When a family of five happens to pass by – and then doubles back, intrigued, and stays for the performance with smiles on their faces, you know you have brought opera to the public!
That’s exactly what I spotted last night in Goodlands Gardens as we watched The Popera House’s Reduced Ring Cycle.
Bold, innovative, and creative, they delivered a performance packed with the humour not usually associated with these operas. It was a joy to see so many young children not only watching, but totally engrossed. Two youngsters beside me sat much of the time with their chins on their hands, focused on the stage, or pointing excitedly at the puppets. A good smattering of ‘OMG’ and ‘bad-ass’ dialogue ensured relevance to younger people. And within all this imaginative staging was some fine singing!
Yes, I may have spent some of the (unseasonably chilly) evening watching people rather than the stage, but seeing how much it was enjoyed by others made me proud that ArtsTaunton (I’m the ex-chair and still on the board) had supported the travelling company to deliver this. Well done The Bluebirds– thank you for an evening of entertainment, and long may your company perform in this ‘sticky mash-up’ way – surely the best intro to opera people could get!

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