Preview of Blackheath Halls’ Macbeth in Greenwich Time of 9th July:
Return of the Macbeth
IT’S never a token effort when Blackheath Halls stage their annual community opera. My own tone-deaf voice would have to be given the Spanish archer, but virtually everyone else has the chance to perform next to some of opera’s top names.
Take Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth, which is raising the roof at 23 Lee Road as we speak. No fewer than 200 locals are in the orchestra and choir – including pupils from nearby Brooklands primary school – as the errant Scottish king comes a cropper at Dunsinane Hill.
It’s the seventh year of the Halls’ community opera project, which has simply grown and grown. “This year the orchestra is made up of 50 talented local musicians alongside community singers and students from Trinity Laban Conservatorie of Music and Dance,” ebullient administrator Caroline Foulkes, told Scene.
“The conductor, director, designer and all the principal characters are all top-level professionals who come in. Matthew Rose, who’s playing Banquo (daddy of kings but never one himself) has just got back from the “Met”, the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
“You don’t get much higher than that. Matthew is so dedicated to this project and making it a real community experience!’
Even patron Edward Gardner OBE, artistic director of the English National Opera, attended the first full rehearsal after the orchestra and choir had been rehearsing separately. “That was hugely exciting fore everyone,” said Caroline, no mean singer herself. “There weren’t any auditions. Any local children who want to be involved can be involved. It’s been a case of them contacting us and us them. Schools who join us invariably want to come back again the following year!’
Chorister Terence Cowling started in ‘Elixir of Love’in 2010.1 was hooked!” said Terence.”This is my fourth opera and the music is stunning. It’s a joy to sing with local children and the professionals.There’s a real camaraderie among us all!’
Performed on July 10, 12 at 7pm and
Sunday, July 14 at 2pm. Tickets £17 (£15
Box office 020 8463 0100 or go to