A Night at the Opera, by New Georgian Opera, took place at The Grand Pavilion Matlock Bath in aid of The Grand Pavilion and Derbyshire Historic Buildings Trust, on Saturday.
This was a grand night out in many senses.
The reopened venue is declared on the posters to be a ‘little bit scruffy’ and this is an understatement with large areas of bare brick. But the potential is as great as the enthusiasm and commitment of the dedicated volunteers and they did Saturday’s audience proud.
The audience were welcomed with drinks and a delicious and generous range of canapés, produced and served by the volunteers. This set the audience reminiscing about their experience of the building as the ‘Pav’ nightclub and earlier as a venue for amateur operatics. We were enjoying ourselves before the music started.
The music was lovely and of a high standard: mainly famous arias in Italian but ending with more recent songs in English. Oliver Gerrish was the star of the evening. His countertenor voice is clear and tender and a real treat to hear. His Che Faro brought tears to my eyes and I will look out for his performances in future. Meeta Raval is a soprano with a fine voice and real panache. John Pierce has a powerful tenor voice and fine showmanship.
While singing O Sole Mio he presented a red rose to a lady in the audience, urged us all to join in with the words of the advert and left the stage licking an ice-cream cornet! Kelvin Lim was a highly accomplished accompanist and well known pianist. We were so lucky to hear them all and a great time was had by all.
The building may be scruffy but all aspects of the entertainment were grand. The many arrangements of flowers and greenery by Lynda Simpson were simply perfect.