Encore Opera dazzles at Ribble Valley Music Festival

Clive Greenwood enjoys a stunning show as part of a mission to make opera a part of community life.
Clive Greenwood enjoys a stunning show as part of a mission to make opera a part of community life.
Share this article

A seamless delivery one after the other of soaring harmonies and opera sequences filled Christ Church, Chatburn, with beautiful music and song in a Sunday Afternoon at the Opera, the latest event in the Ribble Valley Music Festival.

It was performed by Encore Opera which is a gathering of music enthusiasts with aspirations to bring opera out of theatres and into local communities.

A fine selection including compositions by Verdi, Beethoven, Handel, Puccini, Mozart, Gilbert and Sullivan, Bizet, Lehar, Gershwin, Donizetti, Bernstein and Straus were performed in just two hours and with passion, precision and a high level of professionalism.

The concert was made all the more enjoyable by descriptions of characters and explanations of the plot in the programmes and the drama in the set pieces brought the music and song to life.

The decibels at times vibrated throughout the church at a level that caused concern about the valuable stained glass windows.

The wit of Gilbert and Sullivan brought observations about politicians from the Victorian age which remain pertinent today, and was in contrast to the passion which was laid bare in many an emotive moment throughout the concert.

Opera is rarely performed in the area and we who are organising Ribble Valley Music Festival are pleased to help make it more accessible and provide plot information to increase enjoyment.

The festival this year will include two opera concerts.

The large ensemble, Preston Opera, will perform a feast of well-loved arias, duets and choruses with a stunning climax accompanied by the church organ in Christ Church, Chatburn, on Friday, July 13th.

Watch this space for more information.