Owen Wingrave

On Saturday, I had the pleasure to watch the opening night performance of Benjamin Britain’s ‘Owen Wingrave’ at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Owen Wingrave

I must admit that it isn’t one of my favourite operas but I thought that the singers performed very convincingly and kept me engaged. I particularly enjoyed the four female characters in the ensemble pieces, their voices blended beautifully and created an interesting dynamic against the backdrop of the spooky grey mansion setting.

I was intrigued with the set design and lighting which was very atmospheric and interacted well with the performance space to create effects of new rooms and corridors. This gave the stage the look of a large country mansion devoid of warmth and coldly diseased due to the emptiness caused by the loss of family to ‘War’.

As a contrast to the visual setting it was lovely to hear the voices of the children’s choir in the second act, as they provided an eerie colour to the already tense storyline.

The direction of the opera was excellent and I found the use a young boy actor in the prologue intriguing as it helped set the scene by explaining the story behind the haunted room within the mansion. Another directorial highlight for me was the use of six young soldiers, who entered the space to suggest the night terrors Owen experienced about War.

There are  further performances on Monday 9th May, Wednesday 11th May and Friday 13th May.

Update: fab 4⭐️ review “Moving and brilliant: Owen Wingrave” @RCStweets 

RCSOn another note, I will be culminating my studies at the conservatoire with a recital on 25th May 2016.

It would be lovely to see some supportive and friendly faces in the audience 😊




38 thoughts on “Owen Wingrave

  1. Nice ! Thanks Charlotte, I really like how you speck about the Opéra, design, lights, colors, your words create 3d pictures 🙂 – Congrats ! Have a great week, all the best for you !

    1. I’ve been working on the new repertoire all year with expert teachers in Oratorio, German, performance just to name a few and of course my main vocal teacher to bring the program to life, I hope I do everyone justice.
      Best wishes

  2. I have never really taken to Ben B, but I must say that if he has done justice to the novel and the libretto, it must be a great experience.
    Goodness, final year exam that close! Can I sign the cast on your leg afterwards? 🙂

    1. It didn’t quite build up for me personally from the beginning as a story. The orchestral colours aren’t as strong at building images that tell the story. Unlike in Britten’s Peter Grimes.
      Your smilies are coming through so that’s good 👍🏻🌸.
      All my best wishes

    1. Yes the situation in Syria is so bleak, the people forced to flee their homes, it’s the most reported on our news but so many conflicts ☹️.
      My best wishes Eric, 🙏

  3. Lovely post Charlotte. I cannot believe how quickly the time has flown, good luck with your finals, see you soon. 😘

    1. I don’t think I’ve missed a single opera put on at the RCS while I’ve been here, I like to be supportive where I can ☺️. Thank you.
      Best wishes

  4. Best of luck Charlotte! I hope the recital goes really well. Thank-you for the review of Owen Wingrave. I have heard excerpts from the opera but have never heard the whole thing. When we moved to Somerset I bought the CD of Peter Grimes to play when I felt homesick. The trouble was it made me more homesick as the music ‘is’ the Suffolk coast to me! I love BB’s music very much.
    Best wishes Clare x

    1. I love Britten’s music too. I’d love to see Peter Grimes actually at the coast. Owen Wingrave was originally commissioned for television which would be nice to see happen now. Thanks for the good luck wish Clare ☺️.
      Best wishes

      1. A performance on Aldeburgh beach was televised a couple of years ago. It was quite good but the noise of the waves and the wind almost overpowered the singing!

  5. Liebe Charlotte heute hier ist kein Wölkchen am Himmel und Sonne pur es ist ein wunderschöner Tag und so kann es bleiben bei deinem so schönen lächelnden Foto kann es nur so sein herzliche Grüße Klaus

  6. Can’t say much about Owen Wingrave. We have military members of our family and they are doing the best they can, although most are now either dead or out of harms’s way. I take it from my history reading and other sources that being an Army Wallah was a big deal in Britain for a long time.

    I think about the little guys. A touching plaque exists near Concord Mass, dedicated to the little guy…an unknown British soldier who died far from home in our American Revolution, or ‘War of Rebellion’ as the Brits called it.

  7. Wonderful opening shot Charlotte ~ your creative nature serves you very well. You’ve got a great sense of music as I can see it in your writing and description of “Owen Wingrave”, the voices blending beautifully, or the directors view of certain scenes…it is nice to view a review from your perspective 🙂 Wishing you a great weekend Charlotte, seems like things are going so well with you! 🙂

  8. I’ve never seen/heard this either. I am not the greatest Britten fan, though I LOVE the War Requiem, and Midsummer Night’s Dream can be wonderful. Very best of luck in the up-coming exams. We were at a concert last night in our village with four women ‘The Leading Ladies’ http://www.leadingladies.org.uk graduates of the Guildhall School of Music, they were great fun with a varied programme. That’s how they make a living between touring opera engagements.

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