Orange Opera - Slices of Orange 3

Fisher Theatre, Bungay

Orange Opera – remember the name. It is likely to be heard of more and more in opera circles because the mission of the Bungay-based company is to bring that dramatic medium to a wider audience.

Bungay's emerging Fisher Theatre was the venue for its first performance of Orange Opera 3, the third in its series of Slices of Orange since the company was formed two years ago, and it treated a virtually full house to segments of no fewer than eight operas.

Some were well known, others were less so – and the programme was completed with a medley of tunes from such shows as Carousel, Oklahoma! and Porgy and Bess.

This may well have been Bungay's first sight of professional public opera, certainly since the Fisher Theatre enjoyed its original short history from 1828-44, and it was clear the audience relished the long-awaited treat from the four performers.

Michael Hart-David (tenor), Debra Stuart (mezzo soprano), Tom McVeigh (baritone) and Marie Vassiliou (soprano), have performed in many of the leading operas for many of the leading opera companies in the country's top venues.

In this production they showed all their experience, skill, expertise and control, which will have left those in the audience new to the genre with appetites well whetted.

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The programme opened with L'Elisir d'Amour, by Donizetti, the story of a simple country boy and his love for Adina. It was followed by excerpts from Mozart's La Clemenza di Tito and Don Giovanni, Massenet's Werther, and Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin.

The second half featured Ravel's L'Enfant et les Sortileges, in which items come to life to admonish a bored child, Britten's Billy Budd and Janacek's The Cunning Little Vixen, before the finale medley.

The production moves to the Assembly House, Norwich on September 26 and the Peggoty Road Community Centre in Yarmouth on September 27.