The latest opera from Sydney Chamber opera is Benjamin Britten’s Rape of Lucretia. It was groundbreaking in its day, creating a new concept of Chamber Opera in the place of traditional orchestral works requiring large cast and chorus.
Opera is all about the music, and under artistic director Jack Symond’s direction it is truly sublime. So exquisite is the music and the singing that it could have been performed in the dark and it would have been completely entertaining.
But this opera has been directed by an amazingly accomplished director, Kip Williams who introduces an incredibly interesting new perspective on the traditional tale of ‘the rape which brought down a monarchy.’ This staging requiring exceptional acting and movement skill from the cast and they deliver faultlessly. If it were presented just as a play it would be riveting!
Some singers have performed with SCO many times- Baritone simon Lobelson always sings beautifully and revels in any acting/vocal challenge. Jane Sheldon’s soprano voice is like crystal, as ever, and she sustains intensity of emotion with every glance or movement. We are lucky to be able to see her regularly in Sydney with SCO- most of her work is overseas.
Tenor Andrew Goodwin, who has trained/performed largely in Russia is exceptional as the male chorus. Again, we are so lucky to have world class singers performing intimate works in Sydney. I saw him earlier this year in Biographica, the outstanding event at the Sydney Festival.
The other singers, Anna Dowsley, Celeste Lazareko,Nathan Lay, Jeremy Kleeman and Jessica O’Donoghue are all marvelous.
Do not miss this piece- SCO has a very short season. But more importantly, get onto the mailing list so that you never miss aSCO event. Opera lover or not, this company is so interesting and entertaining you will become a devotee.