Yesterday I went to the opera. No, I didn’t have to go to London or any other large conurbation, I just wandered down the road to our local church. We had Pop Up Opera performing Don Pasquale by Donizetti. This is a new opera company set up by Clementine Lovell, to bring opera to unlikely locations and a wider audience. (Does that surname sound familiar? If so, it’s probably because her grandfather, Sir Bernard, built quite a big telescope.) Their very first performance was here, because she has connections to this area and many people who were in the audience have known her for many years.
The opera was fantastic. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve heard professional singers live. I’m always in awe at how seemingly effortless the production of such an amazing sound is. Clementine sings a lovely soprano and she had a couple of rather nice men in the production. The baritone, Ricardo Panel has the most gorgeous voice and Juan Carlos Echeverry, the tenor, a particularly gorgeous face.
I took the girls along as well. I had intended to take Miss 9, because she loves singing, and I wanted her to hear someone genuinely good at live performance rather than an autotuned popstar. I also wanted her to hear a different type of singing, because she would dearly love singing lessons but only if she only has to learn modern songs. I don’t know of any singing teachers who would agree to that!
When Miss 8 heard that Miss 9 was going, of course she had to go as well. That was probably not the best decision, but she was at least well behaved, if not enthralled. Miss 9 seemed to really enjoy the evening. She followed the story, even without understanding the language, and enjoyed the music.
Pop up Opera are now off touring round the country in many and varied venues from the Isle of Wight to Guildford to the RADA student bar. From what I saw last night it will be a great tour.