Opera East Productions

ALISON CROOSE Burnham Thorpe Church


After 30 years of staging high-quality classical music, Burnham Market Concerts took an ambitious leap forward by adding opera to their programme – and what a good step it proved to be.

A double bill of kitchen capers – The Wandering Scholar by Gustav Holst and A Dinner Engagement by Lennox Berkeley – provided a lively start to this year's series, and the high standards set by Opera East guaranteed success.

It was a bold move, but with excellent voices complemented by a first-rate orchestra – and all benefiting from the church's fine acoustic – the audience of more than 200 appreciated it.

Both works are comic gems offering music rich in variety which conductor Oliver Gooch delivered to great effect despite the logistical problems – namely pillars – posed by the ecclesiastical setting.

Holst's work, set in a French farmhouse in the 13th century and premiered in 1934, made a tasty aperitif for A Dinner Engagement, a 1950s version of Keeping Up Appearances, in which the cast exploited the delights of the work's very English humour.

Most Read

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter