BUXTON FESTIVAL 2014: The Jacobin by Antonín Dvořák - REVIEW

A scene from The Jacobin. Photo: Robert Workman.
A scene from The Jacobin. Photo: Robert Workman.
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This first opera got the Buxton Festival off to a flying start with the uniform high standard we have come to expect.

The singing was lovely, the acting of a high standard, the set just right and the staging excellent.

A scene from The Jacobin. Photo: Robert Workman.

A scene from The Jacobin. Photo: Robert Workman.

The chorus deserve particular mention. They sang and acted beautifully and really seemed to be enjoying themselves; the children particularly were refreshing, occasionally naughty and, very funny.

Anne Sophie Duprels was impressive as Julie. Andrew Greenan stepped in at the last minute and was just right as Count Harasova.

Bonaventura Bottone was excellent as Benda, the choirmaster: fussy, caring, lovable and funny. The choir rehearsal made us all laugh: Benda bumbled and the choir rebelled.

Each act has a very different flavour. Misunderstandings have caused exile, baddies are about to triumph, lovers are crossed. The story and the music progress together.

This is very much an opera in praise of music and of the Czech homeland (Bohemia). The action builds to a happy ending. Music, love, family and the feudal order are restored and the opera ends with a well crafted ensemble, the Count receiving flowers from the children.

The audience loved it.

• Performances of The Jacobin will take place at Buxton Opera House on Tuesday July 15, Friday July 18 and Thursday July 24 at 7.15pm, and Sunday July 27 at 3.15pm. For tickets, visit www.buxtonfestival.co.uk.