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