Anniversary of Noye's Fludde

Noye's Fludde - Jubilee Opera, Orford Church, November 15/16THERE were no empty seats for Sunday evening's performance of Noye's Fludde, the last of four spread over the weekend.

Noye's Fludde - Jubilee Opera, Orford Church, November 15/16

THERE were no empty seats for Sunday evening's performance of Noye's Fludde, the last of four spread over the weekend.

Several things combined to make any performance in this work a special occasion: It's involvement of amateurs and professionals in the music making, something which inspired some of Britten's magical scoring, and, of course, the part played by the children. However for this splendid production by Jubilee Opera the fact that it was 50 years since its first performance at this same venue in Orford Church heightened the sense of occasion.

Director Frederic Wake-Walker's production bristles with ideas; Noye's Ship, for instance looks like something from the space age. Wake-Walker achieves superbly disciplined movement form the vast cast of children, though rather than dressing them as animals - surely an essential part of the fun - they were dressed as humans, apparently to show how the fate of animals is bound to that of the human race.


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Both Noye's children and the Gossips were splendid and they were beautifully poised performances from Oliver Hellis' Raven and Emily Cook's Dove. Andrew Slater sang Noye splendidly, though overshadowed somewhat by his wife; a superbly characterful performance by Nuala Willis. Conductor Steuart Bedford controlled the desperate forces excellently - surely a nightmare task, and, joining with congregation in the hymns never fails to move; such is the brilliance of Britten's imagination.

FRANK CLIFF

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