English Touring Opera: Theatre Royal Bath
Albert Herring and The Lighthouse
English Touring Opera
Theatre Royal Bath
English Touring Opera now has Bath firmly on its touring map and regularly brings operas on a small scale to a city that really only has small-scale venues.
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Often we get fantastic early operas and so this week has been a bit of a culture shock with two 20th century operas.
The first of these two one- performance-only operas was Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring a hugely theatrical creation which followed the young Britten's landmark production of Peter Grimes.
Again the composer has taken another look at small town issues in the area in which he lived. Here one of the ideas he explores is what might happen if, instead of choosing a traditional May Queen you chose a May King in this case a shy lad from the local greengrocer's shop.
Britten is by no means everyone's cup of tea but the opera played to a packed house on Monday evening.
On Tuesday there were fewer takers for a production of Peter Maxwell Davies' The Lighthouse a work based on a true story of vanishing lighthouse men.
Those who really prefer to hum a bit of a tune when they leave the opera might actually have been better off with this one since this chamber work contains one or two distinct possibilities in that direction.
But that aside, the music is more for the brain than for the soul. But still a very spooky story with music to match.