Benet Catty Productions

Il Tabarro & Dido & Aeneas

A double bill of one-act operas by
Purcell and Puccini

“The gritty realism of ordinary lives portrayed in Puccini’s Il Tabarro of the first half gave way to the a more noble classical tragedy of Dido and Aeneas by Purcell, which lead to a more cathartic response overall.

The performance of Il Tabarro was persuasive in this sombre one-acter, with the heavier, darker tone of the suspicious barge-owner, sung by Graham Lawder-Stone, contrasting with the more steely brilliance of Mick Pardoe, the interloping lover. Sarah Tyler sang the role of Giorgetta with convincing dramatic conviction.

Dido was presented as a modern minimalist conception with Aeneas, a visiting figure of state, dressed in grey pinstripes. Classical restraint was further observed in the strictly monochromatic costume and set design. The lighting design for Dido was especially striking, producing many interesting and varied textures and tones to an otherwise black and white background.

The all-female chorus added solid support, often singing from the sides in the true nature of an ancient greek chorus. Sarah Tyler and Mick Pardoe were appropriately statuesque while Belinda, played by Jo Coker, was more fluid and expressive by contrast. Sarah Tyler sang the well-known When I Am Laid in Earth lament with perfectly judged dignity and decorum."

Grantham Evening News


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