ED2018 5/5 Reviews ED2018 Music Reviews

Jan Tait And The Bear (Ensemble Thing)

By | Published on Friday 10 August 2018

This professional contemporary chamber opera, based on a Shetland folk tale, is very suitable for children! The singers’ and narrator’s enunciation was perfect so everyone could follow the story and get the jokes, while there was plenty of action to maintain the drama. It’s a full-on scary Norse Saga in theme and costume, so there were associations with ‘Noggin the Nog’ for adults and the Brothers Grimm for children, but the sight of a convincingly costumed bear tucking into a picnic basket made everyone laugh! Rising opera singers Catherine Backhouse and Brian McBride (playing four roles) were engaging performers, and the excellent acoustic chamber group consisted of fine post-modernist instrumentalists (cello, clarinet and accordion) who also doubled as the chorus. I loved it!

Summerhall, until 16 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [Louise Rodgers]