Tag Archives: Opera

REVIEW: The Elixir of Love – The Concert Hall, Motherwell

Scottish Opera’s latest touring production, Gaetano Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love, is a wonderfully witty, beautifully staged and finely sung treasure. An utter joy from start to finish, this is opera for people who think they don’t like opera. Donizetti’s gloriously melodic score is a treat for the ears and Oliver Townsend and Mark Howland’s charming and clever design – re-set from the 19th Century Mediterranean to a country garden in 1920s England, is simply gorgeous.

Humble gardener Nemorino is hopelessly in love with wealthy landowner Adina, but her head (if not her heart) is turned by the flashy Sergeant Belcore. But all is not lost when quack medicine man Dr Dulcamara literally rides into town, selling our hero a powerful love potion that promises to deliver the girl of his dreams into his arms within a day.

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Ellie Laugharne and Elgan Llyr Thomas as Adina and Nemorino in Scottish Opera’s The Elixir of Love Image: Tim Morozzo

This effervescent production bubbles and fizzes throughout, thanks largely to the delightful cast, and as befitting this ‘male Cinderella’ story, it is the boys who dominate. Elgan Llyr Thomas is thoroughly appealing as our love-lorn hero Nemorino and his show-stopping Una furtiva lagrima (one single tear falls silently) is a real crowd-pleaser, but he doesn’t have the limelight solely to himself thanks to scene-stealing turns from Toby Girling as the preposterously pompous Sergeant Belcore and the outstanding James Cleverton as the dodgy Doctor Dulcamara, whose timing, sonorous tones and perfect diction are a masterclass in comic opera acting.

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James Cleverton as Dulcamara Scottish in Opera’s The Elixir of Love Image: Tim Morozzo

Mention must be made of music Derek Clark, who deserves plaudits for trimming Donizetti’s score from 53 instruments to five without losing any of its richness and the brisk baton of conductor Stuart Stratford who drives the score along.

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Ellie Laugharne, Elgan Llyr Thomas and Toby Girling in Scottish Opera’s The Elixir of Love Image: Tim Morozzo

For a work that was written, if not in the two weeks that opera folklore claims, but certainly astonishingly quickly nearly 200 years ago, this sunny, funny, dazzling and delightful work is a five-star, must-see production.

Currently touring Scotland, booking information here: https://www.scottishopera.org.uk/our-operas/16-17/the-elixir-of-love

REVIEW: The Mikado, Scottish Opera & D’Oyly Carte – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Silly, sumptuous and satisfying, Scottish Opera and D’Oyly Carte’s co-production of the perennially popular, anti-establishment satire The Mikado, is a delight from start to finish.

Rebecca Bottone as Yum-Yum & Nicholas Sharratt as Nanki-Poo Copyright: James Glossop

Rebecca Bottone as Yum-Yum & Nicholas Sharratt as Nanki-Poo
Copyright: James Glossop

The team that brought us 2013’s Pirates of Penzance have once again produced a picture-perfect, people-pleaser of a production. It’s Victorian music hall meets Imperial Japan and from the moment the curtain rises on Dick Bird’s sumptuous set, you can sit back, relax and rest assured that this will be a winner.

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Copyright: James Glossop

Since Jonathan Miller’s much-revived 1920’s reinvention, almost all Mikado productions have suffered in comparison, but Martin Lloyd-Evans’ more than holds its own in the visual and entertainment stakes. Indeed, it even has G&S veteran Richard Suart, a much-lauded Ko-Ko from Miller’s production in this cast. Stuart’s sure-footedness is evident throughout, playing Ko-Ko as a cockney spiv in a kimono consistently tickles the audience, Tit-Willow, with its puppet crow is a particular highlight.

