Elsa Roux Chamoux as Rosina in
Clonter Opera’s manufacturing of The Barber
of Seville. Credit score Edward Robinson
The “Glyndebourne of the North” actually got here
up trumps on Thursday night, with the odor of haymaking within the air (Clonter
Opera’s base is surrounded by farmland) and superb sunshine to enjoy.
I don’t keep in mind selecting to have a picnic
exterior there earlier than (there’s all the time house inside for eating, too), however it was
the pure selection in addition to the advisable one in these Covid occasions. Inside,
the seating was effectively spaced on alternate rows, the one slight fear being that
right here, as in another classical venues I’ve observed, the clientele consists of
some geriatrics who don’t appear to grasp that carrying a face overlaying means
you really cowl your face, not simply dangle it out of your chin.
The manufacturing of Il Barbiere di Siviglia
(in Italian, with English sur-title translation) was energetic and entertaining.
Director Greg Eldridge (who has had a particular publish created for him at Covent
Backyard) should be accountable for that, however the youthful forged have been additionally very a lot
to be credited, working laborious and singing with distinction.
Of them, the standout was Henry Neill, as Figaro.
He sang the same-named function in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro (which,
based mostly like this one on Beaumarchais, continues the story begun by The Barber)
for Clonter in 2017, making a giant impression, and has gone on to an
worldwide profession. The opposite low-voiced roles – Dr Bartolo (Adam Maxey) and
Don Basilio (Benjamin Schilperoort) – have been additionally powerfully sung and comically
Rosina, the heroine, was a really feisty
Latin woman in Elsa Roux Chamoux’ interpretation (precisely as she ought to be) and
confirmed a stunning mezzo tone, and Samuel Kibble, taking the taxing function of Depend
Almaviva with wit and appeal, is a really promising tenor. George Reynolds,
filling up the forged as variously Fiorello, police officer and notary, is
one other glorious baritone, and Faryl Smith – who actually solely will get her solo
likelihood in a single aria close to the top – proved an amazing dumb-show actress, a superb ensemble
singer and estimable solo soprano. Philip Sunderland carried out the small
Clonter Sinfonia in nice type and saved every little thing effectively managed.
And the set, designed by Bettina John, was
one thing particular for Clonter: a revolve! They don’t have a lot a stage to place
one on, and it needs to be hand-operated like a kids’s playground roundabout,
however it gave the chance for 4 little interiors to be represented, with
doorways between a few of them, and was cleverly exploited at each flip.