Kennet Opera present their major new production of Verdi’s dramatic and appealing La Traviata this weekend at Arlington Arts, Snelsmore. To be sung in English under their musical director Ben Hamilton, the exciting staging by Jim Petts and Suzanne Thompson takes us back to the glamorous smart-set years of the 50s.
Starring as the hapless, beautiful and pleasure-loving Violetta is soprano Elizabeth Slade, herself from Berkshire and with a wide career in opera and concert work and on television. Opposite her as Alfredo is Lawrence Thackeray (tenor), a recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Music who has already worked at Glyndebourne and Wexford. Trying to bring some sense into this dangerous but ultimately tragic relationship is baritone John Morgan as Alfredo’s father Giorgio Germont, another fine voice; he was a finalist in the Pavarotti Voice competition held recently in Modena. Other parts finding their way through the many conflicting demands of the story are drawn from the growing strength of Kennet Opera’s own members, including Lydia Finch, Ant Goffart and Don Crerar, backed up by the noteworthy members of the Chorus. The orchestra is also drawn from local talented musicians.
The production gets under way tonight (Thursday) at 7.30pm, with performances tomorrow and Saturday . Tickets are available from arlingtonarts.co.uk or by telephone on 01635 244246.
Make sure you bring a hankie.
If the Living Art Hungerford gallery were a band, curator Justin Cook would have cited “artistic differences” as the reason for his departure. He has now cut loose from the family firm to do his own thing at ‘Oil’, just a few doors down the road. TRISH LEE spoke to him about his new gallery, which recently launched with an exhibition in its ‘Boiler Room’