This is not a disinterested review. This would be impossible for me to do because I was very involved in Opera Warwick’s recent performance of Englebert Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. My daughter had one of the leading roles. (I am reminded of the aphorism about the difference between being ‘involved’ and being ‘committed’. Consider a plate of eggs and ham; the chicken is involved but the pig is committed.)
So what can I tell you? Firstly, that Opera Warwick performed the world premier of an English translation that the students themselves had developed with the help of Kit Hesketh-Harvey. This was sparky, humorous and modern. The performers clearly Enjoyed working with it and made the most of the contemporary references, the puns and the visual jokes that Enlivened what can be, to the uninitiated, a forebidding art form.
The set was bright and imaginative, reflecting the values of the production. There was a blind-spot from my end-of-the-row position but I’m sure this affected very few seats. Brighter lighting would have improved my experience but the ‘darknesses’ were justified by the storyline.
The performances were faultless. All of them. The cast members were Energetic, Exuberant and, some of them, Exhausting to watch. The singing, to my untrained ear, was of an Exaltingly high standard – here the orchestra played its part, always supporting but never overpowering the vocalists.
This adherence to high production values and the infectious Enthusiasm of those involved made for an Emotional night at the opera – and, I have been assured, you didn’t need to be related to a cast member to feel the buzz.Tweet