Review of ‘Golden Moments from Opera’ at Chatteris on Saturday 21st June 2014.

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Hatstand Opera presented some golden moments from opera on Saturday in Chatteris for the Music Society. This was one of the many high profile events the Society has organized and it was, indeed, a series of ‘golden’ moments.

Opera favourites were mixed with lesser known delights in this varied programme and the evening ended with some highly entertaining re-workings of more, familiar tunes. The whole evening was a thoroughly enjoyable experience, because not only was the singing first-rate but joy and humour regularly infused the programme, leaving us mesmerised.

Toni Nunn (soprano), Kirsty Young (mezzo), and Jochem van Ast (baritone) were in fine voice and very ably accompanied by pianist Sue Graham Smith. Songs were sung mostly in English but we were entertained with some delightful numbers in their original language. The French sounds of ‘The Flower Duet’ helped to make this one of the most memorable items. Toni and Kirstys’ voices were perfectly matched in this piece as were all voices in ‘Soave sia el vento’ from Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart.

The highlight for me was Toni’s performance of ‘Vissi d’arte’ from Puccini’s ‘Tosca’. The Italian language, the smooth phrases infused with passion and, of course, the wonderful voice was transfixing.

Kirsty and Jochem were also impressive singers and their characterization and humour were most engaging. There was not a dull moment in this array of opera gems.

Meanwhile, constantly providing expert support was Sue Graham Smith on piano. No matter how intricate or rapid the accompaniment, she played with absolute security and accuracy, adapting to the songs’ mood swings perfectly.

This was a highly entertaining evening well worthy of its enthusiastic support.

The next event offered by Chatteris Music Society will be a free piano recital by Natalia Williams-Wandoch on Saturday 26th July at the Parish Church of St Peter and St Paul at mid-day.

Contacts: www.hatstandopera.co.uk

For Chatteris Music Society: Katherinechild9@aol.com or joandeller@talktalk.net.

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