18 November 2016

The Magic Flute at Normansfield Theatre

The opera events at Normansfield Theatre have been good to me in the past so it was an easy decision to go and see The Magic Flute there.

I chose to go on a Friday as it was easy to walk there after work. I took a slight detour via the Tide End to get something to eat and their Asian Vegetable Burger came up trumps again.

The evening was sold out, all three evening were, and I did well to get a seat in the second row. A bargain at £15.

This was an amateur performance so I was not expecting that much and, to be honest, a few of the singers were a little off tune at times and/or lacked the strength of voice required to fill the room. The star of the show, Pamina, was either professional or professionally trained and her performance was sparkling. The Queen of the Night also had the power to suggest she had good credentials and while the male lead, Tamino, started a little weakly he grew into the role and his solo later on a highlight of the show.

The orchestra was also amateur but hid that well and their fine playing meant that the music easily carried the opera and made any weaknesses in the singing irrelevant.

There was an interval of course and that was an opportunity to give more money to charity, the Down’s Syndrome Association, by buying a glass of Prosecco. It was also an opportunity to say hello to some old faces, Richard who ran the chess club that the boys went to when at Primary School and Roger and Lucy who abandoned the beauty of North Kingston to live close to the A3 about twenty years ago.

After the performance I went to The Anglers for a final drink only to find it ridiculously shut at just after 11pm on a Friday. The Tide End was still open so I had a pint there instead. I prefer it there anyway.

This production of The Magic Flute was never going to compete with the likes of Glyndebourne but that was not the point. This was a very pleasant night out with some excellent music and some decent singing.

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