Richard Suart Andrew Shore Scottish Opera Mikado

Richard Suart as Ko-Ko & Andrew Shore as Pooh-Bah Copyright: James Glossop

In an almost universally solid cast, a few stars shine bright: Nicholas Sharratt’s Nanki-Poo is more Gussie Fink-Nottle than prince of Japan but it works beautifully, Rebecca de Pont Davies is a wild-eyed and wicked Katisha and Ben McAteer is a wonderfully witty Pish-Tush, however, less successful is Rebecca Bottone’s very light Yum-Yum, drowned by the orchestra throughout.

Ben McAteer Scottish Opera Mikado

Ben McAteer as Pish-Tush
Copywrite: James Glossop

For both G&S veterans and newcomers to opera, this sumptuous feast is a delight, sending the audience skipping onto the streets, whistling a witty ditty – a satisfying end to Scottish Opera’s spring season.

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Rebecca de Pont Davies
Copyright: James Glossop

 

This production tours to Inverness, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Belfast, Newcastle, Bristol and Southampton.

More details can be found on the Scottish Opera website at: https://www.scottishopera.org.uk/

REVIEW: The Devil Inside – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Novelist Louise Welsh and composer Stuart MacRae continue the creative partnership that started in 2009 with the 15 minute Remembrance Day, with new work The Devil Inside. Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s 1891 short story The Bottle Imp, there’s much to applaud in delivering a brand new opera but musically it falls short in pleasing the ear.

The imp grants the bottle’s owner everything their heart desires, but, as with all good horror stories, there’s a catch – if the owner dies in possession of the bottle, their soul is eternally damned. The only way to get rid of the bottle is to sell it for less than you paid.

The 100-minute piece scored for 14 instruments and a cast of four is set in the present day and played out on a minimalistic, monochrome set. The only real splash of colour coming from the eerie effectively realised bottle itself.

The four performers are without fault and manage admirably with the complicated score. The biggest issue with the work is the predominantly atonal score, whilst modern and original, grates uncomfortably when sustained over the entire length of the opera. There are four fine voices onstage and one can’t help feel that they haven’t been served well here, and the insufficient variety in the score leaves one wishing for something to break the monotony.

One must applaud new, original work, especially in opera, and the direction, set, performers and the virtuosity of the orchestra and conductor are exceptional, but musically this audience member wants a little more music that one can remember after the curtain has fallen.

Image: Bill Cooper

REVIEW: Carmen, Scottish Opera – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

Its accessibility; clarity of narrative; portrayal of an independent, strong-minded woman and a clutch of knockout, familiar tunes make Georges Bizet’s Carmen undoubtedly one of the best-loved operas of all time and certainly one of the most frequently performed (though, surprisingly not in Scotland*).

Scottish Opera present a re-working of Patrice Caurier and Moshe Leiser’s 1999 staging of the work. Forming a bridge between the era of Opéra Comique and the realism of the later 19th Century Italian opera, Carmen is the perfect first opera. Bizet’s skill in representing character through music, the clear, linear narrative and the block-busting tunes, rarely fail to entrance.

Scottish Opera have delivered a solid, traditional and atmospheric production with a top-notch cast. Lithuanian mezzo-soprano Justina Gringyte is impressive as the head-strong gypsy temptress and her powerful voice does full justice to Bizet’s glorious score. Noah Stewart is velvet-voiced as the wronged Don Jose, and Roland Wood a solid, if unremarkable Escamillo. Nadine Livingstone is a beautiful sounding Micaela, but her tendency to whimper too much fails to gain the audiences sympathy and the chemistry between her and Stewart’s Don Jose is non-existent. There’s strong support from the other featured roles, in particular, Timothy Dickinson who delivers a memorable Zuniga.

The choruses both child and adult (especially the chain-smoking, primary school aged tykes, blowing smoke with an attitude and insouciance that belies their years) are glorious and produce a rich sound that is a treat for the ears.

This is a strong, solid staging of a much-loved work and a perfect introduction to opera for those wanting to dip their toe in the water.

Carmen tours Scotland throughout October and November details at: Scottish Opera

*Carmen was not performed in its original Fench in Scotland until 1977.

