Mananan Opera, founded by Dr John Bethell, and held at the Erin Arts Centre is always one of the highlights of my year.
The 2019 choice, Puccini’s La BohÃ¨me, portrayed the emotive love story of poverty-stricken Mimi and Rodolfo and their friends living in 1840s Paris.
A happy ending, it was not.
Originally written in Italian, this was an abridged version, performed in English, solely accompanied by flawless pianist Ian Tindale, and entertainingly directed by Stefan Janski.
Mananan Opera brought together an on and off-island cast.
The lead roles were played by a brilliant cast of visiting opera performers, including rising stars Alex Grainger and Jenny Stafford as the tragic couple, with Neil Balfour, Fleur De Bray, Peter Edge and David Cane.
They were joined by locals Matt Quinn and Paul Costain, who were both superb, and cameo roles taken by Adrienne Sanderson and Mike Trout. Excellent support was given by Manx businesses and individuals.
With such professional execution of all aspects, combined with magnificent singing, it was delightful to see a full-house on Saturday night.
Mention simply must be made of the outstanding set, costumes and props.
The hard work of those involved in this production has made opera accessible and kept it relevant.
It was thoroughly enjoyable.
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