A capacity audience was treated to a most refreshing and entertaining evening at the Met on Saturday 11 February. The programme, billed as A Night at the Opera, included items for Soprano and Tenor soloists in addition to a very demanding contribution from the choir, which has enjoyed a resurgence in the recent past. Many of the great operatic choruses were performed, and it was interesting to hear the complete version of the Bridal Chorus from Wagner’s Lohengrin.
The visiting soloists were Laura Hudson (Soprano) and Nicholas Sales (Tenor) who was standing in at very short notice for the indisposed Richard Belshaw, and captivated the audience with his lovely sound and sure technique. His ‘La donna e mobile’ was memorable as his ‘opener’, and his singing throughout the evening was a delight.
Laura Hudson possesses a truly operatic voice and combined well with the Tenor soloist in the love duets.
A member of the choir, Janice Lewis (Soprano), sang Puccini’s ‘One fine day’ with admirable control of the difficult vocal line.
Sinead Hayes conducted with energy and authority and Jonathan Ellis was an excellent accompanist throughout.
An original feature was the projection of translations of the words on to a screen at the rear of the stage -‐ a pity they were not always in the right order!
Apart from a few untidy moments in ensemble and occasional suspect intonation (particularly in the Humming Chorus from Madame Butterfly), the choir were generally confident and secure and sang with great enthusiasm in the original languages. A thoroughly entertaining evening.