REVIEW: The Flying Dutchman – Scottish Opera, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

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This review was originally written for and published by The Public Reviews

Writer and Librettist: Richard Wagner

Conductor: Francesco Corti

Director: Harry Fehr

Reviewer: Lauren Humphreys

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★★½

It is a truth universally acknowledged that Richard Wagner was a not a very pleasant man, in fact a rather unpleasant man indeed, a man with an ideology almost whole-heartedly abhorrent to a modern audience, an ideology that encompassed: anti-Semitism, racism and rampant misogyny. The question that needs to be asked then is: Does the quality of his work transcend what we might feel about the man himself?

The answer here is a resounding yes. Scottish Opera make an triumphant return to form with the company’s first Wagner opera since 2003 and it’s first revival of The Flying Dutchman for 25 years.

Based upon the legend of the Captain of the aforementioned ghostly ship, who, in return for safe passage through a storm, is cursed to sail the seas until eternity unless he can find a women who will love him with utter fidelity until she dies.

Director Harry Fehr and designers Tom Scutt and James Farncombe have acknowledged the difficulties that a 21st century audience may have engaging with a storyline Wagner originally wrote reflecting his belief that women should wholly subjugate themselves to their menfolk and have tried to navigate away from the unavoidable misogyny at the core of Wagner’s tale.

This early work has been re-set by the creative team in the 1970s, in a beleaguered port in the north east of Scotland and gets right to the heart of the tale of two lonely people so desperate they will do anything for the chance of love. This decision, cleverly removing any barriers the audience may have engaging with Wagner’s originally mystical and misogynistic piece, gives it an instant familiarity and greater reality that grabs the audience’s attention from the start.

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Much of the enjoyment of the piece though lies in the central performances of Senta, daughter of a ship’s captain, lonely, unloved and trapped in the claustrophobic confines of the fishing port where she lives, and the mysterious Dutchman, forlornly roaming the seas searching for love. As Senta, Rachel Nicholls is on stunning form, from the first to the last note she thrills: carrying the audience along on her journey through loneliness and obsession to optimism and happiness to inevitable tragedy with a finely tuned performance and a sublime voice that grabs and holds the attention throughout. Less successful is the casting of Wagnerian specialist Peteris Eglitis as the Dutchman. With a voice which was underpowered and often overwhelmed by the majestic sounding orchestra, Eglitis failed to make up for these shortcomings by lacking in charisma as well.

In support tenor Nicky Spence as the young helmsman particularly shone, the mischievous glint in his eye and spring in his step as well as his soaring voice of clarity and power was especially enthralling. The male chorus too cannot go without mention for providing many of the “hairs on the back of the neck moments” when they sang as one.

Arguably one of Wagner’s most accessible works The Flying Dutchman is a powerful, engaging and emotional tale made all the more so by this tremendously talented creative team and cast.

Runs until: 19th April

Photo: James Glossop

*INTERVIEW WITH STAR OF THE FLYING DUTCHMAN NICKY SPENCE HERE

REVIEW: La traviata – Scottish Opera, Town House, Hamilton

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Violetta, a famed escort, leads a seemingly charmed existence amidst the cream of Paris society. But, in fragile health, she is tired of living an empty life and when Alfredo introduces himself she finally sees a way out of her tawdry lifestyle. Deeply in love, all is blissful contentment until some home truths convince her to leave Alfredo and head back into the arms of another…

La traviata/The Fallen Woman

Opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi

Libretto by Francesco Maria Piave after Alexandre Dumas’ play La dame aux camelias

Sung in English translation by Edmund Tracey

Performed in an orchestral reduction by Tony Burke

This new production of Verdi’s beloved tearjerker is part of Scottish Opera’s 50th anniversary celebrations, an unprecedented 50 date tour across the country fulfilling the company’s promise to bring Opera to the whole of Scotland no matter how remote. This production re-imagined in 1950’s Paris aims to get to the heart of the story by concentrating on the turbulent relationship at its core.

