Friday, August 17, 2007

This from The Press, Christchurch today:

'Boys' brilliant, forceful

Opera with the stars, presented by Southern Opera, with Dorothee Jansen, Suzanne Prain, Simon O'Neill, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and the Christchurch Symphony conducted by Tecwyn Evans, Christchurch Town Hall, August 16, 8pm. Reviewed by Timothy Jones.

When a singer knows maestro Ricardo Muti as Ricky, you know he has reached the top.
So it was with Simon O'Neill whose cheerful familiarity with the renowned conductor seemed not at all out of place, so superlative was his performance last night.
Ombra Mai Fu, and duets from Carmen and Otello, were immaculate. Here is a true, natural tenor, clean and true throughout the range, with a strong top and so much horsepower in reserve you can hardly believe your ears.

Line that up against Teddy Tahu Rhodes who opened the concert with the Toreador's Song, prowling the stage with his whole six feet of alpha male authority, and you had a heady mix indeed.

To say that Dorothee Jansen, who sang third, had a hard act to follow is a gross understatement. She and Suzanne Prain are very fine singers but the boys from Canterbury cast a mighty long shadow, singing brilliantly and engaging the audience with their forceful personalities.

Southern Opera's list of sponsors looks impressive and Christopher Doig's contacts are obviously good if he can bring opera's Roger Federer and Tiger Woods to Christchurch on the same night.

Things look good for Carmen in October, and if the magnificent O'Neill can possibly be persuaded to perform a season here, then Southern Opera will have the hottest ticket in town.

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