By Antonio Salieri
Presented by Lunchbreak Opera 

Lunchbreak Opera brings their fast-paced production of Antonio Salieri's Prima la musica e poi le parole to the festival. The opera is a playful and witty look at the internal workings of staging an opera, complete with artistic arguments between composer and librettist as well as infighting between rival singers. 

Performed in an English translation by Lionel Salter.

Stage director: Thomas Holland
Musical director: Matthew O'Keeffe
Set and costume designer: Virginio Lima
Photo (c) Robert Workman
This opera in 1 act, Prima la musica e poi le parole, was commissioned by the Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II and was first performed at Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna in 1786, alongside Mozart's Der Schauspieldirektor. Salieri's work remained practically untouched until the 20th century when it served as inspiration for Richard Strauss's Capriccio

Lionel Salter's translation of Giovanni Battista Casti's libretto has retained all of the meaning and nuance of the original text but delivers it in a clean and natural way whilst retaining the piece's comical value. 

4th & 6th September at 7.30pm

Running time: approx 1h
Bridewell Theatre
14 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, London EC4Y 8EQ

Nearest tube station: Blackfrias, St Pauls
                  TICKETS: £12 (plus booking fee)
          Student tickets: £8 (plus booking fee)
Matthew O'Keefe (Musical director)
Matthew graduated from King’s College London in 2016 with 1st class music degree, winning the Purcell music prize and a Jelf Medal nomination. As president of the Opera Society, he conducted productions of Noye’s Fludde, Bastien Und Bastienne, and scenes from Fledermaus. Since then, he has worked as a professional singer and conductor. Matthew directs classical vocal group Scherzo, which he founded at university. The group is comprised young professional singers, and acts as a platform for solo and ensemble performance in regular concerts across London. In 2017, Matthew founded Lunchbreak Opera, which gives short performances at 1pm in the City of London. Two productions thus far have been Salieri’s Prima la Musica and Puccini’s Suor Angelica, both of which he arranged for chamber ensemble accompaniment. Matthew also conducts Brixton Chamber Orchestra, founded this year.

Thomas Holland (Stage director)
Thomas graduated  from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance and has worked directing opera since graduating. His Assistant Director credits include: Trinity Laban Opera (Banished), two seasons with British Youth Opera (English Eccentrics, 2016, The Vanishing Bridegroom, 2017), Hampstead Garden Opera (The Magic Flute), Blackheath Opera (Paws and Padlocks) as well as directing productions with his own company, Clockwork Opera (The Medium, 2016, An Incomplete Education, 2017), Brent Opera West Hampstead (Martha) and Opera Integra (Orpheus in the Underworld).

Virginio Lima (Set and costume designer)
Virginio is from Brazil, and began his artistic life as a dancer. There, he formed his own Dance & Theatre Company for which he devised, designed, directed, choreographed & danced in performances. He moved to London and since then has worked in fringe theatre as a designer and director. Having completed a Level 2 Diploma in Fashion & Clothing in Theatrical Historical Costumes, Virginio now works mainly as a costume and props designer. Recently he has designed and made costumes for the Isadora Duncan Dance Group and Barbara Kane, with whom is currently working on another project.