Sunday’s concerts at the Oxford Playhouse, performed by the Oxford Opera Company, were an absolute delight.
We were treated to a series of best-loved solos and duets from the operatic canon – from Bizet’s Carmen to Dvorak’s Rusalka, Verdi’s Rigoletto to Mozart – finishing with a whole-company finale of “Nessum Dorma” (World Cup ‘90, anyone?).
“IT WAS WONDERFUL TO BE SEEING AND HEARING LIVE MUSIC AGAIN ON THE PLAYHOUSE STAGE AGAIN”
“baritone Felix Kemp was for me, the outstanding singer on the night”
The four superb professional soloists – soprano Caroline Modiba (especially wonderful as Papagena in the Magic Flute), mezzo-soprano Hannah Pedley (reprising her 2019 role as Carmen), baritone Felix Kemp (for me, the outstanding singer on the night) and tenor Anthony Flaum (rich and characterful) were beautifully supported by the Oxford Opera Orchestra, lead by John Warner, and the chorus of school children.
The programme was both a taster and a fundraiser for the planned production of The Magic Flute next April, the work of founder and artistic director Stuart Pendred, whose 2019 debut production of Carmen was so sadly followed by almost two years of lockdown-induced musical silence.
It was wonderful to be seeing and hearing live music again on the Playhouse stage, and to know that there’s a fabulous Magic Flute to follow in the spring.
THE MAGIC FLUTE, Oxford Opera, Oxford Playhouse, Friday 1 – Sunday 3 Apr 2022. https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/events/the-magic-flute
MINI OPERA FOR FAMILIES: THE MAGIC FLUTE, Oxford Opera, Sat 2 Apr 2022. https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/events/the-magic-flute-mini-opera