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<<<  <<  -- 4 --  Patric Standford    LAVISH ENTERTAINMENT

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The huge and fine cast and chorus make the whole event a splendid experience, in no small way supported by an outstanding full orchestra (only the second time Dove has had that luxury) conducted by David Parry. The production, directed by Martin Duncan, is outstanding in its colour and ingenious staging, the lighting designed by Davy Cunningham, costumes and set by Francis O'Connor and choreography (of which there is much) by Nick Winston, all contributing to a lavish evening's entertainment.

James Laing as The Fox, Victoria Simmonds as Pinocchio and Mark Wilde as The Cat. Photo © 2007 Clive Barda
James Laing as The Fox, Victoria Simmonds as Pinocchio and Mark Wilde as The Cat. Photo © 2007 Clive Barda

In the end, my only misgiving is that it is an opera that needs pruning, needs to be made more succinct to hold the attention and concentrate its action. Sadly some scenes might be sacrificed, but only in the interest of highlighting what is distinguished about this formidable creation. It is difficult to imagine it having as good a cast and production as it received for this world première performance by the ever enterprising Opera North, but it will surely find others to take on the challenge.

The Chorus of Opera North in 'The Adventures of Pinocchio' at The Grand Theatre, Leeds. Photo © 2007 Clive Barda
The Chorus of Opera North in 'The Adventures of Pinocchio' at The Grand Theatre, Leeds. Photo © 2007 Clive Barda

 

Copyright © 27 December 2007 Patric Standford, Wakefield UK

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Patric Standford's review is based on the 21 December 2007 performance at The Grand Theatre, Leeds, UK, of Opera North's world première production of The Adventures of Pinocchio by Jonathan Dove and Alasdair Middleton.

There are three further Leeds performances: Saturday 29 December 2007, Thursday 24 January and Saturday 26 January 2008, all at 7.15pm. The production then tours to Nottingham (Theatre Royal, 8 and 9 February 2008), Salford Quays (The Lowry, 15 and 16 February 2008), Belfast (Grand Opera House, 22 and 23 February 2008), London (Sadler's Wells, 27 and 29 February, 1 March) and Newcastle (Theatre Royal, 7 and 8 March 2008). Details from Opera North.

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