Monday 21 September 2020

Making the Magic happen again: Leoncavallo's Pagliacci live in Islington

Leoncavallo's Pagliacci live on October 3, 2020

With theatres and concert halls closed for over six months and, despite some very welcome performances, no prospect of regular concert life returning, some artists are turning entrepreneur and making events happen. Welsh soprano Elin Pritchard has gather some musical friends together, braved the rigours of risk-assessment, social distancing and lack of budget, and Let Us Make Noise was born. The company is putting on Leoncavallo's 1892 Verismo masterpiece Pagliacci is being performed at St James' Church, Islington on Saturday 3 October 2020, with Elin Pritchard as Nedda, Peter Auty as Canio, Robert Hayward as Tonio, Nicholas Lester as Silvio and Aled Hall as Beppe, directed by Christopher Luscombe, conducted by John Andrews, with accompaniment provided by Berrak Dyer (piano), Fenella Humphries (violin) and Sophie Gledhill (piano). And there will be a small chorus of recent music graduates.

Conductor John Andrews said: "This seems such a timely piece at the moment. Performers are struggling so much under current conditions, but the need to put on your costume, do your make-up and give an audience a damn good show, is as strong as ever."

Christopher Luscombe directed Verdi's Falstaff at the 2019 Grange Festival with Robert Hayward in the title role, Elin Pritchard as Alice Ford, Nicholas Lester as Ford [see my review], and we last caught Peter Auty as Des Grieux in Puccini's Manon Lescauty at Opera Holland Park in 2019 [see my review].

The company aims to take a leap of faith and strip opera to its emotional core of music and drama, and with a few days of intense rehearsal they will make some magic happen again. 

Full details and tickets from EventBrite.

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