Archive for January 27th, 2008

Eugene Onegin – RSAMD.

I always look forward to the operas put on by students from the Opera School at RSAMD in Glasgow.    They are young voices, and bring a freshness to well-known (and not so well-known) operas.    The shows are part of the coursework, and these singers are getting experience of taking direction from a guest director, as well as learning to perform important roles.

This time, they moved across the road to Theatre Royal, where the orchestra of Scottish Opera was augmented with a sprinkling of RSAMD orchestral players.    On stage, the students provided the principles and chorus.   Off stage, the students worked alongside Theatre Royal staff.

But what really whetted the appetite was the new collaboration of RSAMD with the at Glasgow’s Twin City of Rostov-on-Don in Russia.    We had several Russians singing on the night we went,  and indeed, there were Russians sitting in front of us in the Theatre.    This is exactly what Scotland’s Opera School should be doing – forging international links, and working together in partnership with our own Scottish Opera.    Congratulations all round, and well done to Glasgow.

Eugene Onegin has some wonderful music, and is Tchaikovsky’s best known opera.   It is a great challenge for singers and band.    RSAMD chose to sing this in Russian – full marks for that – what a treat to hear this opera in its original language, and what an experience for the (non-Russian) principals and chorus to learn to sing in Russian.

The performance was very good indeed, and there were no weak links in the cast.     Theatre Royal can be a bit big for young voices to fill, but director Will Kerley sensibly kept the singers at the front of the stage where it mattered.    The production was well thought through, extremely  well directed and had some stunning moments as well as some genuine surprises.   

RSAMD, Scottish Opera, Theatre Royal, the Roskov Conservertoire and Glasgow should be very proud of what has been achieved here.

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