This review was published in the west Sussex County Times shortly after our summer concert performance of “The Gondoliers” at Shipley Church.
CHORUS IN FINE VOICE FOR A FUN EVENING AND MERRY ROMP
WHAT a performance! And a record, surely? 80 singers, 15 soloists, piano and a sizeable audience packed into a tiny, tiddly, church. We were in for a fun evening and a merry romp. The chorus was in fine voice with clear diction, matched by excellent soloists.
The Duke (John Hancorn) most impressive: bold and expressive but by no means alone. Marco (Nick Pritchard) and Guiseppe (Tristan Meares) worked together superbly as did Tessa (Victoria Rowcroft) and Gianetta (Sandra Janman). Lovely to welcome back Hannah O’Reilly (Casilda) in lively top form. Three splendid surprises in a secure Duchess (Katie Callas), a lovesick Luiz (Adrian Bawtree) and a very grand Inquisitor (Graham Brown).
The duets and quartets were a joy; so well balanced. Both chorus and soloists made the most of the lilting score and sparkling, tuneful music. Nick’s `Take a pair of sparklingeyes’, Victoria’s `When a merry maiden marries’, the foursome’s `In a contemplative fashion’ and the infectious tutti `Dance a cachucha’ were certainly among the highlights.
Top marks must go to Caroline Reid for her talented accompaniment on the piano.This will be the last appearance of Adrian and Victoria, leaving for pastures new, in Canterbury.