WITHAM AMATEUR OPERATIC SOCIETY
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
Director Eric Smart
Musical Director Susannah Edom
Performed at Witham Public Hall 26TH October 2014
A classic story and production from WAOS with a large cast of adults and children, playing to a full house and enthusiastic audience.
Niels Bradley as Captain Georg von Trapp was a very upright character but gave a rather softer side as the father than we tend to expect. His manner with the children after Maria had told him a few home truths was very pleasing, and with both Maria and Elsa Schraeder his dialogue was very well placed.
Corrina Wilson as Maria gave us a rather feisty character with a strong and definite feel as Maria. A lovely singing voice and a natural ease and confidence on stage.
Julie Codling playing Elsa was very glamorous and beautifully dressed as this sophisticated lady. Again with a great tone to her singing, and the duets with Max and von Trapp were excellent.
Max Detweiler played by Tom Whelan, Edward Groombridge as Franz and Hilary Watling as Frau Schmidt gave us enjoyable and interesting characters.
The Nuns and Postulants led by Janet Moore as the Mother Abbess all looked so uniform, together with some delightful fun in “Maria” sung by Shelly Fisher, Michelle Jesse & Constance Lawton.
The harmonies which split into many parts in the unaccompanied singing was good with all lines well balanced. Slight tuning issues in Act II in “Rex Admirabilis” but all so well sung.
Act I closed with the beautiful voice of Janet Moore singing “Climb Every Mountain” which she truly did justice to. I heard every word and the flight of her voice up to the top range to finish the song was terrific.
The children were excellent, not only did they look good, all their songs and dances were precise and enjoyable.
I was very impressed with Edward Tunningley as Rolf with both his acting, singing and dancing. Probably one of the best Rolf’s I have seen. Well done also to Faith Rogers as Liesl in their duet “Sixteen going on Seventeen”. Beautifully choreographed and performed.
The costumes on every person on stage was exceptionally good with everyone in well fitting costumes, which makes the show special and looks so professional.
The balance of sound from the Orchestra and voices, which I always listen for, was very good. Underscoring muted down, and voices distinct throughout.
Well done to you all and of course Susannah for her direction as Musical Director.
Scenery, backcloths and furniture all worked very well.
The escape from the concert hall to the Abbey Gardens was nicely played.
I really enjoyed lots of interest and moments which Eric added to the show and added to the spirit of this timeless story. Eric always comes up with some nice touches of his own and did the society proud in this production.
Many thanks for your hospitality and meeting up with you all again.
I look forward to 2015’s programme; both shows I am sure will be appreciated by the audience.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC
WAOS at the Public Hall, Witham
The Sound of Music is one of the last great book musicals, and one of the best known, largely due to those post-turkey screenings of Christmases past.
Good to see the show live on stage again in the Public Hall in Witham.
Among the strengths of Eric Smart's production for WAOS are impressive choral singing [the MD is Susannah Edom] both from the nuns of Nonnberg, and from the Von Trapp family, and an excellent group of children, from Faith Rogers' lovely Liesl to Ella Bradley's tiny Gretl.
The demanding role of Maria is taken by Corrina Wilson, in a spirited, extrovert performance, with huge stage presence. Perhaps a little too knowing, a little too pert at times, but every familiar number is wonderfully sung.
A perfect performance, too, from Julie Codling as Elsa – stylish and shallow, making the most of the catchy How Can Love Survive trio with the upright Naval Captain Georg [Niels Bradley] and the amoral Max [Tom Whelan] And Janet Moore makes a marvellous Abbess, singing Climb Every Mountain with superb phrasing and real emotion.
Do-Re-Mi is imaginatively staged and energetically realised, and there's inventive choreography for Liesl and her beau Rolf [a personable Edward Tunningley] in Sixteen Going On Seventeen. We are treated to a big Viennese wedding, and an elegant soirée for Elsa.
Elsewhere, it's a swings and roundabouts show. A great stage picture for the moving final number, but a very cramped corner for the Abbess's Office. Stunning swastikas and storm-troopers for the Festival Concert scene, but the key moment where Georg's hard heart is melted by music goes for almost nothing. There's a sadly un-Alpine lakeside not only for Georg's villa, but also for Maria's beloved hillside. And those unmistakably English church bells …
The Sound of Music
Witham Amateur Operatic Society (WAOS)
Witham Public Hall
WITH its familiar songs and well-known plot, The Sound of Music is, perhaps, the best¬loved of all musicals. WAOS treated the audience to a first-rate performance; sometimes sugary sweet, sometimes action-packed, but always compelling.
Two performances lifted the show out of the ordinary. As the Mother Abbess, Janet Moore had a commanding presence that was matched by her strong and resonant singing. As.Maria, Corrina Wilson did not just act out the role, she was Maria. Her voice was expressive and full of vitality, and when she sang with the Abbess, as in My Favourite Things, the effect was stunning.
My favourite scene was the one involving Rolf (Edward Tunningley) and Llesl von Trapp (Faith Rogers). There was a delightful innocence portrayed by their song and dance that was a joy to behold. Charlie Smith (Friedrich), Olivia Herbert (Louisa), Fraser McLauclan (Kurt), Clara Alden-Smith (Brlgltta), Poppy Fisher (Marta) and Ella Bradley (Gretl) played the other von Trapp children to perfection.
Other fine performances came from Niels Bradley (Captain von Trapp), Julie Codling (Elsa Schraeder), and Tom Whelan (Max Detweiler).
All the elements of this show added to its success. The religious backdrop, the family drama, the political intrigue, the general staging and the orchestral playing were all competently handled in this production, and special mention should be made of Eric Smart (director), and Susannah Edom (musical director) who gave us all a great night out.