|Albert Herring Poster
Albert Herring is the second opera performance for the 2010/11 season at the RSAMD, and the first this season to be held in the New Athenaeum Theatre.
Albert Herring has proved itself, in the time since it was boldly conceived in 1948, to be a jewel of British comedic theatre which has worn increasingly well. Like all the best comedies, (and it is hilarious), it is a story about real people and, despite its apparent geographical limitations - East Suffolk, to be precise - it could easily take place anywhere in the world where petty minds attempt to prevail over human nature.
Production Manager Sandy McRobbie
Stage Manager Catherine Lewis
Deputy Stage Manager Laura Jarvis
Technical Stage Manager Thomas Velluet - Draper
Deputy Technical Stage Manager Iain Jolly
Production Electrician Jamie Fallen
Head Scenic Artist Joanne Ferrie
Head Props Maker Matthew Edmonds
Quick release bunting
Albert Herring, RSAMD, Glasgow
21 Mar 2011 ON several occasions at the weekend I heard Benjamin Britten’s opera Albert Herring described as old-fashioned or out of date.
Well it needn’t be if it’s in the right hands; and the RSAMD’s new production, which opened on Saturday at the academy, continues there tonight, tomorrow and Thursday, with a concert performance in Perth on Friday, is very much in the right hands and wholly in the appropriate spirit.
It’s a yarn about coming of age, breaking free of the apron strings and, as its eponymous hero Albert puts it, having that first great “wild explosion”.
Frederic Wake-Walker’s brilliant production works a dazzling trompe-l’oeil with a large cast in a tight space: it’s a lively ensemble staging with a big feel yet very intimate. The characters, many preposterous, are given full rein with a hilariously over the top mayor (Ronan Busfield) a frosty Florence Pike with a bad smell up her nose (Laura Margaret Smith) a sanctimonious twit of a vicar (Jonathan Stainsby) a PC Plod of a cop (James Birchall) and a staggeringly dominating Lady Billows (Jemma Brown) lord/lady of all she surveys, or so she thinks.
And then there is naïve Albert (Stephen Chambers) and his pushy mum, with randy drink-spiker Sid and Nancy, who have a very good time on stage. Chuck ’em all in the mix and a completely entertaining opera emerges. The casting was almost virtuosic with the singers (too many to name) awesome in their understanding of music and narrative.
It was accompanied by a tour de force of instrumental performance from the chamber ensemble (astounding woodwind playing) and conductor Tim Dean.