13th November 2017
Haworth-West Lane Baptist Amateur Operatic Society
Haworth West Lane Baptist Church
Type of Production
Author: Sally Holmes
The Gondoliers is billed as one of the most popular and best loved of operas and we were transported to a sunny piazza in Venice (on a dismal damp evening in November) for this colourful and sunny production.
All principals played their parts with confidence, and their singing was excellent. We were very quickly introduced to Gianetta and Tessa, played by Kirstina Hodgson and Gill Dobson, who were expertly “partnered” by Marco and Giuseppe played by John Martin and JaiJai Ekins, the two “just married” Gondolier brothers. They all gave lovely performances and their singing - whether it be quartet, duet or solo - was lovely to listen to.
The Duke and Duchess of Plaza -Toro, played by Ian Dobson and Janine McAndrew played their parts with confidence, expertise and clarity.
Luiz, the Duke’s attendant, played by Garry Colgan had a lovely tenor voice and the duets with Casilda, played by Charissa Hutchins were striking. Charissa’s voice just soared over the notes with ease.
The Grand Inquisitor Don Alhambra del Bolero was majestically played by John Ramsdin. He has great stage presence and a beautifully clear voice, both in libretto and song. I loved his “interaction” with the audience (and I think other members of the audience appreciated it too!).
There were also some excellent performances from Glynis Carradice as Fiametta and Margaret Richards as Inez (the kings foster mother), who have striking singing voices. They both sang very clearly, which enhanced the story telling of the production.
The chorus singing was first-rate and credit must go to Musical Director David Root for putting the cast through their paces to sing this not so easy score. The orchestra was pleasing to listen to and they played sympathetically so that the cast members were never overpowered by the volume of the instruments.
The wonderful set (designed by Steve Tomlinson) was ingenious and it was exciting to watch the transformation from Act 1 to Act 2 – what a makeover from a pizza in Venice to the Palace of Barataria!!!. Incredible to believe this whole production is performed in the sanctuary of a church!
Congratulations to Christine Ingham, Director, who should be pleased and proud of the entire company with this production. Thank you for a most enjoyable evening’s entertainment.