Fledermaus - May 2012
- Opera, July 2012
Opera at the Stag Theatre, Sevenoaks, May 17
It took only a few minutes
for one to sense this was one of Kentish Opera's best productions
to date. This intelligent, vigorous and polished company seems
to go from strength to strength. This excellently managed production
by Terry John Bates delivered riches in every department. The
conductor, Robyn Sevastos, is a bundle of fire, who energised
the company from a first-rate overture- full of spirited transitions
and sensibly judged rubato - through three acts without a hint
of flagging. Some strong woodwind contributed handsomely, while
there was enough depth in the strings to provide ample support
even for the full-blooded chorus.
Prince Orlovsky's ball
was a treat, where Enid Strutt's designs, creating a plush atmosphere
with dark turquoises and white, paid rich dividends, providing
an easily negotiable space. Sally Langford's company was quite
unfazed by Fledermaus's many demands, fielding a tremendously
inventive, assured cast. Graham Stone's Frank revealed a secure,
warm bass and was rich in nuanced comic characterisation. Stefanie
Kemball-Read's Adele weighed
in with scintillating coloratura and similar comic prowess.
Kevin Gauntlett's cross-dressing, slightly over-bizarre Frosch
was also well to the fore. Daniel Joy was a chirpy, note-perfect
Alfred, and his ensembles with Stephen Brown's mellifluous, wry
Eisenstein and Ruth Kerr's full toned Rosalinde were a highlight.
The warm-toned Hakan Vramsmo was a suavely manipulative Falke.
Kathryn Hannah a hospitable Prince Orlovsky; it was a pity the
staging's only error was to place her backstage for her aria,
where words got lost and she was swamped by the orchestra.
NODA SE, District 5
This production of Die
Fledermaus gave us a hilarious libretto with a modern twist,
an excellent set, costumes and perfect performances, and of course,
once again, a wonderful orchestra conducted by Robyn Sevastos.
Die Fledermaus at the Stag Theatre Sevenoaks this week proved
to be an entertaining operetta. It engaged me from the very beginning
to the very last note. The performances were excellent from all
the cast and every actor managed to portray the personal traits
of their characters, through their facial nuances, delivery of
dialogue, and with the help of their perfectly pitched strong
voices made this operetta just perfect.
(Adele) needs mention for her comic portrayal of the maid Adele,
she lit up the stage and made me chuckle every time she set foot
Each act had a
different ambience with beautifully costumed leads and chorus,
along with the 3 sets executed to a very high standard by Enid
Strutt, and strategic lighting by Colin Martin. Director Terry
John Bates moved the Kentish Opera's large chorus to a very high
professional standard and they looked, as I said before, "stunning",
this really does make an operetta stand out from musicals the
spectacular voices, grandeur sets and direction. Well done Terry
for bringing this all together.
The audience on Friday
night applauded enthusiastically and sometimes timely, though
some of the humour was lost on them. But my accolade for the
evening must go to Kevin Gauntlett (Frosch).Kevin took this small
part and made it his own in his camp portrayal of the jailer.
Only he had the gall to speak to the audience and talk he did,
every facial expression, innuendo, and limp limb movement made
a perfect interlude of comic portrayal of otherwise a very small
Thank you Kentish
Opera for a great evening and hope to see you for 'Merrie England'
17 May 2012
All praise to the director
Terry John Bates for a slick and thoroughly absorbing production
of Kentish Opera's Die Fledermaus. It was an ideal choice to
show off Kentish Opera's talents.
The first act was well-balanced and slick and it seemed to pass
all too quickly. Stefanie Kemball-Read as Adele showed her feisty
side and greatly amused the audience. Ruth Kerr as Rosalinde
coped well with her demanding part. Add to these two, Stephen
Brown's Eisenstein who has a delightfully tenor voice and Daniel
Joy's Alfred who added humour with his Italian 'tit bits' in
his overtures to Rosalinde showing off his charming tenor voice.
The Ball scene showed
off Enid Strutt's excellent set and costumes. It brought in the
full cast with the women all delightfully 'kitted out' in splendid
ball gowns and the men resplendent in full evening dress. Haken
Vramsmo (Dr Falke) was party to Rosalinde's little trick of disguising
herself from Eisenstein. I did find Kathryn Hannah's Prince Orlofsky
a little weak and it was impossible to hear her words, possibly
because she did not always face the audience whilst singing.
Frank (Graham Stone) has
to be the star of the third act, a gentle giant of a prison governor,
with humour and a charming bass voice. Frosch (Kevin Gauntlett)
played the camp jailer with great aplomb, but possibly went on
a little too long.
The conductor, Robyn Sevastos made sure that her orchestra never
overpowered the singing but made a very pleasing sound.
Some of the photographs
taken at the two dress rehearsals are available here.