed up together:  Alonso the King of Naples, his brother Sebastian, the Duke of Milan, Antonio, and his councillor Gonzalo.

Alonso is worried about what his missing son, Ferdinand.

Ariel, invisible to the mortals, sends them to sleep.

The Duke of Milan persuades Sebastian to kill his brother the King of Naples but Ariel intervenes. Sebastian and Antonio pretend their swords were drawn to defend the others.

Scene 4
Miranda, who has never before encountered a young man, sees Ferdinand from a distance. They meet and immediately fall in love.

Spirit voices sing.

Scene 5 Another part of the island
Caliban is terrified of Trinculo the jester and hides under his cloak. Trinculo crawls under the cloak with Caliban.

Trinculo’s drunk friend, Stephano the butler, was washed up on shore with a barrel of wine. Seeing Caliban and Trinculo under the cloak, he thinks it is a monster.

Stephano pours wine into Caliban’s mouth who quickly becomes drunk and offers to serve Stephano as a slave.

Scene 6 Another part of the island
Ferdinand is mesmerised by Miranda. Prospero blesses their union.

 

Act 2

Scene 7
Caliban is still drunk and tells Stephano how his island is ruled by a magician, Prospero, who has cheated him of his island.

Ariel persuades Stephano to kill Prospero, take Miranda as his wife and rule the island.  A hectic happy atmosphere is interrupted by awful spirit voices. Caliban reassures them: the island is full of noises.

Scene 8
The search for Ferdinand has exhausted Alonso, Sebastian, Antonio and Gonzalo.  There is a banquet and Ariel announces that Alonso, Sebastian and Antonio are wicked for stealing Prospero’s birth right.

Prospero has his enemies in his power.

Scene 9
Prospero prepares Ferdinand and Miranda for their marriage. He takes them on a magic carpet to their future wedding in Naples.

Ariel has led Caliban, Stephano and Trinculo into a filthy pond but spirits chase them out. Prospero sends Ariel to punish them.

Prospero’s plans are coming together: the nobles are now all his prisoners. However, he tells  Ariel to release them as he plans to give up his magic.

Scene 10
Prospero summons everyone. They are astonished to be told that they are forgiven for their treachery.  Ariel will soon be freed.

He shows Alonso his son, Ferdinand, playing chess with Miranda.

They sing about adventures and the power of dreams.

They will all sail back to Naples.

 

Epilogue

Prospero asks the audience for forgiveness.

Spirit voices sing and the opera ends, as it began, with the sound of surf.

Performance dates

Thursday 11 July 5:45pm
Saturday 13 July 5:15pm

With thanks

Island of Dreams is sponsored by the Bolton family.

Booking dates

Pioneers, Singer Sponsors & Chairman’s Circle: 10 October
Revels: 24 October
Hippocrates: 7 November
Archimedes: 12 December
Plato: 9 January 2024
Public: 6 February 2024

JOIN

 

Tickets

Thursday 11 July 2024

5:45pm

Saturday 13 July 2024

5:15pm