25 November 2017

Carmen by Ormond Opera was wonderful

I first discovered Ormond Opera in 2016 with their production of Madama Butterfly and that was so good that when they announced that they were doing Carmen then booking it was one of the easiest decisions that I have ever made.

It was still an easy decision when they announced that due to illness the performance that I had booked for had been downgraded to a full dress rehearsal.

This time I brought some friends with me and there were six of us altogether.

I have seen Carmen many times, so much so that it warrants its own tag in this blog (and I've left some performances out), so the story was never going to surprise me which meant that I could largely ignore the English translations displayed at the side and could focus on the music, the singing and the acting, all of which were superb.

The music came from just one piano and that was plenty enough sound to fill the church hall. We were warned that the singing might not be quite right but I found the exact opposite to be true, all the voices were good and many were superb. Carmen was one of those.

The acting made the performance and there were many nice little touches, several of which happened away from the centre of the action so I had to keep an eye on every part of the stage all the time. Worth a mention in this respect were Carmen's two companions who carried on their role playing when they took the curtain calls at the end.

In some ways Carmen is an easy opera to get right because it has so many good tunes in it, and it has a pretty strong story, but that is no excuse to take things easy and Ormond Opera put the work in to make this a memorable performance.

Whatever Ormond Opera do next I hope to be there to see it.

After the opera five of us retired to the Dukes Head for some serious conversations and a few beers until they threw us out at half past midnight. It was a fine and fitting end to a wonderful evening.

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