Thursday, 6 April 2017


The Cambridge International Opera made its Singapore debut, performing at Singapore's newest concert venue, the Far East Auditorium of the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre on Wednesday 5 April 2017. The newly formed opera company featured five young singers who have studied and graduated from various colleges in Cambridge and the United Kingdom, and have been active in the college choral and vocal scene.

Its concert, part of an Asian tour which included also Hong Kong and Bangkok, featured a wonderful range of popular arias, duets and ensemble scenes from the great operas. These were mostly in Italian and French, with an odd aria sung in English. It was an enjoyable and entertaining evening, not unlike New Opera Singapore's concerts featuring young artists, but without the farcical comique plots and over-acting. Some of these singers could become big names in the international opera circuit in the future, but this was a promising start.

Counter-tenor Tim Morgan had one of
the most impressive voices, starring in
Handel's Ombra mai fu (Serse) and an aria
from Israel in Egypt
Tenor Rob Humphries sang some bel canto favourites
like Donizetti's Una furtiva lagrima (L'elisir d'amore)
 and Cilea's Federico's Lament (L'arlesiana
Humphries is joined by baritone Lawrence Halksworth
in what else - Bizet's Au found du temple saint
from The Pearl Fishers.
Morgan and soprano Billie Robson
in Pur ti miro from Monteverdi's
L'incoronazione di Poppea.
Mezzo-soprano Simone Ibbett-Brown
is a name to look out for. She sang popular arias
from Samson et Dalila, Carmen and La Favorita.
Halksworth gets an audience in
Come un'ape from Rossini's La Cenerentola
The British Airways theme song,
the Flower Duet from Delibes' Lakme
sung by two Brits!
A scene from Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro.
Billie Robson, who is also the Artistic Director
of CIO, is devoted to her art as she sings
Puccini's Vissi d'arte (Tosca).
The quartet from Verdi's Rigoletto.
The other half of the Verdian quartet (Rigoletto).
As an encore, Tim Morgan reprised
Handel's Largo, now sounding even better!
The full cast with pianist John Wright (2nd from right).
Cambridge International Opera was presented by the Hong Kong based impresario Christine N Concerts.

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