• ComposerPietro Mascagni
  • LibrettistP. Suardon (Nicola Daspuro)
  • with additions byGiovanni Targioni-Tozzetti
  • based on the novelL’ami Fritz by Emile Erckmann
  • ConductorStuart Stratford
  • DirectorAnnilese Miskimmon
  • DesignerNicky Shaw
  • LightingMark Jonathan


“make haste to Kensington because the moment Stuart Stratford launches the prelude with pristine and piquant articulation from the City of London Sinfonia there’ll be a smile on your face. You’ll be gazing at Nicky Shaw’s retro set regognising, if you are old enough, all the signs of 1950’s chic.”
“Annilese Miskimmon’s delightful staging hits all the right notes and what an ingenious touch to turn the benevolent Fritz into a builder of picture-perfect homes doubtless offered at knock-down prices to the less well-heeled of the local community. The scene change will make you smile too…“

“In the hands of director Annilese Miskimmon and her designer Nicky Shaw, the cautionary tale of the eponymous bachelor landowner who thinks he has escaped Cupid’s dart time-travels into the suburban America of the 1950s, where he becomes the handsome singleton boss and cynosure of the typing pool. Here is an updating that proves effortless, enlivening – and nicely cute.”

“Annilese Miskimmon’s production for Opera Holland Park relocates it to the US and re-imagines it as a 1950s, Rock Hudson and Doris Day-style romcom. Fritz (Eric Margiore) is an eligible New York property tycoon-cum-philanthropist, keen on mod cons and Mondrian, and adored by the swooning women in his typing pool. Anna Leese’s Suzel, meanwhile, manages the show house on one of his estates, where David (David Stephenson) prowls round the garden, carefully engineering meetings between them. It all has bags of charm without ever descending to archness, and it’s quite wonderfully sung”

“An Italian rarity is sung with charm, looks a treat, and is conducted as if it were the greatest score ever written.”
“Annilese Miskimmon’s pastel-perfect 1950s production lends wit and fibre to this slender, tender romance. Nicky Shaw’s crisp designs place us in the idealised America of a Norman Rockwell illustration.”

“In Annilese Miskimmon’s smart and gently understated production, Mascagni’s bucolic opera emerges as a real charmer.”
“Miskimmon and her designer, Nicky Shaw, move the action from 19th-century rural Alsace to 1950s small-town America, where Fritz Kobus is a property developer – “Building the perfect home, for your perfect wife”, according to his advertising hoarding.”
“This is vintage Opera Holland Park”

“Annilese Miskimmon’s updating to 1950s America (great sets by Nicky Shaw)”
“The outer acts take place in an office straight out of Mad Men, with the Pollyannaish second act set on the great American Plains, a white box show house surrounded by a fence you can imagine Tom Sawyer painting. The switch between the two is ingeniously done … (a) delightful evening”

“The reason Mascagni’s L’amico Fritz is so rarely heard is not the music, which is gorgeous, but the non-existent plot, in which a wealthy landowner falls in love with a beautiful young girl, facing no conflict or opposition on the way. It could hardly be better done, though, in Annilese Miskimmon’s delightful Mad Men-style production set in a 1950s office.”