Careline Theatre Alcalali

Opera Gala 2000

About Viva La Ópera

Viva La Ópera was formed as recently as 1999. It all came about after a visit to Fontilles in 1998, when we were very impressed with what Careline Theatre managed had managed to achieve here.

We realised that the combination of a beautiful and fully functional theatre together with the lovely setting of Fontilles, provided an ideal venue for an opera gala based on the Glyndebourne theme in UK. Glyndebourne may be to opera what Royal Ascot is to horse racing and Henley Regatta is to rowing. It combines high quality entertainment with a chance for the aficionados to dress for the occasion and to take along their picnic and enjoy a very special occasion. Such has been the continued success of Glyndebourne over the years that the biggest stars of opera worldwide are attracted to perform and several, similar galas have become established, bringing the genre to a much wider audience.

Viva La Ópera is basically a small group of opera singers and specialists, keen to be involved in their art, but without a permanent base from which to operate. We discussed the idea with Careline Theatre and they were quick to see the potential for an area with many opera fans who had very little opportunity to see opera live on stage. A first opera gala was planned for September 1999.

Two remarkable things happened in the build up period. Firstly, we managed to attract the attention of Lord and Lady Harewood and they very kindly signified their intention to attend. Lord Harewood is a very keen supporter of opera in UK and has been deeply involved in opera administration over the years, so their visit was particularly welcome. The second development was that, when the tickets went on sale, they were all sold within one week and there was a clamour for more. At that stage it was decided to repeat the gala the following week and, again, all the tickets sold out in a remarkably short space of time.

The two occasions both proved to be a great success. Despite the inevitable limitations, what was presented on stage was extremely well received, particularly by those who really know their opera. Equally, those for whom opera was something of a new experience were pleased to find that many of the arias and melodies were not totally unfamiliar after all. The weather was kind and Fontilles generously supplied many tables and chairs for those who had not brought their own, enabling the mid­show picnic to be most enjoyable for everyone.

With the success of 1999 we have been encouraged to work towards making the opera gala an annual event, with every chance of it growing in stature in future years. Since music is an international language we thought it an excellent idea to bring all nationalities together under the same roof to enjoy the one thing we all have in common. We have moved the date to May this year to allow the best chance of ideal weather and we have increased the number of performances to three. We also have a larger cast and a specially recruited chorus.
We will be looking to make even more progress in 2001 and, with that in mind, one step we would like to take would be to create a permanent chorus. We sincerely hope that you enjoy Opera Gala 2000 and we thank you for your support.

Cast List Part One

Act I of `La Traviata'
Violetta Abigail Horro (soprano)
Alfredo John Brecknock tenor)
Flora Linda Morell-Vessey (soprano)
Gastone Peter Wittmann (tenor)
Marquis Julian Moyle (baritone)
Baron Manfred Braden (bass)
Servant Peter Clague (baritone)



Geraldine van Rhyn (soprano) Janny van Dooren (mezzo soprano) Simone van Roy (mezzo soprano) Wilhelmina Strougje (mezzo soprano) Waldemar Huber (tenor) Peter Wittmann (tenor) Stan Soetwey (tenor) Aired Runz (bass) Manfred Braden (bass)
Act I of `La Boheme'
Mimi Manuela Muñoz (soprano)
Rodolfo John Brecknock

Act I of `Lakme'

Lakme Abigail Horro
Mallika Linda Morrell-Vessey
Act III of `Rigoletto'
Gilda Abigail Horro
Maddalena Linda Morrell-Vessey
Duke John Brecknock
Rigoletto Julian Moyle
Sparafucile Peter Clague
Part Two

Da Geh'Ich Ins Maxim (Lehar)

Julian Moyle
The Laughing Song (Strauss) Linda Morrell-Vessey
Dein Ist mein Ganzes Herz (Lehar) John Brecknock
Audition Aria (Strauss) Abigail Horro
Anna What's Wrong With You? (Pall) Linda/John/Julian
Love's A Game (Lehar) Peter Clague
Let Me Dance (Kalman) Linda/John
Wiener Fiakerlied (Pick) Julian Moyle

