A singer losing their voice on the day of a performance is a bit of blow, but when it happened to New Devon Opera (NDO – Devon’s resident professional opera company) at the Dart Music Festival, tenor James Heath stepped in.
Tragedy, drama and heroics are what you’d expect from opera. On the morning of New Devon Opera’s performance at the Dart Music Festival professional tenor soloist, Stuart Boother, woke up voiceless.
NDO’s Administrator, Linda Hughes, said: “At 7.30am, I managed to get in touch with a tenor who had sung for us before (the Duke in Rigoletto) – James Heath.
“Jim was rehearsing that day with English National Opera, but he managed to get down by train from London, arriving at St Saviours a bare three quarters of an hour before the concert started. Everyone rallied round – even the costume lady who had managed to dig out suitable costumes to fit!”
The music Jim had to sing was from Carmen, La Boheme, La Traviata. He sang from memory in the original Italian and French – he hadn’t even had time to look at the scores. But Jim’s acting and singing were so powerful, that it did not matter a jot that the other singers were singing in English.
New Devon Opera will be returning to The Flavel, Dartmouth on July 24 and 25, and to glorious Ugbrooke Park on July 27 and 28 with two performances of Puccini’s fabulous heartbreak opera – Madam Butterfly.
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