Opera tells the tale of a rainforest under threat of destruction

Rainforest by Opera Minima at Little Dalby Hall nr Melton

THE PLIGHT of the disappearing rainforests was represented in opera form on Saturday night.

The performance, by Great Easton-based Opera Minima, was in the impressive grounds of Little Dalby Hall, constituency home of Harborough MP Edward Garnier.

Rainforest, by Martin Read and Philip Sealey, is scored for just four voices, percussion and keyboard, played by Nicholas Bosworth.

To be honest, the music did not touch me. It was beautifully sung, but for me it could have been spoken and still had the same effect.

The strong plot, based on a true story, concerned Chico Mendes, leader of the rubber tappers' union, whose livelihood and thus the forest, is at risk because of developers.

He is seen as an obstacle in the way of progress and is eventually murdered.

However, although the first and last choruses were impressive, the piece, directed by Gillian Leftwich, lacked atmosphere – even the murder was somewhat flat.

Some of this could possibly be blamed on the outdoor setting, which seemed to dissipate the drama.

That said, the music was difficult, yet superbly sung. Particularly impressive was soprano Rebecca Moon, who played Gaia, the environmentalist.

The evening had begun with three delightful arias from Purcell’s Fairy Queen, Mozart’s Idomeneo and Janacek’s Cunning Little Vixen, which I must say were more my cup of tea.

By Gordon Birch