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Robyn Lyn Evans as Alfredo Germont and Elin Pritchard as Violetta Valery

Though enjoyable in parts and laudable in its aim to make opera accessible to the masses, this production is not without its flaws. The decision to sing it in English made it no more accessible than it would have been sung its original Italian with surtitles: Elin Pritchard in the principle role of Violetta is a fine singer however the nature of her and indeed any other sopranos voice, means that at the highest end of its range every word is changed to mere sound, losing all meaning, only the male singers (and not all of them) were, in any way understandable, though praise must go to Robyn Lyn Evans as Alfredo who possessed the most impressive vocals of the evening and the most convincing acting skills.

The truncation of the storyline also meant that anyone not already familiar with the tale, would be lost. That said, the programme is of  impressive quality providing comprehensive and essential notes on the production, and is an entertaining, informative and well-written read. However the length of the notes meant that it was impossible to read them in the minutes between taking your seat and the production beginning (the interval chatter from many saying that they wished they had time to read the notes beforehand as they might have had a chance of understanding what was going on).

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The 18 piece chamber orchestra sounded tight and strong throughout, however the same could not be said for the singers; in this 700+ seat venue the sound was at times lost and some of the blame I fear must be laid at the door of the “shoebox” set. Though clever in its design and pleasing to the eye, it seemed to smother much of the sound. There were also some uncomfortably lengthy scene changes which left the audience somewhat restless.

The costume design also failed to truly reflect the setting; the sharper suits of the men were era-appropriate as were the “New Look” designs of Kathryn McAdam’s characters Flora and Annina, though the top hats and capes of the men in evening dress were more of a nod to the Opera’s origins and Violetta’s long-flowing Pre-Raphaelite curled locks and 80’s style dresses were an avoidable annoyance given the size of the wig and wardrobe departments of this national company.

The intention of Scottish Opera to “bring the widest possible range of opera, performed to the highest possible standards, to the maximum audience throughout Scotland” is laudable however I fear a little more thought and care needs to go into matching the staging to these many and varied venues in order to maximise the quality of experience.

INTERVIEW: Scottish soprano Eleanor Dennis talks to Glasgow Theatre Blog

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Born in Aberdeenshire, soprano Eleanor Dennis is a rising star in the opera world, inspiring Fiona Maddocks in The Observer to write: ‘I’m not sure if I can recall  one who so obviously deserves to be a star.’ Recent appearances have included critically acclaimed portrayals of the title role in Rodelinda and Costanza Riccardo Primo (London Handel Festival), Romilda Xerxes (English Touring Opera), Contessa Le nozze di Figaro (British Youth Opera) and Fiordiligi Così fan tutte (RCM).  She has also sung the title role in Francisco António de Almeida’s Ippolito at the Festival de Sablé with the Orquestra Barroca Casa da Música and Laurence Cummings and Lucio Cinna in Mozart’s Lucio Silla at Cadogan Hall with the Classical Opera Company (of which she is an Associate Artist) and Ian Page.  Eleanor also recently made her debut at the English National Opera in a new production of Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress. Glasgow Theatre Blog was delighted to have the chance to ask Eleanor some questions about her career.

Can we start back at your beginnings? Tell us a bit about your background and what inspired you to become a classical singer? 

Well, my mother is a professional musician – she is musical director of the Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society based in Aberdeenshire – and my household has always been very musical. I started singing in her junior choirs at the age of three, and soon graduated to being involved in their bigger scale operas as a chorus member. I just loved being a part of these productions – I used to stand in the wings and watch these amazing performers singing so beautifully, and powerfully. I definitely caught the bug then!

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I’m interested to know how your talent was recognised; how does a young girl with a talent for singing take that and turn it into pursuing a career in Opera?

