Chelmsford City Opera at Christ Church
Strauss's champagne operetta was given a sparkling concert outing last Saturday in Christ Church.
Gerald Hindes, conducting a chamber orchestra [led by Anton Archer] freed from the confines of the pit, drew enjoyable performances from his forces: the CCO chorus, and a line-up of soloists augmented by some special guests.
Dee Mardi made a striking Rosalinde, whose flirtatious infidelities set the plot in motion; Stephen Cooper was her hapless husband, Stephen Cviic her paramour.
Excellent character work from Rebecca Moulton as Orlovsky, with an on-stick moustache, a fine Falke from young baritone Huw Montague Rendall, and a superb star turn from Rebecca Silverman as the maid Adele; her Act III “audition aria” brilliantly done.
David Rose was the stuttering, incompetent lawyer Dr Blind, and also led us engagingly through the intricacies of the plot from the pulpit.
The ladies and gentlemen of the chorus had to wait fifty minutes for their first entrance, but were compensated by a Vienna bon-bon where the ballet should be: An der schönen blauen Donau, sung in German.
Some of the singers lacked the power to compete with the orchestra at full throttle, but the concept was an excellent one, and the familiar melodies sounded rich and sweet in the Christ Church acoustic.