NODA show report
The curtain rose revealing a brightly-coloured set in The Piazetta in Venice and an excited chorus of contadine. Their “roses white and red” were used to effect with garlands woven into welcoming messages to greet the much sought-after Marco (Scott Barron) and Guiseppe (Ross Main). These two gentlemen interacted well together and Marco’s “Take a Pair of Sparkling Eyes” was a show-stopper. Their sweethearts Gianetta (Claire Porterfield) and Tessa (Suzy Burnett ) both sang and acted well, the latter giving a saucy performance which added a sparkle to her character. Robin Ozog was a fine Duke of Plaza-Toro with excellent diction in his patter-song and was kept well under the thumb by his domineering wife, the Duchess, well characterised by Liz Landsman. Fiona Main was charming and elegant in the role of their daughter Casilda while Nick Temperley was a believably innocent Luiz the drummer-boy elevated to prince when the truth comes out about the mistake made by his nurse when he was a baby, George Alexander commanded the stage as Don Alhambra with his strong demeanour and resounding bass voice. Other supporting roles were all suitably cast.
There was some fine ensemble singing particularly the quintet “Try we life long” and the quartet in the finale of Act 1 when Marco and Guiseppe have to leave their beloved Tessa and Gianetta. The choral singing in this section was particularly strong.
This was a fairly traditional production but I did enjoy the stylised choreography in both smaller ensemble and large company numbers.
Moving the action forward 50 years to the Edwardian rather than Victorian period worked well, and the costumes were a welcome change to those usually expected.
All in all this was a lively, colourful production which I thoroughly enjoyed.
Official NODA review by Dorothy Johnstone
(14 February performance)