An almost packed Capitaine Bougainville Theatre warmly appreciated the annual Opera North Showcase performance on Sunday 30th October 2016.
In the forced absence from the podium of co-founder of Opera North, Joan Kennaway who is undergoing treatment for cancer, the Opera North Chorus was very ably conducted by Lisbe Jooste. Happily, both Joan and Rick Kennaway were able to watch the concert and sample how it sounds from the audience’s point of view.
The aim of Showcase is to give members of Opera North the opportunity to entertain the public with songs and items somewhat different to those included in Opera in the Garden. As younger singers have been encouraged to join Opera North, the society has a range of singers from age 7 upwards.
The Opera North Chorus performed medleys from Chess and Cole Porter, contrasting with arrangements of Paul Simon’s evocative “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and John Lennon’s haunting “Imagine”. The remainder of the programme featured solos and duets from the sublime (such as Shule Aroon, Papa Can You Hear Me?) to the really funny (such as Bosom Buddies, The Grass is Always Greener) ably demonstrating the versatility of those taking part. The singers had top quality accompanists Clare Henderson, Lachie McLean, Margie Paul and Lisbe Jooste to accompany them and the concert was most ably compered by Craig Robertson.
This year two Opera North Scholarships were awarded, one of $1000.00 to Claudia Cooke, who has been accepted at Auckland University to study for a Bachelor of Music, and one of $1000.00 to Dean Watson who has been accepted at Waikato University to study French & Tourism.