Mu­si­CAls AnD opERA A MiDsuMMER niGHT’s DREAM (b.bRiT­TEn) roSS­lyn chaPel (Venue 74) HHHHH

The Scotsman - - Fringereviews Hotshow -

IT is a priv­i­lege to lis­ten to the voices of Cam­bridge Univeristy’s Shad­well Opera. That is as true for A Midsummer Night’s

Dream, in their sec­ond year per­form­ing at Ross­lyn Chapel, as it was for The Magic Flute, their inaugural show.

But where the Mozart piece was an award-win­ning Fringe spell-binder, this pro­duc­tion of Ben­jamin Brit­ten’s opera aimed for the high­est stars but did not reach them.

The com­pany are mostly re­cent or cur­rent choral schol­ars at Cam­bridge. The sing­ing and dra­matic in­ter­course of the pairs of lovers, in par­tic­u­lar Ed Bal­lard as Demetrius, and Rachel Bag­nall as He­lena, was su­perb, from the en­trance of Ti­ta­nia and Oberon, to the fi­nal thun­der­ous Th­e­seus, to a won­der­ful lion or the spell­bind­ing cho­rus of fairies.

There is a case for bring­ing this en­sem­ble to a larger ci­tycen­tre venue. But this year’s or­ches­tra was rounded up in haste to re­place last year’s stun­ning en­sem­ble, and it showed; the mir­rored back­drop daz­zled part of the au­di­ence; the am­bi­tion needs sharp­en­ing, and the back­drop made lit­tle sense.

TiM CoRn­wEll

Un­til to­day, 7:30pm

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