Don Carlos Midsummer Opera Broadway Theatre 7 November

Left: Don Carlos (John Upperton), right: Eboli (Zoe South)

The start of this concert performance was delayed by a few minutes due to a queue at the box office, but unfortunately that still didn’t leave very many people in the Broadway Theatre, Catford.  And how many would there have been without friends and family of the chorus and orchestra…?  Perhaps I’d have been alone once again!

The performance was somewhere between concert-with-some-costume-elements and semi-staged-with-scores.  The format certainly allowed you to appreciate Verdi’s orchestral score, with the orchestra released from the pit–that was of course rather a contrast with Midsummer Opera’s Norma last year.  I certainly enjoyed the performance of John Upperton as a Don Carlos with a true tenorial ring, while there was a good deal of finesse from Deborah Stoddard (Elisabetta) and fire from Zoe South (Eboli).

As to what a concert performance is like, here it was rather like a church service as the ushers came and went on mysterious errands and the members of the congregation spread out to try to appear more numerous.  That’s quite appropriate for the Inquisitor-and-heretic tinta I suppose.

Pity there weren’t more people to see it, but that’s the modern church for you I suppose…

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