Benet Catty Productions

Il Tabarro & Dido & Aeneas

A double bill of one-act operas by
Purcell and Puccini

April 2008



Set Designer
Benet Catty

Musical Director
David Cousell
Derek Carden

Lighting Designer
Benet Catty & David Pike

Porcupine Productions

Graham Lawder Stone
Sarah Tyler
Mick Pardoe
Annette Dumville
Des Muller
Jon Meredith
Jo Coker
Carole Watson

Sarah Tyler
Mick Pardoe
Annette Dumville
Sarah Borges
Carole Watson
Tina Bishop
Christine Aldridge
Jon Meredith
Steve Parish

A double bill of one act operas by two of the great composers, Puccini and Purcell, performed by a company with an unusual mix of pros, semi-pros, former pros and amateurs at Granthamís Guildhall.

IL TABARRO (The Cloak) is part of Pucciniís Il Trittico threesome of one act operas. Set on a boat, it follows the love triangle between Giorgetto, her curmudgeonly husband Michele and the workman Luigi. Although there are several other peripheral characters who provide intermittent light relief Il Tabarro is largely about the inter-relationship of the three characters which ends in tragedy and is told with ravishing Puccini melodies and a subtle, naturalistic libretto. Here, well acted by three experienced performers, this classic piece was shown off as a mini masterpiece from the composer of the more famous Turandot and Madam Butterfly.

DIDO & AENEAS is Purcellís perennial favorite, following the love affair of the two eponyms set against the dramas of the age. Staged here with the supporting castís constant presence as a greek chorus, some witty and syncopated choreography and a spectacular lighting design, Dido was a classy production which after quite a complicated rehearsal period ended up paying off its considerable expenditure of time and effort.

With immaculate musical detail from MD David Cousell and some very strong support for the leads by Jo Coker and Sarah Borges, among others, this unusual blend of talents and experiences came to succeed in creating a non-traditional staging of two great classical masterpieces.

A concert staging of IL TABARRO was later presented with many of the same cast for charity performances in 2010 and 2011, directed by Benet and based on the Grantham staging.


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