Comedy double bill ‘Quality opera in unexpected places’

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REVIEW: Opera Minima comedy double bill, Trial by Jury and Divas, at Oakham Castle on October 30.

Opera Minima always brings us “quality opera in unexpected places” and their latest production, a comedy double bill, was in the very unexpected and beautiful Oakham Castle. “Our most expensive set ever,” they said!

As always, the wonderful Minima singers’ voices filled the huge space. First was “Diva” based on Mozart’s “The Impresario”. Artistic director Gill Leftwich directed, and took a small part. This opera allowed Catrine Kirkman and Fleur Bray, as rival divas, to use their superb voices to full effect auditioning for the Impresario, Edward Lee, while overacting outrageously!

“Trial by Jury”, a one act comic operetta by Gilbert and Sullivan, was our second, very funny, treat. Opera Minima broke away from their “comfort zone” and used a voluntary chorus.

We expected a lot from the five professional opera singers (and got it), but I must compliment the 14 amateur local performers, too.

Performing in a professional production requires courage, hard work and dedication as well as just talent.

Susan Jiwey (the plaintiff, Angelina) had voice trouble at this performance and was unable to sing. However (the very un-diva-ish) Catrine Kirkman sang to Susan’s acting. It was seamlessly done.

Congratulations to director Susan Moore and her helpers, Caroline Trutz and Lesley Anne Sammons. Also of course the amazing music director Nicholas Bosworth. Vivien Window