Date 24th October 2014
Society Opera South East
Venue White Rock Theatre Hastings
Type of Production Opera
Director Fraser Grant
Musical Director Kenneth Roberts


Author: Anne Lawson

OSE gave the usual high standard visionary interpretation with quality principal singing, accompanied by a full orchestra under the baton of Ken Roberts supported by a well rehearsed ensemble - full of high drama, seduction and emotion.  No personal mikes required. The set was an angled white ‘wall’ with two huge central doors, a large ‘paint pot’ splash of red depicting a woman’s form, and with small furniture editions neatly moved by cast members the scenes showed us outside the prison, the cigarette factory, the town tavern, the bullring and a smugglers mountain hideaway.  A notable, strong, rousing Toreadors Song from Escamillo played by popular Mike Barber, with newcomers Gemma Morsley in the title role and Chris Elliott (RSAMD Opera School) as Don Jose. Delightful Anna Goodhew sang Michaela, tenor Hiroshi Kanazawa was Remendado, Rene Bloice-Sanders Dancairo/Morales with Barnaby Beer, Zuniga. The principals were strongly supported by cameo parts and ensemble work, together with a team of well drilled children.  Effects were exciting through colour, silhouette, body shapes and dry ice.  A most dramatic death scene, and realistic fight sequence.  Anya Rose Moore performed a magnificent passionate flamenco using most expressive hand movements.  Colours used were mainly neutrals contrasting with the soldiers’ dark uniforms, addition of shawls, stark black with gold trim for the bullfight. This was a memorable night at the opera.