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National Opera Studio Showcase review at Queen Elizabeth Hall London

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The National Opera Studio’s end of term showcase provides a great opportunity to sample the standards of the UK’s most advanced opera students. As usual, their selection of scenes was finely prepared and nicely served up, with imaginative designs by Conor Murphy, inventive lighting by Bruno Poet and stylish conducting by Roy Laughlin.

Only John Fulljames’s direction was erratic. In a couple of extracts – from Don Giovanni and Idomeneo in particular – the young artists seemed to have little idea who they were, and when silent in particular they trod water. But Fulljames did well with the big ensemble scenes from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Cosi.

On the whole, there were fewer remarkable singers than in the last two years, with several needing to work on fairly basic matters – like singing in tune, as someone said to me in the interval. But a number impressed with their achievement or at least potential. Soprano Rejieli Paulo has a magnificent instrument not yet under full control. Nor was Martene Grimson’s lighter voice, though she had some lovely moments as Humperdinck’s Gretel.

Amongst those impressing with honed skills were Karina Lucas as Hansel and Mozart’s Idamante, Eleni Voudouraki as Aurelio in Donizetti’s L’assedio di Calais, Sinead Campbell as Britten’s Helena, and Ed Lyon, especially as Britten’s Earl of Essex. It is going to be fascinating to see how these young artists develop as they make their way into the profession.

Production Information

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, May 5

Mozart, Donizetti, Humperdinck, Britten
John Fulljames
National Opera Studio
Cast includes
Karina Lucas, Eleni Voudouraki, Sinead Campbell, Ed Lyon
Running time

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