Wagner opera at Saffron Hall 'even better than hoped'

PUBLISHED: 12:51 26 September 2014 | UPDATED: 12:51 26 September 2014

The Saffron Opera Group's first production was a big success.

The Saffron Opera Group's first production was a big success.

2014 Roger King

History was made at Saffron Hall as singers from across the globe were invited to take part in the first ever opera hosted at the multi-million pound auditorium.

Rapturous applause greeted the world-class soloists, orchestra and chorus of Saffron Opera Group’s debut production of Richard Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg on Sunday, September 14.

The cast took four curtain calls and received a standing ovation from the audience at Saffron Walden’s prestigious venue.

Buoyed by the success, Saffron Opera Group’s directors Francis Lambert and Paul Garland hope the production will be the catalyst for many more operas to be held at Saffron Hall in the future.

“The performance went even better than we had hoped,” said Mr Lambert. “Everyone, soloists, orchestra and chorus were all euphoric at the reception afterwards and the audience were clearly very pleased indeed.”

The concert received a lot of praise from Jim Pritchard, of Seen and Heard International, Music Web International’s site for reviews of concerts, operas and ballets.

He wrote: “This was the first – and what a first – in a proposed series of operas in full concert performance in Saffron Walden at the splendid new Saffron Hall, a 730-seat ‘state of the art’ venue that is already attracting international artists and ensembles to rural Essex, which was previously something of a cultural wasteland.

“At the end of the evening the enthusiastic audience gave all concerned the standing ovation they thoroughly deserved. Saffron Opera Group’s Die Meistersinger was something I felt lucky to have been present to hear and will never forget.”

Mr Lambert added: “To get such a glowing review from Seen and Heard is almost unheard of for what was a partially amateur production of such a large undertaking – it really is the icing on the cake.

“The formula clearly works and we are looking forward to next year.”

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