For those of you who still believe the stereotype that opera is full of women singing at glass-shattering range in Italian for hours on end, I would like to dispel these ideas. Opera, in its modern form, can range from the situational comedy of Gianni Schicchi, to the almost Dadaist surrealism of Apollinaire’s The Breasts of Tiresias. Thankfully for aficionados of the art, such a wide range was in full focus at the Scottish Opera’s ‘Opera in Concert’ with the National Opera Studio.
A mix of operatic standards, primarily showcasing younger members of the company, the evening’s performance showed the future of Scottish Opera to be in rude health, putting on many mesmerising performances. The basic staging was an inspired choice in its simplicity, and allowed an enraptured, if slightly sparse, audience to focus primarily on the musical treats afforded. Whilst occasionally the translations seemed slightly mistimed, or simply became secondary to the performances at hand, the talent of the singers meant that the necessary emotion was always on show, even if the specifics of the lyrics did not shine through.
There were a couple of moments of hesitation on the part of the young performers, momentary missteps that are to be expected at this stage in their careers, however this did little to diminish from the overall joy of the evening. Any slight flaws were made up for by the genuine joy that each of the individual performers showed for their craft, which had a fellow patron remark to me at the interval that in no show in her near-fifty years of following the Scottish Opera had put quite a wide smile on her face.
In conclusion, this really should fill you with hope for future shows from the Scottish Opera, and should have you clamouring for tickets for any of their future events.
PHOTOS: James Glossop
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