SUMMER OPERA REVIEWS
RODERIC DUNNETT looks back at a
thumping good summer for opera festivals in Britain and Ireland
Part 1 - Castleward, Wexford and Stowe
Opera Festivals in Britain and Ireland have had a good summer.
The season launched with an intimate, lively festival in Northern Ireland
and culminated in a three-week marathon at a Southern Irish festival famed
for its revivals of rare opera.
Leading the way was seasoned and inspired director Tom Hawkes's meticulously
moved, intelligently structured and charmingly dressed production at Castleward
Opera, beautifully sited above Strangford Lough, some 40 minutes south of
Belfast, of Friedrich von Flotow's Martha, a highly attractive set-piece
and ensemble comic opera, verging on operetta and best known for its
frequent recourse to a ravishing Irish ditty, 'The Last Rose of Summer'.
A clutch of good principals, needle-eye entries, absorbing, well crafted
sets and skilled use of stage levels made this a seamless production, constantly
entertaining and delightfully sung, not least by an able chorus. This cheerful
production can still be caught, hopefully, when it is restaged at Belfast's
Grand Opera House in February 200l.
Copyright © 25 November 2000
Roderic Dunnett, Coventry, UK
VISIT THE CASTLEWARD OPERA WEBSITE
VISIT THE WEXFORD OPERA WEBSITE
VISIT THE STOWE OPERA WEBPAGE
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