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Review: English Touring Opera

With a minimalist set comprising an artistic backdrop and an elevated platform, the style is evocative of a Mark Rothko painting and of Francis Bacon’s ‘darker’ work, the scene is set to introduce the English Touring Opera’s performance of Iphegenie en Tauride.

ETO’s version is a beautiful and captivating opera, where mesmerising vocals keep you alert to the events taking place. There are subtitles for the plot written on either side of the stage and dramatic facial expressions convey the magnitude of this Greek tragedy set after the Trojan War about the reuniting of a brother and sister.

The costumes seem also to be inspired by paintings and are suggestive of Vermeer’s work; the female cast wear flowing, full-bodied dresses, skirts and headdresses similar to that of the Dutch Master’s interpretation of life during the middle ages.

The vocal range is spellbinding, the passion of the performers and the exceptional portrayal of all characters is glorious to watch: All female parts are sung in unison with the lead singing her arias with such beauty, drama and passion throughout. Male chorus and smaller male roles captivate the audience with up tempo vocals too.

ETO, know how to please their audience with love, tragedy, passion and power. Their simplification of the story, brilliant voices, costumes, and set design, abundance of energy, talent and love of their art-form mean that you will definitely not be disappointed.

Even if opera is not your usual entertainment selection, ETO, is a company that you should go and see; they really do know how to smash an opera!  Iphegenie en Tauride is a genuine must-see for all theatre lovers and for novices of opera; a real eye opener.

The ETO are touring this opera along with Don Giovanni; they played at the Grand Theatre, Blackpool for two nights only then moved on elsewhere around the UK. For more information regarding English Touring Opera and their next touring dates and venues, please visit their website.

  • Local artist, (painting, drawing, collage, and occasional photography, (for reference), of landscape, and abstract, in oil, acrylic, and any other medium which captures my imagination. Contributor, and writer for altBlackpool. Collector, of sometimes anything, but mostly pot, and ceramics.

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