Hansel and Gretel & The Magic Flute
RNCM Theatre, 30 & 31 October 2012
Co-Opera Co. is an opera company one of whose aims is to aid opera professionals at the beginning of their careers.
They do this by showcasing their talents, staging some marvelous productions along the way. These operas were two such sterling affairs. Fairytales have been a rich source of material for both ballets and operas for a long time, and you’d be hard pressed to find a creepier tale than Hansel and Gretel. Those poor, neglected, undernourished children who’ve been kidnapped by a cannibalistic witch, who then has the onerous task of fattening them up for the oven. For this staging, Shuna Scott Sendall made a wonderful witch – if that’s not an oxymoron – and her entrance onstage was a wicked affair. The set designed by Carl Davies was a thing of wonder too. The witch’s dress doubled as house and oven.
There is an awful lot going on in The Magic Flute, but with Mozart as your companion you’re in very good hands. As Papageno, David Milner-Pearce was incredibly engaging and the three ladies, what with their frequent interjections, added a high gallop and a noticeable erotic frission to the proceedings. And Fleur de Bray as the Queen of the Night was a class act, showing full mastery of a challenging singing role. Hers was a regal performance indeed.
Two happy endings, two splendid productions and a peek at some opera talents of the future: what more could you ask for? All’s well that ends well!
Co-Opera Co is currently touring both these operas and Don Giovanni. For details of future performances, click here.