Julia Gasper

Madama Butterfly

Madama Butterfly performed by Ellen Kent Opera at New Theatre Oxford

We must mention the admirable performance of little Jessica Man as Madame Butterfly’s child, not a singing rôle, but nevertheless crucial in its way. It is the final cruelty of being deprived of her child that completes Butterfly’s tragedy.

by January 26, 2020 0 comments Going Out, Julia Gasper, Opera, Oxford, Review, Theatre
La boheme

La Bohème: Ellen Kent Opera at New Theatre Oxford.

The production takes hints from Renoir and Chagall, and never lets us forget we are in Paris, which is quite right really. If Paris had a DNA then La Bohème would be part of it. The orchestra and conductor (Valeriu Cucharschi) do full justice to Puccini’s inspired score. You can see this production in many other venues such as Woverhampton, Birmingham, Reading, Brighton, Hastings etc as the tour continues during February, March and April.

by January 25, 2020 0 comments Julia Gasper, Opera, Oxford, Review, Theatre
WNO-Rigoletto-2019-Sian-Meinir-Giovanna-Marina-Monzo-Gilda-and-Mark-S-Doss-Rigoletto.-Photocredit-Richard-Hubert-Smith-a7442.jpg

Verdi’s RIGOLETTO

For me the evening’s discovery was Haegee Lee, who sang the part of Rigoletto’s daughter Gilda. This young soprano from South Korea studied at the Conservatoire National de Région Pierre Barbizet, Marseille, and then took part in the Young Artists’ Programme at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. She is still studying, and to judge from her stunning performance last night she is a future Queen of the Operatic Stage and musical legend. She absolutely held the audience in the palm of her hand with her exquisite delivery of some of the greatest arias Verdi ever wrote. Her duets with her father were tender and beautifully acted. The rôle is of course, unbearably tragic and the dark cruelty of the ending has made some people fear to see this opera again, but we endure the tale to be rewarded with singing of such expression in a brilliant, thrilling voice.

Aoife-Miskelly-as-Vixen-Michael-Clifton-Thompson-Cockerel-Meriel-Andrew-Chief-Hen-The-Cunning-Little-Vixen-Photocredit-Richard-Hubert-Smith-947.jpg

The Cunning Little Vixen.

A review by Julia Gasper Welsh National Opera at New Theatre Oxford 21st November 2019. Janacek’s opera The Cunning Little Vixen, written nearly a century ago, combines singing with ballet and has a half-serious half-comical […]

WNO-Carmen-Benjamin-Bevan-Harriet-Eyley-Virginie-Verrez-Joe-Roche-Angela-Simkin-Photo-Credit-Bill-Cooper-new theatre oxford1040.jpg

Carmen at New Theatre Oxford.

WNO’s new production of Bizet’s Carmen is a real winner. With outstanding soloists, superb orchestra led by the Czech conductor Tomáš Hanus and a bold, modern-day setting, it is enough to convince you that you have never seen Carmen before.