Gern Hab Ich Die Frau'n Gekusst (Lehar)   

John Brecknock
Vilia (Lehar) Manuela Muñoz
Sommernacht (Lehar) Abigail/John
Dui Du. Finale. Fledermaus [Strauss) Abigail/Linda/ John/Julian


Production Director

John Brecknock
Stage Director John Bennetts
Chorus Mistress Siân Carlin
Stage Manager John A. Booth
Scenic Artists John Bennetts, Tats Taylor, Brian Denton
Scenery & Properties Viva La Ópera and Careline Theatre
Wardrobe by Maureen Elizabeth
Backstage Crew Bill Parsons, Roy Martin
Lights Ray Davis
Sound Brian Hight
Follow Spot Operators Terry Farrow, Charlie Lennon
Bar Management Elaine Farrow
Bar Operators Ray Baker, Michael Banks, Peter Hosking, Terry Kent, Vi Skinner, Hazel Worrall
Front of House Manager Alan Brett
Front of House Staff Jean Barber, Ray Barber, Shirley Barrett, Murray Brett, Rita Brett, Linda Chadwick, Graham Chadwick, Sue Dearson, Sylvia Hight, Ann Hosking, Sylvia Kent, Angela McAdam, Richard McEnery, Sylvia McEnery, Vida Pearce, Betty Pitt, Pamela Simon, Vicente Simon.
Box Office Ticket Sales John A. Booth, Sue Holly
Programme Graham B. Chadwick


JOHN BRECKNOCKJohn has sung in some of the very best companies and in some of the most prestigious venues throughout the world during a career spanning thirty years. In addition he has made many concert appearances, performed frequently on both television and radio in UK and abroad, and his work is available on records and CD. He has even written a book, "Scaling The High C's" published in 1996 in both UK and USA. His glorious voice and impressive stage presence thrilled audiences at Fontilles in our initial Opera Gala last year.

Born in Long Eaton near Nottingham, John studied at The Birmingham School of Music and then with the late Dennis Dowling, Principal Baritone with English National Opera. He joined Sadler’s Wells Opera in 1967 and was there when they moved to The London Coliseum as The English National Opera. He sang many leading roles before he became involved with a new production of “Werther” in 1977 and was hailed as a leading exponent of Massenet’s music. He went on to perform in the opera throughout Europe and North America.

John has performed in some of the very finest venues, including The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and The Metropolitan Opera House in New York (opposite Dame Joan Sutherland in “Don Giovanni”). His work has also been seen and appreciated in the Paris Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Victoria State Opera in Australia, and across the Atlantic in Ottawa, Edmonton, Toronto, San Francisco, Miami, San Diego, Tulsa, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Santiago (Chile) and Buenos Aires.

Abigail Horro coloratura soprano

Abigail HorroAbigail Horro was born in La Coruña and moved to Alicante as a child. At the age of seven she started her musical studies with the violin and then the piano. By the age of sixteen it was clear that she was also developing a singing voice of considerable potential and, at eighteen, started a new phase of her voice training by studying with Valencian soprano Manuela Muñoz. Soon her voice changed from a lyrical to a coloratura soprano.

In 1999 she completed her violin studies at The Conservatory of Music of Santiago of Compostela, obtaining en excellent degree. Last year she also obtained the title of 'Professional of Lyrical Song' and was awarded the prize for Extraordinary Professional Degree.

Abigail now teaches violin at the school of music in El Campello and plays with the Symphonic Orchestra of Alicante. where she is a founder member, She is also a key part of the 'Orfeon Mare Nostrum' of Alicante, directed by D. Angel M. Teruel, with whom she has performed as soloist in venues in Alicante and throughout the province.

