Review: Piccalilli Opera, Wyekham Church

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Here’s a sentence I never expected to write: a new opera company launches in Scarborough.

You have to admire the sheer nerve of founders Nathan Jenkins, who also hosted the evening, and Rebecca Meltzer.

There is no art form with higher operating costs than opera. Other deterrents: most Scarborough opera lovers consider Opera North their home team; the Stephen Joseph Theatre hosts regular live screenings from Covent Garden and we have become accustomed to regular visits by the Russian State company at the Spa.

However, positive signs are there: Nathan Jenkins looks to be sufficiently entrepreneurial, the cast of young singers who turned up to the event were convincing and the church was packed with potential support.

Goodwill was clearly in evidence.

And the singing? The mixture was as might be expected, but that is no criticism from me. Verdi (Brindisi), Mozart (Voi che sapete), Puccini (O mio babino caro) and other, sure-fire audience pleasers.

But we were also treated to some less mainstream faire: Debussy, Richard Strauss and Erich Korngold.

I, for one, am deeply grateful that there are young singers, like these, prepared to submit themselves to the discipline of training and the rigours of public performance for my benefit.