About Me

My photo
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

My books

The first two books of my trilogy, The Talismans, (The Dagger of Dresnia, and book two, The Cloak of Challiver) are available in e-book format from Smashwords, Amazon and other online sellers. Book three of the trilogy, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation.I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below - as well as well as a few poems in various places. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. However, The Dagger of Dresnia and The Cloak of Challiver are available as ebooks on the usual book-selling websites, and book three, The Seer of Syland, is in preparation. The easiest way to contact me is via Facebook.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Cloak of Challiver, Book two of The Talismans

The Cloak of Challiver, Book two of The Talismans
Available as an e-book on Amazon and other online booksellers.

Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

Follow me on Twitter

Share a link on Twitter

Follow by Email

My Blog List

Blog Archive

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

Inner Peace Blog

Inner Peace Blog
Awarded by Joanna Fay. Click on the image to visit her lovely website!

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award
Awarded by Kim Falconer. Click on the pic to check out her Quantum Astrology blog!

Fabulous Blog Award

Fabulous Blog Award
Awarded by Kathryn Warner. Click on the pic to check out her Edward II blog!

Search This Blog

Saturday, 15 June 2019

Review: Tosca by Freeze Frame Opera




Review of Freeze Frame Opera's production of La Tosca (Puccini)


‘Freeze Frame Opera’ is a puzzling name for a new opera company, and I have been unable to find a rhyme or reason for the choice of name. Set that aside, though, because this is as professional a troupe as any other ensemble I’ve seen in the genre. Their Facebook page tells us they are ‘committed to creating engaging, intimate opera experiences that appeals to both traditional and modern audiences’ and if the performance I saw is any guide, they have indeed succeeded with  this fine production of Puccini’s Tosca. OK, there is no orchestra. Nor is there a chorus, although in one scene, the singers, still in character, created a chorus by playing a recording.


The singers, James Clayton as Scarpia, Jun Zhang as Cavaradossi, Kristin Bowtell as Angelotti, Pia Harris as Spoletta, Jake Bigwood as Sciarrone, Robert Hofmann as the sacristan and jailer and Harriet (Hattie) Marshall as Tosca all did a sterling job.They were fortunate in having engaged the services of Tomaso Pollio as musical director – he spent the entire performance (three hours!) at the piano -an excellent baby grand, played beautifully.


 Harriet Marshall as La Tosca (Photo courtesy of Freeze Frame Opera)


The season was, I understand, the brainchild of soprano ‘Hattie’ Marshall who, apart from singing the lead role, is credited as ‘producer’. This suggests she was in charge of finding finance as well as singing, and if so, she has done a great job on both fronts. Some thirty benefactors are listed, not counting the input from the state government’s Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. Anything that keep entertainers working between seasons (the singers are all members of the WA Opera) has got to be a boost for the industry. I saw only one performance, but it had a packed house, and if the other performances were as well attended, it’s a sign that opera has a keen audience and therefore a viable future.

The musical high point of any production of Tosca is the diva’s rendition of Vissi d’arte, vissi d’amore. Marshall delivered this beloved aria with feeling and, of course, beautiful technique. All the performers are consummate actors as well as excellent singers. Gone are the days, heaven be thanked, when divas were all chubby ladies who could sing but not act!

This season, the company is using the Centenary Pavilion at Perth Showgrounds. It is not, perhaps, the best venue for an intimate opera performance – the acting area was huge, and largely wasted. A possible improvement might be to close off some of the rather factory-like archways. 

Such an intimate performance with limited audience seating didn’t quite work for me at that venue – not only because of the above  minor complaints – but largely because it was a very cold night and the heating was inadequate. Given the unsuitability of the venue, the performers did a sterling job. Quite honestly, I’d rather see a show in a church hall, if a theatre booking would overstretch the budget.

This was my very first ‘Tosca’. I was familiar with most of the music (thanks largely to the ABC, but also to my singing teacher of long ago who coached me in my teenage rendering of Visi d’arte!) It was great to see the story come to life. Many thanks to the cast and crew for all their hard work!

Apologies for the dual pic,if it shows up as such on your screen. I cannot get rid of the extra one! Ah, the wonders of technology. :-(

 




Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...