For several years she has taken part in "Velados Musicales", which are celebrated each summer in the Santa Cruz area of Alicante. Recently Abigail sang as soloist with the Alicante Svmphony Orchestra under it's director D. Juan lborra.

Now Abigail makes her debut in Opera Gala 2000 and we welcome her both as a musician and singer of considerable note, but also as a Spanish national providing, along with Manuela Muñoz, a very valued international element to our production.

MANUELA MUÑOZManuela Muñoz was born in Valencia, the city in which she started her musical studies at Higher Conservatory of Music "Joaquin Rodrigo" in 1977. After being awarded the Special Prize for song and also the prize of the "Spanish Musical Union", she received a grant from the Culture Council to expand her studies at the Conservatory of the City of Vienna from 1988 to 1993. There she obtained the Final Diploma for the Speciality of Opera in 1991.

In 1996 Manuela received a grant from the Organisation of the International Courses, Manuela de Falla and Victoria de los Angeles'. She has studied vocal techniques with Victoria de los Angeles herself and with Elena Obratzova. Manuela has performed numerous concerts in Spain, Austria and the Czech Republic, sharing the billing with many well­known artistes.

She was a member of the panel of judges for the 'Ravel - Granados Regions Competitions" of Marseilles in 1995. She has been a teacher at the Higher Conservatory of Music 'Oscar Espla in Alicante since 1993 and elsewhere since 1994. She was invited to participate as a teacher of vocal technique in the fifth Lyrical Festival of Callosa d' en Sarriá, together with Elena Obratzova and Ana Luisa Chova. Since 1998 she has been an official teacher at the Professional Conservatory of Valencia and she has also given various courses in speech therapy for teachers, invited by "CEFIRE", Benidorm


LINDA MORREL-VESSEYLinda has been deeply involved with music throughout her life. She was born in Rotherham and her mother was a well-known mezzo-soprano who sang extensively throughout UK. Not surprisingly, some of that talent and love of music rubbed off onto Linda and she worked diligently with a number of teachers during her early days. Her training was completed under the guidance of another well­known mezzo-soprano, Margaret Duckworth.

Linda has played many leading roles, mainly in light opera and musicals, throughout northern England. Such has been her success that, as well as being invited to ‘guest' with many companies, she was also asked to direct several amateur productions, including "La Cage Aux Folles" for The Phoenix Operatic Society.

Husband Malcolm is a professional pianist and, since they met nine years ago, they have frequently performed together on the concert platform. Shortly after Opera Gala 2000, Linda and Malcolm will be off for an extended period of working as a duo in what, for them, will be a new venture. They have been engaged by the prestigious Travel Company, Page & May, to perform together on their famous Rhine Cruises throughout the summer.

Julian MoyleAlthough born in Melbourne, Australia, Julian Moyle studied at The Royal College of Music in London.He was Principal Baritone with Sadler's Wells Opera [1960 - 1970), Welsh National Opera (1971 - 1982), and New Sadler's Well Opera (1983 - 1988). He has also appeared with such groups as Opera For All, The Oval Opera Covent Garden, Handel Opera and Neath Opera at Craig-y-Noo in Wales.

Julian has toured widely in Europe with Sadler's Wells and Welsh National Opera, including such centres as Barcelona and Lisbon. His leading roles include Figaro, and Bartolo ("The Barber of Seville"), Figaro and Bartolo  I he Marriage of Figaro"), Malatesta, Germont,
Thapless, Marcel and Alfonso, among many others, besides numerous leading roles in operetta and Gilbert & Sullivan.

Julian also has an extensive concert repertoire comprising Lieder, Melodies, Oratorio, ballads and songs. As if this is not sufficient, he enjoys teaching at his Cardiff studio.
Siân Carlin

Siân CarlinSiân Carlin is a native of Wales, and she trained as a musician at the Royal Academy of Music in London, England.

Her busy and varied career has taken her to Africa and also to the West Indies. Nowadays she concentrates on conducting choirs and she also writes music.

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