To the Deeside Community Theatre for a production of Handel’s Rodelinda by Scottish Opera. They are on tour throughout Scotland until 2 November. Yes, even here in the depths of rural Aberdeenshire, we are sometimes touched by high culture.
You may not be a fan of opera, but for me it is hard to resist a couple of hours of Handel’s rich, cut-glass harmonies, with professional singers and a baroque ensemble – all for a tenner.
Rodelinda is an opera I had never heard before and, amongst other things, it features two parts for counter-tenor. Any doubts I had about counter-tenor singing were dispelled by the brilliant duet between Rodelinda (soprano) and Bertarido (counter-tenor) in the second Act. Go and listen to a recording of it for yourself if you don’t believe me – if you want to listen to a version I tracked down on YouTube click here.
There are two drawbacks to our Community Theatre. One is the small performance area – ScottishOpera adapted this brilliantly with a superbly designed set and excellent use of space by the singers. The other is the rather cramped seats which leave my backside throbbing along with the music by the end of the performance – but you can’t have everything. When the opera was over, we were ejected into a crisp autumn Deeside evening rather than a city street, and that’s worth a bit of discomfort.