With wrong-headed political educational initiatives threatening to decimate arts provision in schools, we desperately need enterprises such as Operamus brought us last weekend, assembling dozens of youngsters joining a cohort of rising professional singers and instrumentalists for joyous performances of Britten’s ‘Noye Fludde’.
This community opera has a wonderfully homespun feel about it, with its percussion department literally raiding the kitchen, and with handbells underpinning the proclamations of God.
Yet there was also a moving sense of gravitas in this presentation, much of it attributable to the authoritative conducting of Daniele Rosina, marshalling his forces (the orchestra including schoolchildren violinists amidst more experienced players, the chorus peopled with throngs of adorable little animals, the soloists -- some of them very young -- willing and accomplished, and us, the croaky congregation) with such calm charisma and enthusiasm.
Plaudits all round, but especially to Pat Bennett, guiding spirit behind Operamus, and her assistants, producer Linnea Markgren, Rev. Dr John White articulating the words of his Boss, Joseph Kennedy as Noah, Rosie Thickett as his chavvy wife, Theo Watkins and Esther Simkiss as Mr and Mrs Sem, graceful dancers Maddy Abraham and Abigail Hygate,and the acute timpanist, virtually ever-present in this taut little score.
Kings Norton’s St Nicolas Church was the perfect venue, and now that it houses a decent piano I look forward to reviewing more concerts here.