A first look at Hipermestra

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We’re delighted to bring you a first look at Hipermestra, which receives its UK premiere at Festival 2017.

This new production of Cavalli’s opera will feature a breathtaking wedding scene, in which the 50 daughters of King Danao are wedded to the 50 sons of his brother Egitto. Here you can see director Graham Vick alongside the impressive wedding cake that has been created for this scene:


Photo: Sam Stephenson

The cake consists of four tiers, with sculpted minarets and a dome on top. The prop was made at Glyndebourne by Melissa Rolfe, and the sculpture on the top was made by Ruby Matthews. It is made from polystyrene and jesmonite.



Photo: Sam Stephenson

The prop features 50 individual slices of cake, made from Airex construction foam, a material which is usually used in the construction of boats and aircraft as a lightweight composite. It is finished with 50 figurines of wedding couples made from plastic resin.



Photo: Sam Stephenson

The cake has taken three months to hand-make. Achieving a smooth iced finish is difficult and decoration work is lengthy as it involves lots of sanding, cutting and prepping to ensure the repeated pattern is achieved.



Photo: Sam Stephenson

Hipermestra is a rare gem – this will be the early Baroque opera’s UK premiere. It will be performed from a new edition of the score, which has been painstakingly created by Glyndebourne’s Music Library especially for this production.



Photo: Sam Stephenson

Graham Vick makes a long awaited return to Glyndebourne this summer. His previous productions have included Eugene Onegin (1994), Pelleas et Melisande (1999) and Le nozze di Figaro (2000).



Photo: Sam Stephenson

Hipermestra will feature some inventive and surprising staging with the orchestra and conductor William Christie becoming part of the action. The sets have been designed by Stuart Nunn.

The opera tells the tale of courageous Hipermestra, who defies her father for the love of her husband. When King Danao orders all of his daughters to kill their husbands on their wedding night, Hipermestra is the only one who defies him. Get up to speed on the story with our short animation:


More about Hipermestra

Introducing… Hipermestra
Read more about the production and watch an interview with conductor William Christie.

Hipermestra podcast: Glyndebourne’s special relationship with Cavalli
In this episode of the Glyndebourne podcast, featuring conductor William Christie and Dame Janet Baker we discuss the opera and explore Glyndebourne’s special history with Cavalli.


Hipermestra is on stage from 20 May-8 July.

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Hipermestra is generously supported by Carol and Paul Collins through Glyndebourne Association America Inc.