From an early age my mother instilled in me the importance of appreciating music of all genres. My first cassette tapes were a compilation of classical pieces titled â€œFairy Musicâ€ and â€œThe best of Andrew Lloyd Webberâ€; her efforts could not stop me from obsessing over Steps and The Spice Girls but I did learn to appreciate an eclectic mix of styles, except one thing has evaded me, never appealed to me, and has been shrouded in misconceptions and prejudice, of course Iâ€™m talking about opera!
With this in mind, I jumped at the opportunity to take my son to this show, billed as interactive and educational family show, suitable for all ages, I had hoped we would both learn something new and unlearn any stereotypes we might hold, and this is something that was achieved tenfold. Chethamâ€™s opera chorus dazzled with a hoard of young opera singers clad in steampunk fashion, soloists represented each vocal type and played on exaggerated opera tropes, notably Baritone Chuma Sijeqa as big headed Baron Jupiter with his booming gruff voice and Tenor Adriano Graziani as Signor Pluto, who inserts himself into the story to remind us that in opera no matter how sad the story gets thereâ€™s always someone having a worse time. Tom Redmond led us through the story in the most engaging way which had the children captivated.
Well known pieces by Verdi, Bizet and Puccini punctuated the narrative, the young audience was encouraged to embrace the feelings and emotions of the sound as the lyrics werenâ€™t always pertinent to the story line, during the musical interludes my son was keenly showing me points of interest in the orchestra pit.
The show concludes with a sing-a-long dance party on planet Zum-Zee with fantastic alien costumes, funny props and a very catchy song guaranteed to stay with you long after you leave the theatre.
My eight year old thoroughly enjoyed this performance and gives it the following accreditation â€œI love football so much, and that show was actually, legit, better than footballâ€, and I can assure you, that is very high praise indeed! I will be on the lookout for similar performances in the future.
Play Opera LIVE Space Spectacular runs from sat 14 oct 2023 – sat 25 Nov 2023 at venues around the uk with family tickets starting at Â£30. More information is here