The National Opera Studio has a busy calendar of events including Lunchtime recitals at All Saints Church in Wandsworth High Street, near their splendid premises in South West London. They are mostly free and unticketed, a nice bonus for local residents.
Yesterday evening they had a major "scenes" show set in a speed-dating bar! A nice, and not unsuccessful, idea from the creative director of the show, Gilles Rico. It gave an excellent framework for what was essentially a sequence of arias, duets, and ensembles with the theme of love, in all its forms and of every colour. For those of you who, like me, are unfamiliar with speed-dating, well it is kind of Match.com live........I am assuming that you are familiar with the concept at least!
The NOS has a high level of "trainee" - post post graduate level and decidedly on their professional way. There is nothing remotely "student like" about any of these young people so we were treated to some very good stuff indeed.
I was delighted to see Tereza Gevorgyan, a Neue Stimmen finalist last time round. She delivered a charming Adina and Marie in the well put together Donizetti sequence, as well as a convincing Cendrillon, in which she was matched by the glowing voiced Prince Charming of Hanna-Liisa Kirchin.
There were many other excellent things - notably the versatile young lyric tenor Trystan Griffiths who made his mark in Donizetti and Mozart; and the impressive tenor Gerard Schneider who distinguished himslef whilst a student at the Guildhall School, and now is a stand out at the NOS; and Roisín Walsh, a fine Butterfly of most generous personality who catches attention as a real theatre person.
It was a fine evening of music making by talented youth. Tomorrow I will be at the final performance of the English National Opera's acclaimed production of La fanciulla del West.