This Iford Arts New Generation Artists performance of Leoncavallo’s Pagliacci at Belcombe Court demonstrated there is no shortage of developing talent and the vital role of performance experience.
The audience was treated to individual performances that should soon happily grace some of our professional state funded opera companies.
Clearly, carefully rehearsed by production director Christopher Luscombe and artistic director Oliver Gooch, the singers included two artists who have previously worked with Iford Arts, Fiona Finsbury as a sparkling young Nedda, nimbly transforming from frustrated woman to the delicately prancing Columbine, and a suitably dashing Dan de Souza as her lover Silvio.
They were joined by three new IANGA artists. Thomas Kinch sang a quite remarkable Canio with emotion and strength to knock you out of your seat. As this was not enough he stepped into the concert performance role of Turiddu for “main” performances of mezzoPag, singing alongside Susan Bullock and Longborough Opera’s current Wotan Paul Carey Jones, and gave more edge of seat singing.
There was no lack of confidence and presence from Louis Hurst as a particularly robust and malevolent Tonio while Ryan Vaughan Davies clearly delighted in the fun opportunities of acting Beppe and impressing with his lyrical tenor.
Images Cooper Hall
The chorus of young singers were delightful and looked genuinely fascinated and entertained by their colleagues performances in this well crafted pared down production that well suited the story of the travelling troupe, that was created by Ensemble Opera, itself a travelling troupe of players.
What if all opera organisations gave such opportunities to singers at this stage of their career?
Review of the full programme https://operascene.co.uk/reviews/mezzocav-and-i-pagliacci-iford-arts/