Guildford Opera  : Cast Details, Reviews, and Images

La Sonnambula  Vincenzo Bellini



Young orphan girl

Eleanor Ross


Young wealthy Farmer

Yuri Sabatini



Letitia Perry

Count Rodolfo

Lord of the castle

James Davis


Mill owner

Alison Sutherland



Gary Maslen


Tony Bundy

Musical Director

Francis Griffin

Stage Director

Kevin John

Leader  Violin 2  Viola Cello Bass Flute Oboe  Clarinet  Bassoon  Horn 1  Horn 2 Tina Bowles  Lawrence Lea Jane Postlethwaite  Jayne Spencer Sharron Davies Elizabeth Cutts Sara Grint Tracey Thurlow Olwen Griffin Jonathan Wood  Fiona Brockhurst Orchestra

Surrey Advertiser Review

“Originally presented in Milan in 1831 La Sonnambula (The Sleepwalker) by Bellini was an immediate success

and rapidly transferred to London during the same year. This is hardly surprising because nearly 200 years

later, it remains an escapist delight and was well chosen by The Guildford Opera Company for its 2012 production

at The Electric Theatre. It has a romance and enviable lightness of touch. Yes, one has to suspend

belief on occasions as the story line unfolds but Bellini’s score possesses a magic that encourages this,

Set in an isolated Italian village the inhabitants are wary of a local apparition that wanders after dark, we

discover it is the beautiful Amina (Eleanor Ross) who sleepwalks. Amino is betrothed to rugged Elvino (Yuri

Sabatini) but one night wanders innocently into the bed-chamber of Rudolfo (James Davis) where she is discovered

by the Guildford Opera Chorus.

There are inevitably sub-plots with jealous tension from Amina’s love rival, Lisa. Of course, everything is

happily resolved by the end of the evening, even if Lisa (a spirited interpretation by Letitia Perry) hasn’t got

her man!

Over many years I have taken joy from the strength of the Guildford Chorus their voices possess a collective

effect that soars into the auditorium and in La Sonnambula that impact is continued.

Despite their power I detected a thinning number of male voices which stage director Kevin John artfully

spread around the set, disguising the imbalance of men to women.

This year it was the line-up of principals that held the audience spell-bound It is arguable- but I will argue

here – that La Sonnambula is a vehicle for Amina and soprano voice

Bellini’s score has attracted both Callas and Sutherland to tackle the role described as “renowned” for its

difficulty and requiring a complete command of trills and florid technique” With Eleanor Ross we had technique

and a voice that thrilled and filled the theatre.”

Jeff Thomson

Noda Review  14/11/2012

“Vincenzo Bellini’s opera The Sleepwalker is a pastoral love story with intriguing twists, it was first premiered at the TeatroCarcano Milan in March 1831. Eleanor Ross (Amina) and Yuri Sabatini (Elvino) as the betrothed lovers did justice to Bellini’s arias and well supported by Letitia Perry (Lisa) as Elvino’s former lover. Letitia’s acting abilities were well displayed as she tried to hide her feelings for her former lover Elvino. James Davis (Count Rodolfo) has played many roles with GOC and did justice to the part. Alison Sutherland (Teresa) and Gary Maslen (Alessio) both contributed to the opera with fine performances. The singing of the chorus members enhanced the production although Stage Director Kevin John’s settings seemed at times to be a little static. Musical Director Francis Griffin brought out the best of the orchestra accompanying the principals and cast. Simple sets with suitable lighting effects. A large audience enjoyed the evening.”

Author: Betty Haslam