When I turned 15, my mum thought it would be a good idea to have some more serious lessons, so I went to the North-East of Scotland Music School in Aberdeen, and started seeing a wonderful teacher called Raimund Herincx. He soon convinced me to audition for conservatoires in London, with a view to doing an undergraduate degree – I had no idea whether I would gain a place or not, but decided to go for it anyway! My mum and I travelled down to London, I auditioned at the Royal College of Music, and was lucky enough to be offered a place on the spot. I moved to London aged 18, and haven’t looked back since.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience in training? 

I had a brilliant seven years at the RCM in total – four undergraduate years, one year on the Postgraduate course, and two years in the prestigious Opera School there. I began working with an amazing teacher called Eiddwen Harrhy (who I still see regularly), and learning with her gave me the confidence and musicality I needed. I got the opportunity to play some great roles and sing with some incredibly talented people, and basically had a wonderful time.

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The Pilgrim’s Process

You made your professional debut with the ENO in Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress; how did it feel to be performing in such a beautiful (and vast) venue like The Coliseum?

At first, it was a daunting prospect – but once I got settled in, it was just the best experience. It had always been a dream of mine to perform on that stage, and to get the chance was almost unbelievable!

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As Rodelinda

The work of Handel seems to feature heavily on your CV; is his work a particular favourite or does it especially suit your voice?

I absolutely love singing Handel – the creativity and beauty of tone it encourages really helped me in my development as a singer. Some of the best heroines in opera appear in Handel’s works – Rodelinda, Cleopatra, Alcina – and it’s a real joy taking on a character like those. There’s an exceptional tradition for Handel in this country, and I’m very lucky to have benefitted from that. Conductor Laurence Cummings has been a tremendous support for me here.

Who are your favourite composers or what pieces do you particularly enjoy singing?

Handel! Mozart (especially Cosi fan Tutte, Le Nozze di Figaro, and Don Giovanni), and Britten are my favourite composers – but I love singing French art song and German Lieder too.

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Opera Highlights 2013

You recently completed a national tour with Scottish Opera in their 50th anniversary highlights programme. It was certainly fun to watch, was it as fun touring Scotland spreading the word about opera?

It was a brilliant two months, especially working with such talented people. It was intense, but there was non-stop laughing all the way, and we got the opportunity to see some beautiful places far off the beaten track.

What roles would you love to sing in future?

I would love to have a go at some of Richard Strauss’ prima donnas – the Marschallin, Salome – and Tatyana in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. Maybe one day!

What advice would you give to any young person thinking of pursuing a career in opera?

If people are encouraging you to pursue a career, listen to the advice, trust in your talent, and go for it. It’s a long process, and often difficult, but when you start reaping the rewards for all your hard work, it is more than worth it.

Finally – and don’t be modest, how would you describe your voice in three words?

Reliable, flexible and fun (sounds like a lonely hearts ad!)

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Find out more about Eleanor at http://www.eleanordennis.com and http://www.askonasholt.co.uk/artists/singers/soprano/eleanor-dennis

Follow on Twitter @elliedennis17

INTERVIEW: Scotland’s leading young tenor Nicky Spence talks to Glasgow Theatre Blog about his stellar career

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Leading Scottish tenor Nicky Spence is an ENO Harwood Artist who trained at the Guildhall School and the National Opera Studio. Following significant success in the British Opera houses including his acclaimed portrayal in the lead role of Brian in Nico Muhly’s Two Boys at the London Coliseum in 2011, he will make his Metropolitan Opera debut in New York in the same production in 2013. Nicky is recognised as one of the UK’s finest young singers and is increasingly in demand internationally. He is an ambassador for Age UK and the Musician’s Benevolent Fund. Glasgow Theatre Blog had the chance to talk to this rising star in a rare break in his hectic schedule.

Can we go back to your beginnings, tell me a bit about your background and what inspired you to become a classical singer?

