‘Pocket’ opera heading to Thanet and Sandwich – The Isle Of Thanet News
By work experience journalist Margo Bewley (Royal Harbor Academy)
The ‘pocket’ opera comes to Thanet and Sandwich as part of a performance program from Kent Chamber Opera.
Bizet’s Carmen and Mozart’s The Magic Flute will be performed at St Lawrence College in Ramsgate, the Sarah Thorne Theater in Broadstairs and St Mary’s Art Center in Sandwich.
Artistic director Terry John Bates founded the East Kent-based production company in 2020 to present the magic of opera in a pocket-sized, more affordable format. He says opera should be presented as passionate, entertaining and sometimes funny to give people an experience they will never forget.
He said, “We want our audience to experience professional, inspiring and compelling performances in an intimate, local environment.
“Our aim is to provide first class opera at a reasonable cost to the East Kent community in particular, but, as the reputation grows and the repertoire expands, to reach the whole of Kent , parts of East Sussex and Essex.Our aim is to work with school aged children in workshops, to encourage engagement with classical music and opera.
“As a small company, we aim to go to many different venues showcasing professional handheld productions.”
The chamber performs reduced arrangements of well-known operas, using an 8-10 piece ensemble, with 6-10 singers, without a choir.
Kent Chamber Opera’s first production in October 2021 was a specially commissioned arrangement of Bizet’s Carmen for 6 principal singers, no choir and 8 orchestral players.
The new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute uses 10 principal singers and an ensemble of 10 musicians.
Carmen is set during the Spanish Civil War and tells the story of the fall of a naive soldier Don José awaiting execution – reminiscing about his past life and the journey to his impending demise. His memories become episodic and turn into scenes played out in his imagination involving the seduction of Carmen.
The Magic Flute opens in the middle of the action and continues to be a fairy tale of darkness, light and finding your way in the world. It’s night and a young girl is carried away by the power of imagination into a world where nothing is as it first appears. Love, dark fantasy and comedy are all set to Mozart’s magical music.
Show for 2022:
30 July Carmen: St Lawrence College, Ramsgate
September 17 Carmen: Rye Creative Center
September 24 Carmen: Sarah Thorne Theatre, Broadstairs
October 9 Carmen: Kings Hall, Herne Bay
October 23 The Magic Flute: Great Hall, Kent College, Canterbury Festival
October 30 The Magic Flute: St Mary’s Arts Centre, Sandwich
November 6 The Magic Flute: Astor Theater, Deal
Learn more about kentchamberopera.com