City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Carmina Burana Review

By Gordon Clayton - Posted on 25 August 2009

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Edinburgh Studio Opera
Running time: 
Antonia Alonzo ( director), Susannah Wapshott (musical director)
Joe Doody, Richard Latham, Julie Moote, Laura Reading, Ben Weaver & Henry Manning (soloists)

A company that turns one of the city centre's churches into a Las Vegas casino would seem to be committing sacrilege. However, it's only the setting for Carmina Burana, the first part of a trilogy of staged cantatas written by Carl Orff.

Lasting around 60 minutes this talented young cast produce a range of solos and choral work together with some interesting choreography and production techniques. Using all of this magnificent church the cast are placed in the balcony; use the entrances, the aisles and even the pulpit to make this production work.

The costumes, especially the ones that turn into flowers are of the Busby Berkeley mould although the headgear at times was curious. The showgirl scenes were a bit like a moving tableau rather than Caesar's Palace but fitted well to the music.

The small orchestra of pianos and percussion was impressive and complimented the singers. The Musical Director was worth watching alone as she sensitively conducted singers and musicians through a varied programme.

For someone wanting to sample opera, this would be an ideal introduction despite not being in English. It is well worth investing in a programme and reading it before the beginning so you can follow the nuances of the plot as the wheel of fortune rolls.

Carmina Burana was well received by a nearly full house on a Monday afternoon as Edinburgh at last basked in some sunshine.

Times: 26 & 27 Aug, 4.30pm; 28 Aug, 7.30pm