Thursday, 22 June 2017

REVIEW | The Pirates of Penzance | Warwick Arts Centre

If you have never been to see an opera before and you would like to ease your way in with something a little more whimsical - a performance that offers the typical love story, fabulously written music but all inclusive of comicality then The Pirates of Penzance is the one for you. I went to see this production recently by Opera Warwick at the Warwick Arts Centre and thoroughly enjoyed every moment.

The tale of a love story involves 21-year-old Frederick, a young apprentice to be released of his obligations by tender-hearted pirates on his 21st year, only to realise that he was born on the 29th February of a leap year and is in fact technically only 5 and a bit years old. He battles with his love for the Major Generals daughter and 63 years of duty left to serve with the Pirates of Penzance.

Music written by Gilbert and Sulivan - the orchestra played superbly and the cast was strong too. In the lead comic role of Major-General Stanley, Charlie Cooper perfected the 'Patter-Song' and his timing was spot on. A truly talented young woman, Eleanor Sterland played the part of Mabel and dazzled the audience with her bel canto melodies.

The opera was made by the intimate studio stage setting. The production was up close and personal amongst a small audience which meant that the production was very engaging and added to it's comicality. The orchestra (pictured above) were in plain sight on their very own stage, higher up at the back of the performance which I found delightful as it is not often you are able to watch both actors and musicians perform.

An entirely captivating evening from start to end, I could not recommend seeing this opera enough when you get the chance. Written with brilliant humour and clear-cut wit, it makes for the perfect night out. The rendition of The Pirates of Penzance by Opera Warwick was only on for a couple of days throughout June 2017 so be sure to keep your eye out for a performance of this opera near you.

I look forward to watching more of Opera Warwick's performances. They have a varied range of actors and strong operatic and expressive singers. If you would like to read more on Opera Warwick, ran by a University of Warwick society, and what's on next take a look here.

| Where to eat? |

I chose to eat pretty much on campus, just minutes away from Warwick Arts Centre at the Varsity pub. It's got a nice chilled out student atmosphere but attracts the business park clientele as food might be cheap but the drinks are not!

I would also recommend Hickory's Smokehouse in Burton Green. Around a 5-10 minute drive away. This place will certainly fill you up before/after visiting the Art Centre. It's like stepping into America's Deep South with mouth watering ribs, steaks, briskets and much more!

Lastly, The Bear Inn Berkswell, a Chef and Brewer chain pub around a 10-15 minute drive away. It's a classic country pub and the food is always great and a firm favourite of my families.

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