Connect with us

News

REVIEW: The Rake’s Progress at Cambridge Arts Theatre

It flows along and delighted those of us privileged to see it

Published

on

A pact with the devil is never going to go well – except when it’s an opera sung this passionately with music this powerful and an orchestra this uplifting. For English Touring Opera’s second night at Cambridge Arts Theatre, again singing in English, the libretto, also in English, had much poetry and wit – unlike the prosaic translation from the Italian of Puccini’s Manon Lescaut the night before.

Accordingly, the enthusiastic applause from a smaller audience than the almost sold out Puccini was much louder and enthusiastic than the polite ripple for the Manon – which had left a lot of the audience puzzled.

The Rake’s Progress is at Cambridge Arts Theatre again on Saturday, May 4.

Advertisements
Pictures

 

The Rake’s Progress, like the Manon, was played and sung with verve and gusto and massive talent but this time the staging and the costumes helped create the atmosphere rather than being a distraction from it.

The opening rural scene was dominated by a colourful maypole with the cast wearing wreaths of flowers, flowing outfits of grasses and horned animal heads. I

t is the May festival and Tom Rakewell, superbly sung by tenor Frederick Jones, and his adoring Anne Truelove, sung beautifully by soprano Nazan Fikret are in love.

The Rake’s Progress is at Cambridge Arts Theatre again on Saturday, May 4.

The Rake’s Progress is at Cambridge Arts Theatre again on Saturday, May 4.

Winter is gone and the sun shines on the world, but to the consternation of Anne’s father, sung with great authority by bass Trevor Eliot Bowes, Tom refuses to get a proper job and instead wants to follow his fortune and see what happens.

Ah but the Devil finds work for idle hands to do and here he comes. Nick Shadow is played so convincingly by magnificent baritone Jerome Knox that anyone might fall for him.

He offers attractive propositions.

Advertisements
canopyuk.com in-article
The Rake’s Progress is at Cambridge Arts Theatre again on Saturday, May 4.

The Rake’s Progress is at Cambridge Arts Theatre again on Saturday, May 4.

He will work for Tom for a year and a day without pay. Then he says he will settle for whatever Tom thinks he is worth.

So off they go to that evil city London where every kind of debauchery is enjoyed, including the facility of a madame, Mother Goose, (majestic Amy J Payne) and an absurd marriage to Baba, the Bearded Lady, (tour de force Lauren Young). At first Tom says no – but as I said, Nick Shadow can talk anyone into anything.

The devoted Anne Truelove, true to her name, does rescue the brought down and broken Tom in the end but it’s too late, it’s difficult to beat the Devil. In this case, he is literally holding all the cards.

The Rake’s Progress is at Cambridge Arts Theatre again on Saturday, May 4.

This is an expertly crafted, beautifully orchestrated and wonderfully sung night at the opera with everything (including the set and costumes) as it were, in tune.

It flows along and delighted those of us privileged to see it.

Directed by Polly Graham, artistic director of Loughborough Festival Opera, The Rake’s Progress is at Cambridge Arts Theatre again on Saturday, May 4.

 

Facebook

Read More

Jesus Green Lock footbridge (above) and Baits Bite Lock footbridge have been temporarily closed, following the Conservators of the River Cam’s decision to close both locks. PHOTO: Camcycle Jesus Green Lock footbridge (above) and Baits Bite Lock footbridge have been temporarily closed, following the Conservators of the River Cam’s decision to close both locks. PHOTO: Camcycle
News9 hours ago

Shock Cambridge footbridge closures ‘unannounced and hugely controversial’

Closures will not affect access to the River Cam towpaths or access to Fen Road, Milton

Mind Mangler is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, May 25. PHOTO: Pamela Raith Mind Mangler is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until Saturday, May 25. PHOTO: Pamela Raith
News10 hours ago

‘Audience wasn’t just laughing, some were in hysterics’ Mind Mangler at Cambridge

REVIEW: Mind Mangler is at Cambridge Arts Theatre until May 25.

Neighbourhood officers were on patrol in Arbury on 15 March when they saw Elsi Hafizi hand over what they suspected was drugs to a woman. Neighbourhood officers were on patrol in Arbury on 15 March when they saw Elsi Hafizi hand over what they suspected was drugs to a woman.
News10 hours ago

WATCH: Cocaine dealer caught in the act by Cambridge police

Police watch drug deal before arresting suspect

Labour group now 10 on Cambridgeshire County Council with the decision by Cllr Keith Prentice to join them. New line up revealed today. PHOTO: Cambridgeshire Labour Party Labour group now 10 on Cambridgeshire County Council with the decision by Cllr Keith Prentice to join them. New line up revealed today. PHOTO: Cambridgeshire Labour Party
News1 day ago

Former Cambridgeshire Conservative county councillor moves to Labour

Keith Prentice is the county councillor for St Neots Priory Park & Little Paxton

Charles Swift: a city councillor in Peterborough for 62 years. He is thought to have been the longest serving councillor in the country Charles Swift: a city councillor in Peterborough for 62 years. He is thought to have been the longest serving councillor in the country
News1 day ago

62 years a councillor, Peterborough honours former city mayor Charles Swift

Charles Swift passed away in August 2022 aged 92

Residents are asked to have their say on the Waterbeach to Cambridge transport scheme, that will support thousands of new homes being built in the new town and provide quick and easy options to avoid travelling on the busy A10. Residents are asked to have their say on the Waterbeach to Cambridge transport scheme, that will support thousands of new homes being built in the new town and provide quick and easy options to avoid travelling on the busy A10.
News1 day ago

Help us shape Waterbeach to Cambridge transport plans says GCP

There are three public events where people can find out more

Rytis Lisauskas, 32, had been turning up at the victim’s home in Peterborough every day since their decade-long relationship ended in July last year. Rytis Lisauskas, 32, had been turning up at the victim’s home in Peterborough every day since their decade-long relationship ended in July last year.
Crime1 day ago

Huntingdon stalker jailed for ‘violent attacks’ on ex wife in Peterborough

Victim and her family experienced 'traumatic' time

Renaldo Denollari of Elderberry Close, Ely, grew cannabis in 2 bedrooms and his loft in Ely. He has been jailed Renaldo Denollari of Elderberry Close, Ely, grew cannabis in 2 bedrooms and his loft in Ely. He has been jailed
Crime1 day ago

Jail for Ely man who used 2 bedrooms and a loft to grow cannabis

Police offer reminder on how to spot a cannabis 'farm'

Cllr Marco Cereste, surrounded by family and friends, is believed to be the first person of Italian ethnicity to be elected mayor of a British city. PHOTO: Terry Harris Cllr Marco Cereste, surrounded by family and friends, is believed to be the first person of Italian ethnicity to be elected mayor of a British city. PHOTO: Terry Harris
News1 day ago

In Peterborough Il nuovo sindaco è italiano – the new mayor is Italian

Cllr Marco Cereste arrived in England in 1953 on Coronation Day

Cllr Dennis Jones, new leader of Peterborough City Council, wants to introduce a ‘true café culture’ into the city centre and ‘make it a place where it is welcoming’ PHOTO: Terry Harris Cllr Dennis Jones, new leader of Peterborough City Council, wants to introduce a ‘true café culture’ into the city centre and ‘make it a place where it is welcoming’ PHOTO: Terry Harris
News1 day ago

‘Corbynista, tribal Labour’ leader takes the helm at Peterborough City Council

Peterborough First praised for their 'short but remarkable term in administration'