Review: Enthralling works lift Opus programme

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Opus' reputation for adventurous programming was upheld following three enthralling works in the concert.
Opus' reputation for adventurous programming was upheld following three enthralling works in the concert.

Opus' reputation for adventurous programming was upheld by the inclusion of three enthralling and seldom-heard works in the concert.

Astute direction from conductor Peter Walls and the players' cohesion and responsiveness marked Opus once again as an orchestra which consistently produces rich and fluent sounds.

They opened with Mendelssohn's Fair Melusine overture, written for an opera about the difficulties which arose from a watersprite's lifestyle, and caught its sad moods with an appealing delicacy.

Bach's cantata, Exult for God in Every Land, one of his most resplendent works, was a triumph for Soprano Jayne Tankersley and trumpeter Bill Stoneham.

In the outer movements they formed an exultant duet, her voice lithe and beautifully sustained over a wide range of impressively agile trumpet notes.

The concert was billed as Inside Beethoven, and his well-known Egmont Overture and Incidental Music proved to be both dramatic and revealing of the composer's vision and powers of expression.

This work was written to accompany a Goethe historical play on a 16th century Dutch resistance hero, and spirited playing by the orchestra, characterful narration by Nigel Collins, and Jayne Tankersley's presence and vocal intensity as Egmont's beloved, helped bring the story alive.

- Rotorua Daily Post

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