Eugene Onegin – Gallery – Act I

Some more comments, from participants and from audience!

I love opera and this was my first time taking part in a community opera chorus. I loved it…with a passion.

Behind this project, there are a multitude of stories about people’s individual motivation to perform and publicly succeed in front of family and friends, I listened to quite a few stories during our time together, in snatched conversations at rehearsals, coffee bar lunches, pub revelations and the party socialising.  Alongside this bubbling psychological chorus  caldron, as perceived by myself, were the aspirant professional performers ‘tales’ of stepping up to ’emergent’ singing/ music opportunities in the world outside college. The paid professional singers and orchestra, and support staff were ‘outside’ of my personal orbit, I could only look in awe and wonder of the meaning of the experience for them.

The wider tale of the ‘halls’ life expectancy seeped into the wider  group experience, with talk of redundancy and cuts and the possibility of this being ‘last chance saloon’  for Blackheath, adding a poignancy to the after party. I write here not of music and song, the prime reason for ‘our’ being together but of the wider community needs that are and were fulfilled in taking part in such an event, the psychological underbelly of the project. It  clearly means so much more than performing music to so many, for myself I achieved a different level of ‘membership’ in the Blackheath community, I now meet people on buses and in shops who recognise me from the opera, and  through performing and taking part, I rebalanced my confidence after a particularly difficult study experience leaving me at a low ebb and rediscovered an intense passion for opera.
I got so much out of this experience, I went from sitting flicking through the brochure one week wondering if I might pass the sure to be audition (there were none), to being totally immersed in a very special transformational experience weeks later. It deserves all the funding it gets and more, it truly serves the community on many levels.
An Alto Chorus Member

Eugene Onegin – where can I baygin (ouch!)
A project quite daunting for me
A singular claim
To fifteen minutes of fame?
I’ll just have to wait and see.Duncan, Ollie, Harry, Nick,
Witty, charming, patient, slick
Guided us through, one by one
Never losing their cool,
Inspiring us all
To shine in a job well done.

 We turned up in droves
A quick change of clothes
Then on stage, a sight to be seen
We sang and we danced (well, sort of)
Occasionally glanced (at Nick!)
At an opera fit for a queen.

Applause all round
Such a magical sound
Then reviews to make us all cheer
Would be great just to know
’twill be on with the show
And bring it all back next year.

Maureen Wood Chorus member


Richard and I have never been to one of the Community Opera performances before, and I must admit, when we were asked to go with some friends, thought that it would be pretty frightful! I confess to being a bit of an Opera snob having worked for an Opera Agent in my youth.

The performance on the Wednesday evening was brilliant. The standard of singing, by both the soloists and the choir was really excellent and the orchestra played extremely well. It was also a great opportunity for the children to be introduced to opera. Altogether an excellent evening. Roll on next year.

Tricia Gilpin

To view a large version of any image click on the thumbnail all images are copyright, and will eventually be available on a CD if you are interested, make contact:

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