Drawing: Georgia Jarman in Król Roger

Georgia Jarman in Krol Roger

Brilliant American soprano Georgia Jarman made her Royal Opera debut as Roxana in Karol Szymanowski’s masterpiece Król Roger (King Roger) which finished this week. Kasper Holten’s “devastating” production was the first time in almost 40 years that the 1926 Polish opera was on a London stage.

A mysterious shepherd is brought before 12th century King Roger of Sicily. The church officials want him punished for his pagan preaching of love and pleasure but Roger’s Queen Roxana has converted and pleads with her husband to let the shepherd speak. Things fall apart from that point, as the charismatic stranger gains power.

“The singing – notably by Kwiecien, Jarman and Pirgu – is superb” wrote Michael Church in The Independent.

The New York Times even reviewed it, stating, “Georgia Jarman delivered Roxana’s show-stealing coloratura with immaculate style”.

The excellent staff at the Royal Opera House managed to get my sketch to Georgia on the final night, which she signed and added a kind dedication.

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