Top-quality opera on our doorstep

The Stowe Opera production of The Marriage of Figaro at Winslow Hall. Picture: Mike Kirby
The Stowe Opera production of The Marriage of Figaro at Winslow Hall. Picture: Mike Kirby

Review by Hannah Richardson

I knew the Stowe Opera company, under musical director Robert Secret, had a good reputation. But not having seen them before, I simply wasn’t prepared for just HOW good the performance was.

The singing was first rate – but so too was the acting.

In particular Helen Massey, in the role of Susanna, had the voice of an angel, coupled with a superb sense of comic timing.

And in her duets with the Countess, the combination of her bell-like clarity and Yvonne Fontane’s warmer tone was a complete joy.

There wasn’t a single duff performance. Marc Callahan was a young and sexy Figaro, and Michael Davis did a great line in brooding anger as the Count.

The entire auditorium, in the grounds of Winslow Hall was enclosed in a marquee, giving a really intimate feel. Raked seating ensured a good view from anywhere in the house.

And in the interval, the beautiful garden of Winslow Hall was at our disposal for a very civilised picnic.

This was a fabulous night out, with top-quality opera performed in a magical setting, right on our own doorstep.

A few tickets, at £60 a head, may still be available for the final performances tomorrow, Thursday, July 26, and Saturday and Sunday, July 28 and 29.

See www.stoweopera.com