I have had a great Birthday weekend at home with my family. As a treat my Mum and Dad arranged to take me, Matt, Tom and Alex into Liverpool to watch Judith Howarth, my singing teacher and good friend from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, performing the role of Rosalinde in Die Fledermaus.
I was thrilled to be able to watch her on stage, especially on my Birthday. Judy was so encouraging and supportive to me whilst studying in Glasgow, and also during my time here in London, having the opportunity to support her from the stalls was a real treat.
We arrived in Liverpool and found the theatre quite quickly which was fortunate as it was quite chilly and the wind was picking up. Mum and Dad had booked us into the Ambassador Lounge at the theatre as a birthday treat and for anyone attending a performance here I can thoroughly recommend it. It was lovely and warm inside and the hostess brought us all a welcome drink and you could order nibbles or a snack if you wanted. It was great to be able to leave our bags and coats there and avoid the packed bars before the performance and during the two intervals. The performance was a matinee which started at 4.00 pm which allowed us all to go out for a celebratory meal afterward.
Die Fledermaus is an operetta by Johann Strauss II with the original libretto in German. However, for this production, the WNO ( Welsh National Opera ) used an English translation by David Pountney and Leonard Hancock. The story is quite comedic with wonderful music and I can strongly recommend it to anyone and especially for those who want to see an opera for the first time.
WNO : “Rosalinde is looking forward to a few days carefree time with her lover, while her husband is facing time in prison. Her maid asks to be excused in order to care for a sick Aunt. In truth, all four characters are planning to spend the evening at a magnificent masquerade ball given by the Prince. As the characters are brought together in various guises, we set the scene for a hilarious story of mistaken identity full of splendour, posh frocks, and masks.”
Judy was amazing as Rosalinde with crystal clear coloratura and a legato line to die for. She gave a very believable portrayal of the character as she drew in the audience and made us laugh and giggle as the story played out. Both Paul Charles Clarke who played the lover Alfred and Mark Stone who played the husband Gabriel Eisenstein brought power and energy to their roles which complemented Judy’s beautiful vocals and wonderful characterisation. I must also mention Rhian Lois who played the role of Adele, the chambermaid, her comedic timing was excellent and she sang the role beautifully.
The orchestra under the baton of maestro James Southall brought the whole production to life and the ensemble players added a little sparkle to the party scenes in Act II.
The tour moves on to The Bristol Hippodrome on the 17th and 18th November 2017 and then finishes at the New Theatre, Oxford on 1st and 2nd December 2017.