I used to sing everything from Whitney Houston and Tom Jones to The Mamas and Papas; whatever was in the record collection when I was a kid. Then someone gave me a ticket to see The Magic Flute when I was 15, a neighbour had a spare ticket, I went and a love affair began. From there, my music teacher thought that I had the potential to be more of a classical singer and said that it would be a shame to let my voice go to waste, so I had singing lessons from the age of 16. I applied for the Guildhall School in London, got in, and went to study there when I was 17.

You are currently in rehearsal for The Flying Dutchman with Scottish Opera; tell us about your role and how rehearsals are going?

The rehearsals are going really well – I am literally about to get onto the ship as it were! I’m playing the young Steersman who I suppose is the token young tenor who falls in love – he’s the voice of youth and inexperience, which I often am onstage! The Flying Dutchman is an epic piece, a tale of unrequited love and destiny and I’m looking forward to performing in it.

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What has been your favourite role to play so far in your career?

So far I’d say it was probably Lampwick in The Adventures of Pinocchio with Opera North as I got to be a twelve year old and have fun, it gave me license to be really naughty. I enjoyed Tom Rakewell in The Rake’s Progress because of the dramatic arc I had and Tamino in The Magic Flute with Scottish Opera last year.

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Opera North’s Adventures of Pinocchio

Laura Mitchell as Pamina & Nicky Spence as Tamino in Scottish Opera's The Magic Flute © Ken Dundas

Nicky Spence as Tamino with Laura Mitchell as Pamina in Scottish Opera’s The Magic Flute © Ken Dundas

Which roles do you covet?

I’d love to play Tom Rakewell again and Albert Herring. There are things I need to do before I get too old, too bald or too fat! I’d love to get those under my belt.

You’ve recently released your debut recital recording, As You Like It – Shakespeare Songs; can you tell us a bit more about how you came to choose this particular material to record?

I thought Shakespeare was a great source, like Robert Burns, Shakespeare was a bawdy bard – with twelve suicides in his plays there was plenty of room for melancholy as well, and at our fingertips was about 400 years of song settings to work with. It was a massive field to look into and hopefully I’ve chosen some interesting bits to listen to. It’s also in English, so for my first recital recording it was nice to have that immediacy with my audience.

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You’ve just completed a tour with Scottish Opera to the farthest reaches of Scotland, spreading the word about opera – how was that experience, it looked like you had a great rapport on stage.

We had such fun; it was great, just super. It was also great to see the audience reaction at such close quarters, but it was really hard work travelling to all those remote places. I also think it is really important from the point of view of bringing opera to those who wouldn’t have the chance to see it or to those who don’t know very much about it. It’s especially effective in fulfilling Scottish Opera’s aim of have opera no more than thirty miles from anyone in the country.

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What other highlights do you have coming up this year?

After The Flying Dutchman it’s back down to London to do some work with the ENO, after that I make my debut with Grange Park Opera in Dialogues des Carmélites then it’s off to New Zealand to play Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni then I’m making my debut at The Met in New York with the role of Brian in Nico Muhly’s Two Boys which I created at the ENO. I’m really looking forward to playing him again, especially as he’s so different to myself.

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Finally what composers works would you recommend to encourage people to get into opera?

Tosca is a great one, from the first chord there’s drama and it’s really accessible, La bohème is a great one, Puccini has a way of really manipulating the listener’s heart, it’s a great place to start and Marriage of Figaro is great too.

For more information about Nicky see: www.nickyspence.com

Nicky’s debut recital album As You Like It – Shakespeare Songs is available from http://www.resonusclassics.com/

Listings:

The Flying Dutchman

Steersman

Scottish Opera/Corti

4, 6, 9 April 2013 at The Theatre Royal, Glasgow

13, 16, 19 April 2013 at The Festival Theatre, Edinburgh

www.scottishopera.org.uk

Dialogues des Carmélites

Chevalier de la Force

Grange Park Opera/Barlow

11, 14, 22, 30 June 2013

6, 12 July 2013

Don Giovanni

Don Ottavio

NBR New Zealand Opera

17, 21, 23, 25, 27 August 2013

FEATURE: Royal Opera House Covent Garden Tours

 

 On the morning before coming home from one of my previous trips to London I decided that instead of wandering aimlessly around even more shops, I’d indulge in another “cultural” experience. This time it was a backstage tour of The Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.  The phenomenally well informed and engaging guide started with some history of the building and its architecture followed by a tour of the glorious auditorium, most recently seen in the BBCs coverage of this year’s Olivier Awards.

