The True Mystery of The Passion, Holt

FRANK CLIFF Staged Passions seem to be fashionable at the moment, and Handel's The True Mystery Of The Passion would seem to be especially suitable in the 1965 version by Denys Darlow which reduces the original three hours of music to an hour.

FRANK CLIFF

Staged Passions seem to be fashionable at the moment, and Handel's The True Mystery Of The Passion would seem to be especially suitable in the 1965 version by Denys Darlow which reduces the original three hours of music to an hour.

North Norfolk Chamber Opera's production at Gresham's School is a tour de force for Geoff Davidson as both director and conductor. His staging reveals the dramatic nature of the work most effectively, the singers move excellently, it is beautiful to look at and there is well-disciplined choral singing.

Less successful are the arias which, apart from Vernon Holt's well-projected Peter, were mostly somewhat lacklustre. Even so this was both an innovative and enjoyable performance.

For the second half, Davidson had devised an entertainment based on Handel's life. This was hugely enjoyable, if a little slow to get going.

Once again it looked splendid, although again the solos were somewhat inconsistent yet redeemed by the choral singing, especially a fine Zadok The Priest, and throughout by the fine playing of the Channot Ensemble.

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