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.
- 1 Woman in 40s airlifted to hospital after suffering medical emergency
- 2 People are driving for hours to visit this loaded fries and doughnut kiosk
- 3 Meet the new team behind revamped village pub
- 4 One of East Anglia's largest property builders is sold to investment firm
- 5 Holiday Inn to become 'care hotel' to help struggling hospitals
- 6 Obituary: Doctor, and son of Norwich's recycling empire founder, dies aged 69
- 7 One person taken to hospital after three-car crash on A47
- 8 War-time bomb lay dormant for 80 years before exploding under fishing boat
- 9 Music-loving dad whose ashes were fired into festival crowd took own life
- 10 'Once in a lifetime catch' - man lands monster fish in Norfolk