Image – Samling Academy Opera: Rowan Pierce as Princess & flautist Luke Russell
Samling Academy Opera, Sage Gateshead
By Tom Emmett, The Northern Echo
Sir Thomas Allen, Samling’s patron, says the Northumberland-based charity ‘gives audiences the chance to say… at their debut I was there’.
After witnessing this highly-accomplished performance at Sage Gateshead, one cannot help but agree that we are seeing some of the opera stars of the future.
Ravel’s second and final opera L’enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Spells) tells the story of a mischievous young boy who, in a fit of rage at the prospect of doing his homework, damages a number of items in his room. To his surprise, the objects suddenly come to life and chastise the boy for his careless behaviour.
What followed was an exhibition of operatic performance, the fantastic singing complemented perfectly by the input of director Miranda Wright, choreographer Dena Lague and lighting designer Petr Vocka. The singers were accompanied onstage by a quartet of musicians, who occasionally formed part of the choreography themselves, most notably flautist Luke Russell during Rowan Pierce’s performance as the Princess.