Phantom and the Opera

Presumably due to copyright laws, a musical journey tracing the development of modern musicals became Phantom and The Opera.

Presumably due to copyright laws, Saturday's musical journey (at the Princess Theatre, Hunstanton) tracing the development of modern musicals from the early days of grand opera by way of Gilbert and Sullivan, Viennese Operetta and Rogers and Hammerstein, became Phantom and The Opera.

Three singers Maria Kesselman, Annette Yeo and Ian McLarnon accompanied by musical director Mathew Freeman (piano) with Colin Billing (keyboard) and Mark Hunter (drums) performed and imaginatively conceived a virtually non-stop evening of songs from all aspects of the musical theatre. The amplification was too high to begin with but this was reduced to a more tolerable level after an enquiry from the stage.

Of the three singers, Annette Yeo was the most outstanding. She possesses a superb voice with a rich tone and great dynamic control, while at the same time immersing herself in the wide range of characters that she was portraying. Maria Kesselman had a delightful presence but her voice was rather shrill at times and more suited to pieces from musicals than opera, while I felt that Ian McLarnon's singing was at times somewhat mannered.

To me items from Les Miserables and excerpts from operetta and opera were particularly memorable. Nevertheless, all were performed with great panache while the musicians provided brilliant accompaniment, never dominating the singers – a true partnership, as it should be.

All received a great response from the near-capacity audience at the end of a very enjoyable evening.

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