Review: Harrogate Operatic Players’ cracking entertainment

Harrogate Operatic Players cast picture for their new production of Serenade.
Harrogate Operatic Players cast picture for their new production of Serenade.
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By Malcom Galloway

In the informal surroundings of the Sun Pavilion the Harrogate Operatic Players presented a sumptuous cabaret-style show of songs from both the stage and screen.

There were some humorous moments as when the men in the chorus performed a morris dance and also when Simon Berger explained, in a sketch, the rules of cricket.

There were several individual performances to highlight. Kevin Burton’s confident rendering of, Someone Like You, was stunning. Laura Jackson’s versatile voice in Girl In 14G, was sensational. There was certainly plenty of emotion in the song, Don’t forget Me, sung by Helen Mills.

The vocal ensembles were well-balanced. The harmonic passages were quite effective in the song, If. Two of the younger members of the cast, Connie Richards and David Paynes, gave a sensitive performance of, I Could Be Happy With You, from the musical, The Boyfriend.

The show was produced by Christine Littlewood, a long-serving member of HOP, who sang two songs and who was also choreographer.

Full use was made of all the available space in the auditorium including the steep staircase from the main entrance.

It might have been better if the beginning of the aria Nessun Dorma had been sung by a soloist rather than by the whole chorus.

James Rodgers was the musical director and chorus master, who with other members of the band provided an adequate musical accompaniment to all the pieces.

The show closed with a superb selection of Christmas music which without doubt enthralled the whole audience, not to mention the mince pies served at this point!

Continues until Saturday. Evening performances at 7.30pm and Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. 01937 591149.