from the Shropshire Star

Shropshire Star June 2004

What a delightful way to bring the acclaimed English Haydn festival at Bridgnorth to a close. Bampton Opera’s production of L’infedelta delusa (Deceit Outwitted) was a joy from start to finish.

This comic opera from the musical pen of Haydn in 1773 with libretto by Marco Coctellini had sharpness, wit, pace and humour by the bucket load – and what is more an audience in St Leonard’s Church that really appreciated this most famous of Haydn’s operas.

The cast of five were ideally matched and obviously relished working together on this tale of farmers and their love lives.

It was the usual recipe of star-crossed lovers, a father who believes he knows best for his daughter, a little bit of disguise and deceit but with the end result that everyone is happy.

Sinead Pratschke as Vespina was superb making the most of Haydn’s music with her soaring soprano voice and also the most of her other considerable talent – for comic acting. And the comic scenes in the second act were particularly entertaining with all the cast proving their worth as actors as well as singers.

The English Haydn Orchestra, as usual, was excellent and there was the added bonus of the conductor – the very talented Jason Lai. This young man (he won the BBC Young Conductors Workshop in 2002 and is currently assistant conductor to the BBC Philharmonic) is surely destined for even greater things in the future. He set the pace for the evening moving the music pace up by several notches and keeping it full of energy and moving on, while losing none of the essential tenderness of some parts.