Acis & Galatea Bachtrack Review

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Acis & Galatea Bachtrack Review

Extract from review:

Opera Theatre Company's production of the 1718 work was outstanding. The endless joys of Handel’s sublime music were matched by stunning performances both by the Irish Baroque Orchestra conducted by Peter Whelan and by the singers, leaving behind a lasting trail of emotion......

Where to start with the singers? This production concocted a very unusual concentration of talent all in one place, so much so that, after each piece brilliantly performed, you were expecting the next one to disappoint, the standard to drop, as too much grace was conceded already. But the magic held until the very end; a feast of aesthetic pleasure.

Tenor Eamonn Mulhall dazzled in the role of Acis, both for his distinctively warm tone and for the psychological depth of his flawless interpretation. Bass-baritone Edward Grint packed a deadly punch as Polyphemus, performing a wonderful “O ruddier than the cherry” and very convincing as the jealous drunkard; his voice had that satisfying round, deep quality that you want to hear in a bass. Susanna Fairbairn also had a very good voice, although she could possibly have dived into the role of Galatea more dramatically. Among the younger performers, Andrew Gavin, in the role of Damon, displayed a very interesting and promising voice with an endearing character, perfectly showcased by the part of the ‘mediator’. His very few uncertainties with the coloratura were negligible in what was an overall standout performance. Sinead O'Kelly, although never singing as a soloist but always within the ensemble/chorus, made herself noticed and I’d be quite curious to hear her in bigger roles. Finally the chorus, although limited in size, was at any given point powerful and punchy.

The show had a really electric feeling about it, and left me wanting to see it again. This one should not be missed and is testament to the creativity and vitality of Fergus Sheil’s Opera Theatre Company. Ad maiora!


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