Friday, February 28


- November 1, 2019

Clare Norburn triumphs again. Her entertaining fusion of music and drama is set during the last hours of Henry Purcell, recalling times of plague, the Great Fire and family disruption, but the endearing wit and charm of the British Orpheus wins through every time. Niall Ashdown, bemused as Purcell, finds himself in bedclothes facing an audience. In febrile delirium he revisits childhood traumas, his wedding and saucy encounters with leading ladies.

Musical director of Ceruleo, Satoko Doi-Luck (harpsichord & recorder) is a regular BREMF champion since their appearance in BREMF LIVE! 2015. She has made an imaginative selection from Purcell’s rich legacy of incidental music to accompany, link and illustrate his life. With stylishly baroque strumming, plucking and clapping, the suitably costumed instrumentalists Kate Conway (viola da gamba) and Toby Carr (theorbo & guitar) embody the ever-present background of 17th century London. The music itself is a complex character in this story. The songs and duets, performed with such vibrancy by sopranos Emily Owen and Jenni Harper, flow easily from the narrative and are the jewels of this enjoyable production.

A similar ensemble, CarmenCo, will preform Norburn’s ‘Creating Carmen’ at St George’s later this month, 22 November, St Cecilia’s Day.

St George’s Church,
31 October 2019
Rating: ★★★★½
Andrew Connal

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