Pop-Up Opera (venue)
10 October 2017 (released)
16 October 2017
Pop-Up Opera is into another season; Engelbert Humperdinck’s 19th Century Fairy Opera, Hansel & Gretel being the latest production to be taken on the road to bring opera to a wider audience.
I caught the latest instalment at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood, Bethnal Green, with the show approaching the mid-point of a two-month run that sees it performed to audiences from London to Manchester, and back again – finishing its run at the V&A, Cromwell Road in November.
Performed as Humperdinck wrote it, in German, and paraphrased with commentary projected behind the performance area; not required to follow the plot, we all know the story, though the captions offer an incredibly humorous addition and is a wonderful touch.
Now, I’m far from exert in these matters, this is the first Opera I’ve been to, and prior to this performance I associated Engelbert Humperdinck with UK’s entry to Eurovision 2012; so perhaps I’m in the demographic that this performance is reaching out to. If so, I’m so very glad it did [reach out].
With a run time of 90 minutes, it was over far too quickly, always a sign you’ve been party to an absorbing performance, it was beautiful, the fourteen angels duet at the end of act two was touching, delicate yet powerful, totally enthralling.
You must make every effort to see this, 48 hours later I’m still thinking about it, still somehow experiencing some kind of emotional after life, still smiling as I recall its intimate, personal subtleties; how thoroughly modern whilst echoing the traditional, the production team have done a fantastic job, as did the performers; this needs to be supported, to allow others to appreciate this artform for what it really can be in all its power and tenderness.