Edinburgh Studio Opera return to the fringe with a daring performance of opera’s best-loved arias and scenes.
Opera is often overlooked in terms of the fringe as it’s seen to be a major part of the international festival. It’s good to see there are quality companies producing accessible opera with in the fringe. A 21 strong company perform a selection taken from Dido and Aeneas by Purcell alongside Nixon in China by Adams the most modern of the operas to appear at the lunchtime session. We are then treated to an extended excerpt from Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel from 1893. The company performs Act 3 Scene 3 in the witches’ kitchen to great aplomb with Susan McNaught reveling in the role of the witch oozing nastiness. This is followed by Janacek’s Cunning little Vixen with Brendan Glen excelling in the role of the cockerel before the company move on to Le Nozze di Figaro with the Finale in the countess Bedroom getting loud approvals from the audience. To close the show we are treated to a simply outstanding performance of Rodolfo’s Apartment from Puccini’s La Boheme. Laura Reading is quite simply breathtaking in her delivery and is for me the star of the production. The company’s finale is taken from Bizet’s Carmen is a rousing and well executed finish to the 50 minutes.
Unfortunately the venue doesn’t allow for dramatic lighting and set but excellent costumes, tight direction from Michael Richardson which ensures the venue is used to its best and makes for a delightful lunchtime’s opera production.