NOTE - OUR NORMAL STAR RATING REVIEW STSTEM HAS NOT BEEN USED ON THIS PERFORMANCE
Scottish Opera National Opera Studio at The King’s Theatre Edinburgh was one performance this year that I was looking forward to reviewing as supporting emerging young artists and performers in any field of the arts is vital to all of our artistic futures.
This year, Scottish Opera, English National Opera and the National Opera Studio are working in partnership, and the opportunity to have a week-long residency with Scottish Opera and a performance at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh, accompanied by The Orchestra of Scottish Opera is a unique opportunity for these young performers to showcase their talents.
The range of performances by these emerging talents was obviously carefully chosen to highlight not only as many “voice types” as possible, but also to stretch those voices vocally on some of opera’s best known works. This performance though was not only just about the vocal abilities of our performers, but the many different aspects of stage performance that are required not only to have a professional career in opera, but to hopefully maintain one for a long period of time.
As with everything though, not everyone is destined to be a solo artist star, and the opportunities for that, even if you have the talent to start with, are very rare and depend upon so many factors, often simple things like being in the right place at the right time, and sometimes even just that elusive thing called luck. Even at this point in their careers though it is obvious that some of these performers at the moment have that elusive quality to somehow fill a stage and make you follow them wherever they are on it, so it will be interesting to keep an eye on a few names on this performance list in the coming years.
This performance was roughly 90 minutes in length and there was not a moment when it seemed slow, or dull, and that is itself a tribute to the overall level of talent on stage this evening.
A special note here has to go also to the musicians of The Orchestra of Scottish Opera who did a great job here with a very divergent range of music to perform.
I have also decided not to use our normal star rating review system here as I honestly do not feel it appropriate. This performance was about young and emerging talent coming together to perform ensemble works from different operas in many different musical and vocal styles, and everyone on stage here is learning their craft with guidance from experts in their chosen areas of performance speciality. This is their time to learn, the comments of critics’ reviews are to me, for another day for them.
Performances tonight were
Fidelio – Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)
Duet: ‘Jetzt, Schätzchen, jetzt sind wir allein’
Quartet: ‘Mir ist so wunderbar’
Carmen – Georges Bizet (1838–75)
The Rape of Lucretia – Benjamin Britten
Peter Grimes – Benjamin Britten (1913–76)
Duet: ‘And do you prefer the storm to Auntie’s parlour and the rum?’
Rodelinda – Georg Frideric Handel (1685–1759)
Aria: ‘Tuo drudo è mio rivale’
Recitative and duet: ‘Non ti bastò, consorte . . . Io t’abbraccio’
Il barbiere di Siviglia – Gioachino Rossini (1792–1868)
Recitative and duet: ‘Ma bravi! ma benone! . . . Dunque io son’
Le nozze di Figaro – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–91)
Duet: ‘Crudel! perchè finora’
L’elisir d’amore – Gaetano Donizetti (1797–1848)
Recitative and duet: ‘Una parola, o Adina . . . Chiedi all’aura lusinghiera’
Così fan tutte – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Recitative and duet: ‘Oh che bella giornata . . . Il core vi dono’
Duet: ‘Fra gli amplessi’
Sopranos Ana-Maria Bacanu, Charlie Drummond, Frances du Plessis
Mezzo-sopranos Margo Arsane, Marvic Monreal, Beth Moxon
Counter-tenor JungKwon Jang
Tenors Robert Barbaro, Ben Smith, Adam Temple-Smith
Baritones Nicholas Mogg, Jake Muffett
Repetiteurs Emily Hooker, William Green, Benedict Kearns, Michael Papadopoulos
Conductor Charles Peebles
Director Orpha Phelan
Review by Tom King