James Cottrill

Some thoughts from the mind of James

A Night At The Opera

Many people complain about living in London; the rent, the price of a pint, the long commutes, the Northern Line… There are lots of reasons that living in London is awful, but obviously there are positives as well. For me, when I decided to move here, it was the food, the bars and the culture.  Up until now I’d not really taken advantage of the culture (except going to see Wicked when my parents visited) so when offered a £10 ticket to see the Opera “The Return of Ulysses” I couldn’t say no!

This was the first opera I’d been to, so I went with some trepidation. Obviously I’ve listened to opera before, Nessun Dorma from Puccini’s Turanadot is one of my favourite pieces of music. I could listen to it on repeat for hours, but I didn’t know if I would enjoy the whole performance. Fortunately, I loved it!

I was fortunate that I was watching an opera where I already knew the story. The Return of Ulysses is taken from Homer’s Odyssey (a book I’ve read many times) so I was able to focus more on the music and acting and not trying to work out what the plot was! The version I watched was also performed in English, which again meant I could enjoy watching the performance, and not the translation of the lyrics.

The venue was perfect for the show. I’m always sceptical of theatre in the round, it can either be awful or amazing. This was the latter. The minimalist nature of the set meant that the interractions between the actors and actresses was more focussed on and the relationships between them really stood out. Caitlin Hulcup’s performance of Penelope was worthy of particular praise, especially as she had only had one week of practice!

For my first experience of Opera, I can happily say it was a great success! I thoroughly enjoyed this performance and I can’t wait to go and watch another. Although I loved the simple nature of the roundhouse, I also want to experience opera in the grandure of the Royal Opera House! With any luck there will be some more cheap tickets available soon. Either that or I’ll get a pay rise so I can afford the full price!

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