Isleworth Baroque - Baroque Opera and Music in West London

Our production for 2008 was:

The Indian Queen

A semi-opera by Henry Purcell

15th - 17th October 2008 at three different venues

Semi-staged production with narration adapted from Dryden's original play.
Click here for pictures

Sundial Magazine Review for Indian Queen

click here for review in Sundial Magazine

Indian Queen - CLICK HERE FOR THE POSTERThe Indian Queen was written in 1695 and consists of incidental music and masques for a play co-authored by John Dryden and John Howard 30 years previously. The complex plot deals with a war between Peru and Mexico, and the eventual ousting of the eponymous queen Zempoalla - usurper of the Peruvian throne, and a woman much given to religious intolerance.

At the beginning of the opera, Peru's King Inca is in the ascendancy - his general Montezuma has been victorious over Mexico and has captured their prince Acacis. There is a falling out over Montezuma's request to wed the King's daughter Orazia and both Montezuma and Acacis return to Mexico. Now, fortunes are reversed and the Peruvian king and his daughter are captured by Mexico - much to the Mexican Queen Zempoalla's delight. She plans to have Inca and Orazia sacrificed, much to the dismay of Montezuma and Acacis (her son). Montezuma is made a prisoner and joins the Peruvian royal couple before the preparations for the sacrifice begin. Events become impossibly complicated at this point by the timely return of the rightful queen of Mexico (Amexia) who reveals that Montezuma is her son and the rightful heir to the throne. A lot of deaths ensue - prince Acacis kills himself, Montezuma kills Zempoalla's evil general Traxalla and Zempoalla kills herself. Before the opera closes, there are songs and a tablieau.


We performed at three different venues as follows:

Wednesday 15th October 2008:
Church of St John The Divine, Kew Road, Richmond,

Thursday 16th October 2008:
Heston Community Centre, Vicarage Farm Road, Hounslow

Friday 17th October 2008:
Isleworth Public Hall, South Street, Isleworth

The original play by Dryden was adapted by Janet Oates and the story will be narrated by members of the group. We will be performing in concert style to allow us to fit a number of different venues and reduce the need for props and scenery.

Cast were as follows:

Tom Beaton: King Inca
Jo Mansel Bentley: Queen Amexia
Sylvia Bisset:
follower of Hymen
Robin Burgess:
follower of envy / God of dreams
Alan Champion:
follower of envy / Ismeron
Rohan D'Souza: boy / spirit / Acacis
John Cobb: Envy
Mark Fletcher:
follower of Cupid / spirit / Montezuma
Philip Johnson:
Steve Harrison:
Len Marchant:
High Priest
Martine Meyer:
follower of Hymen
Janet Oates:
Sally Pinney:
Zempoalla / wife
Alison Sands:
Princess Orazia
Jacqui Silverstone:
Len Marchant:
Stan Streather:
husband / King of Mexico
Caroline Slater
Delia Steven

Here are some photos taken during our performance at Heston - against a backdrop designed for South Pacific which gave it a rather exotic atmosphere!

Sally as Zempoalla
Alan, Sally and Steve
Alan and Sally on stage
Len and Caroline
Maureen and Jeanette
Mark, Jo, Stan and Philip
Robin and John
Tom and Alison

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Previous productions:

in 2007, we performed La Calisto by Cavalli

in 2006, we performed a double-bill of Dido&Aeneas and Bastien&Bastienne

In 2005, we performed King Arthur by Purcell

In 2004, we performed Venus and Adonis by Blow

Last updated 29-Apr-2013
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