2016-06 Grange Park Opera, Oliver!



Composer : Lionel Bart
Librettist : Lionel Bart after Dickens’s Oliver Twist
Venue and Dates :  Grange Park  2,3,11,12,19,23,24 June and 1,2 July

Conductor: Adam Rowe
Director: Jean-Pierre van der Spuy
Designer :
Richard Kent
Lighting Designer: David Plater
Lizzi Gee

Fagin: Simon Keenlyside
Oliver: Wesley Kent-Hargreaves
The Artful Dodger: Charlie Barnard
Bill Sykes: Simon Lipkin
Mr. Bumble: Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts
Nancy: Jodie Jacobs
Widow Corney: Sophie-Louise Dann
Mr Brownlow: Paul Bentley
Mr Sowerberry/Mr Grimwick (doctor): Gareth Snook
Mrs Sowerberry/Mrs Bedwin: Gemma Morsley
Bet: Perola Congo
Charlotte: Carrie-Ann Williams
Noah Claypole: Jonathan Stirland

Seating plan with prices

Grange-Park-prices-2016(click on jpg to enlarge in a new tab)

more information and booking tickets

Click here to see a photo gallery of the special event on 09 March 2016

Photo Gallery

Sound bites

The Telegraph, Rupert Christiansen,3.6.16

4 stars

” … The cast is without weakness. Opera lovers will be heartened at Simon Keenlyside’s return to the stage after a long period of illness –  keeping any pressure off his voice as Fagin, he reviewed the situation and picked a pocket or two with style, wit and crisp enunciation, as well as some nicely underplayed characterisation.  … Speaking for myself and given my total recall of every lyric, I had such a good time that I was sorely tempted to jump on stage at the final chorus and join in.”

musicaltheatrereview.com, Jeremy Chapman, 3.6.16

4 stars

” … this year operatic baritone Simon Keenlyside gets reasonably close to the Fagin that Bart had in mind.

He made ‘You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two’ and ‘Reviewing the Situation’ vibrant without over-emphasising the Jewishness of the part in this hybrid of a production which marries opera performers (Keenlyside and Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts’ Mr Bumble) with musical theatre regulars like Jacobs, Sophie-Louise Dann and Simon Lipkin’s sinister Sykes. …”

Mark Ronan, markronan.com, 04.06.16

“…Light and nimble on his feet, world-renowned baritone Simon Keenlyside made an eminently believable Fagin, a joyously stern ruler of his own small kingdom, but fearful of the world outside and the threatening presence of Simon Lipkin’s excellent Bill Sikes…….”

Sam Smith, musicOMH.com, 04.06.16

4 stars

“……While ….the image used in advertising makes Simon Keenlyside look more like a Bill Sikes, on the stage he is very much a Fagin in the Ron Moody mould. He utilises his excellent baritone very effectively so that it does come to the fore, but does not feel too overwhelming in what is predominantly a character role……

Keenlyside is a strong and entertaining mover, and throws himself completely into the part as a few self-conscious jokes are included. One boy reprimands him for getting carried away at the end of ‘You’ve Got to Pick a Pocket or Two’ by pointing out that this isn’t an opera, while Keenlyside really plays up the scene in which he surveys the ‘rich’ audience through opera glasses….”

Richard Fairman,ft.com, 5.6.16

4 stars

(we are not allowed to quote)

Neil Fisher, The Times, 05.06.16   (fee payable)

3 stars

“….And Keenlyside’s Fagin? He lets his voice purr and tickle over the music: no opera bluster here…..”

David Gillard, Daily Mail,10.6.16

4 stars

” … This year, they opened the season with Lionel Bart’s enduring twist on Dickens, this time with the distinguished operatic baritone Simon Keenlyside as an unusually amiable Fagin.  … Keenlyside’s gently understated Fagin genially resists Jewish caricature and he is also sensitive enough to ensure that his silky voice doesn’t sound jarringly operatic in a mainly music-theatre cast (the show is discreetly amplified). …”

Christopher Hart, The Sunday Times, 12.06.16  (fee payable)

4 stars

” ……Simon Keenlyside makes a memorable Fagin, creeping about or cavorting with nimble dance steps and manic energy. There’s just a touch of the East European shtetl in his voice, but it’s not overdone… “

Louise Lewis, British Theatre Guide

” ……Simon Keenlyside is a charming Fagin. Vocally, he makes the role his own and is a pleasure to watch. His Fagin is slightly softer round the edges than expected, but this makes the contrast with Bill Sykes more apparent…. “

Riot in the Cheap Seats

“And I’ll look at all the rich people…” Simon Keenlyside drawls as Fagin, raising a pair of bejewelled opera glasses to his eyes and surveying the stalls knowingly…….

……Simon Keenlyside is a brilliant Fagin, with well measured humour, near flawless diction and oily charm by the tonne…….”

George Hall, Opera News, 8/2016

… Always a resourceful actor, Keenlyside made Fagin into a complex, at least partially sympathetic figure, making every word tell and putting each of his numbers over effectively, as well as joining skillfully in the busy ensemble routines; his was the finest performance onstage and quite properly the centerpiece of the show. …

Warwick Thompson, Opera Magazine, August 2016

www.opera.co.uk   (subscription required)

” ‘I’m reviewing the situation’ sang Fagin indecisively in his climactic final dilemma. For this reviewer there was no cause for indecision. Grange Park’s Oliver! was a delight from beginning to end. The big draw in operatic terms was Simon Keenlyside, making a welcome return to the stage after a period of illness – but surprisingly it was his acting, rather than his singing, that was the chief pleasure……..In the dialogue scenes he proved himself a versatile comic actor, with a sharp sense of timing and an excellent command of detail, and his relationship with the Artful Dodger and the other diminutive pickpockets trod a fascinatingly ambiguous line between avuncular fondness and snarling menace. …..”

Comments on this entry are closed.