MusiCAls AnD opERA A MiDsuMMER niGHT’s DREAM (b.bRiTTEn) roSSlyn chaPel (Venue 74) HHHHH
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.
Until today, 7:30pm