A captivating performance

Bury St Edmunds Festival, Stacey Kent, Theatre Royal, Sunday May 10 Stacey Kent managed to captivate her entire audience at the Theatre Royal on Sunday - we hung on to every clearly enunciated syllable as she ranged through songs old and new, all of them showing off her distinctive voice and the expertise of her accompanying quartet of musicians.

Stacey Kent, Bury Theatre Royal, Sunday May 10

Stacey Kent managed to captivate her entire audience at the Theatre Royal on Sunday - we hung on to every clearly enunciated syllable as she ranged through songs old and new, all of them showing off her distinctive voice and the expertise of her accompanying quartet of musicians.

It was clear from eavesdropping on the audience in the foyer before the concert that many were established fans - by the end of the concert she had probably added quite a few more. The first number was the classic 'Waters of March' in which her clear, understated and very natural vocal style came through from the start and set the mood of the evening.

In all the songs which followed there was a warmth, intimacy and intelligence, communicated with great skill and absence of any pretension. The numbers which had been written by her saxophonist husband Jim Tomlinson in collaboration with writer Kazuo Ishiguro were intriguing, and the selection of French songs such as 'Jardin d'hiver - sung in very convincing French - were characteristically lyrical and pleasing.


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Jim Tomlinson had his moment of glory in his beautifully played solo sax version of 'Alfie', but his other solos, and those of his instrumental companions, peppered the evening with many accomplished and sophisticated musical moments.

In her introductions Stacey Kent spoke quietly and thoughtfully about what the music meant to her, then in her performances put the same feeling across in a way which seemed heartfelt and personal.

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The encore, 'What a Wonderful World' was a superb example - utterly spellbinding.

Wynn Rees

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