Emerging Cheshire sculptor Nick Elphick has been commissioned to produce four sculptures that will stand 16 foot high, of Greek Olympic figures for the 2012 Garsington Opera production of Vivaldi’s rarely performed opera L’Olimpiade.

These sculptures will be an integral part of the design of the opera, which takes place on the day of the ancient games – rivals on the race track are also rivals in love – when a number of thrilling singers will be making their UK debut including Italian Rosa Bove and American Emily Fons. The opera will be directed by renowned David Freeman with David Roger as designer.

Nick Elphick, who has already been recognised by the British Portrait Sculptor Society, came to the public’s attention when he created the statue of H M Stanley, the explorer who found Livingstone in Africa, erected in Denbigh town centre in 2011. Nick recently won a prestigious project to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, to sculpt a five foot high sculpture of the Queen’s head, commissioned by Chester The Giant City, organisers of the Chester Giant Parade. He also created 60 cast replicas which will be used by community groups in towns, villages and cities throughout Cheshire.

Designer David Roger said ‘Nick stood out for me as the very best choice amongst artists  working in Britain today who could produce totally authentic large scale sculptures of  the Classical Greek School, combining  a heroic authenticity with a theatrical flair that will be both beautiful and imposing. I feel very fortunate in gaining his collaboration on this project which I know has fired his imagination. He is bringing a huge amount of passion to the work and we are all looking forward to the arrival of these dramatic pieces.’

Nick Elphick said: ‘I am delighted to have been commissioned by Garsington Opera to produce these exciting sculptures of athletes, especially in the year of the London Olympics. The vision the team have for their production this summer is incredible and it is an amazing project to be working on.

Garsington Opera’s season runs from 2 June to 3 July and will be its second in its spectacular new home on the Wormsley estate in the Chiltern Hills.  As well as presenting Vivaldi’sL’Olimpiade there will be new productions of Offenbach’s La Périchole  and Mozart’s Don Giovanni.


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