By sheer chance there was a rehearsal for Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette on set beginning behind us and as we left, the opera buffs were getting excited as the calls to stage had gone out for opera super dooper star and all round nice guy Alfie Boe – they had to be forcibly removed before he appeared.

At the time of the trip, other than being aware of his name and the stir he was creating in the opera world, I didn’t really know anything about Alfie Boe. (I have subsequently seen him in the Les Miserables 25th anniversary concert, the full production of Les Mis at the Queen’s Theatre and in concert, as well as the countless appearances he has made on TV). He was apparently discovered singing on the shop floor of the TVR car factory in Blackpool, went to The D’Oyly Carte and then trained at the Royal College of Music.

 

The tour then took us backstage to the design departments to see the process of taking an opera from page to stage. The 3D models of the sets were just magical, like those wonderful, atmospheric toy theatres much beloved by the Victorians. As we passed backstage there were racks upon racks of hampers full of the most glorious, highly detailed and extravagant costumes – and all completely hand made. How some of the dancers manage to move under the weight is amazing. It was the kind of sequin filled dressing up fantasy of ever little (and this big) girl fulfilled.

The highlight of the tour was the visit to the ballet studio where most of the principal dancers were being put through their punishing paces. The most eye-opening thing I learned was that dancers start their day at 10.30 am and dance through until 5.30pm on a performance day and 6.00pm on a non-performance day and on performance day the curtain will fall at 10.30 – 10.40pm. I think they should tell this to all those little girls who dream of life as a ballerina.

Alina Cojocaru and Edward Watson

Gary Avis

Lauren Cuthbertson

Leeanne Benjamin

Steven McRae

The tour took over 2 hours and at the time the admission was £10 – a fantastic glimpse into how the magic on stage is created with blood, sweat, tears and talent by a massive army of dedicated people.

REVIEW: Scottish Opera Highlights 1st February 2011

In the pursuit of entertainment of a more cultural nature, it was a concert of highlights that Scottish Opera are touring around the country. The programme was;

La finta giardiniera – Che lieto giorno

Le nozze di Figaro – Non piu andrai

Don Pasquale – Quel guardo il cavaliere

Giulio Cesare – Son nata a lagrimar

The Magic Flute – Bei Männern welche liebe fühlen

La jolie fille de Perth – Serenade

Werther – Letter Scene

Il barbiere di Siviglia – All’idea di quell metallo

Hansel and Gretel – Evening Prayer

Carmen – Séguedille

Count Ory – No one can see

La Traviata – Brindisi

The Queen of Spades – Pauline’s Aria

Il barbieri di Siviglia – Non dubitar, o Figaro

The Cunning Little Vixen – Gracious me he’s so gorgeous

I Puritani – Ah! Per sempre io ti perdei

Goyescas – La maja y el ruisenor

Cosi fan tutti – Il core vi dono

Utopia Limited – Oh Zara, my beloved one, bear with me

Countess Maritza – Let’s go to Varasdin

The Merry Widow – Red as the rose of maytime

Die Fledermaus – Champagne!

performed by;

Soprano – Marie Claire Breen 
(Scottish Opera Emerging Artist)

 Mezzo Soprano – Catherine Hopper

Tenor – Nicholas Watts

Baritone – Njabulo Madlala

It was a diverse programme, designed to appeal to the masses – really enjoyable, delivered by talented singers. Keep a look out for this as it tours every year and to different places each time. Well worth the admission price.

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