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2012.07.02 Grange Park Opera, Alresford


Grange Park Opera, Alresford, Hampshire

2 July 2012

Simon Keenlyside

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Grange Park Opera is honoured to host the Apollo of the opera world, the charismatic Simon Keenlyside. With the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra he performs opera arias and songs from the shows.

This will be like having Simon sing in your drawing room.

Velvet . . . Ambrosia . . . A damask rose . . . A privilege . . . A delicious treat.


grange park opera


Si può? (The prologue)

Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg WAGNER

Guillaume Tell ROSSINI
Sois immobile

L’Arlesiana CILEA
Come due tizzi accesi

Hérodiade MASSENET
Vision fugitive

Ruslan & Lyudmila GLINKA

Ya vas lyublyu

I puritani BELLINI
Ah! Per sempre io ti perdei

Rigoletto VERDI
Cortigiani, vil razza dannata

O vin, dissipe la tristesse

Die Zirkusprinzessin KALMAN
Wieder hinaus ins strahlende Licht

If I loved you / Soliloquy

On the street where you live

Oh, what a beautiful mornin’

Stranger in Paradise

It ain’t necessarily so

Night and Day

I only have eyes for you

Fiddler on the roof  JERRY BOCK
If I were a rich man

And afterwards…dancing…by the light of the silvery moon...


Sound bites

Rosie Johnston, Opera Now, September 2012

” … Anyone who wasn’t in love with Simon Keenlyside before his concert for Grange Park Opera’s 15th birthday party, fell hook, line and sinker after it. Keenlyside’s breathtaking baritone poured chocolate around “Oh, what a beautiful morning” and “If I were a Rich Man”. He gave a hankie-wringing rendition of Rigoletto’s tortured “Cortigiani, vil razza donnata” and drew a cartoon image of Rig on a flip chart – clever bloke. He downed a glass of red wine as he sang, displaying a curious and charming diffidence, and showed us why his Fortnum’s Hamper voice keeps him at the top. …”

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Chrys Atwood July 5, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Thanks to you, Diana and Jane, for a chance to look over your shoulder at what sounds like such a lovely evening!

diana jones July 5, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Thanks Petra!

Petra July 5, 2012 at 8:48 am

Good Question, Diana, I did not delete them …. or at least not on purpose ;-(
Have restored them both, your and Jane’s messages…. but they are still in “our admin” colour.

diana jones July 5, 2012 at 8:21 am

Why have the comments been removed from this page?

Jane July 3, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Diana has summarised the evening so well. I can only echo her sentiments and say that it was a tremendously stylish performance by Simon and the BSO. He excels at doing this type of “one man show”, giving the audience so much interesting information and with such a lovely sense of humour and, needless to say, singing absolutely brilliantly of course. He can adapt his voice so convincingly to suit opera, operetta, musical….. I could have listened to him all night, singing those marvellous romantic numbers like “If ever I should leave you” and “If I loved you” and his natural acting ability was a joy to watch. “If I were a rich man” was terrific with a perfect Jewish Russian accent and “It ain’t necessarily so” was also fantastic. I am going to run out of superlatives in a minute….anyway like Diana, I really hope he makes a CD of these “songs from the shows”. They should go down a storm, but I also hope he will give more concerts like the one he did last night. It was a magical evening. Simon has such charisma.

Diana Jones July 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Well, what a night!! Despite the non-stop torrential rain and Glastonbury-style mudbath, this concert was one to be remembered for a very long time. Simon was on excellent form and gave interesting information to accompany many of the songs. It was evident a lot of thought and research had gone into compiling this programme. The opera arias were all, as you would expect from Simon, beautifully sung and perfectly acted. Before singing the Rigoletto Cortigiani, he treated us to a Rolf Harris style sketch of Rigoletto,which brought a ripple of laughter from the audience. And as he did when he performed it with WNO, he had me in tears when he fell to his knees to beg for his daughter. After the interval we had a wonderful selection of show songs, each preceded by a little background information. There was a tiny little blip in the Carousel soliloquy, when he wasn’t entirely happy and got the conductor to stop and then resume, but it didn’t spoil his performance of it for me. He acts out every word so convincingly. The best of the whole show he saved for his final encore – a hilarious rendition of If I Were A Rich Man from Fiddler on the Roof. His accent and mannerisms were so wonderful, and I’m guessing his Jewish Grandpa had a big influence on how he performed that song. We managed to snatch a few words with him after the performance, but since we were all standing very close to where the FabBeatles were playing very loudly and Simon had to shout to be heard, he thought it best to preserve his voice and make his escape! Altogether a wonderful evening’s entertainment and I hope Simon will treat us to more of this style of concert in the future. He appeared very relaxed, and being a small venue it had an intimate feel to it. I do hope that he gives us a cd of these songs in the very near future!

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