The emphasis is firmly on fun as The Opera Boys deliver the great opera classics and more at The Capitol, Horsham (Saturday, May 27, 8pm).
Operatic arias and classical favourites from ‘Nessun Dorma’ to ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ are mixed with showstoppers from Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera right through to Jersey Boys.
The show also features brand-new classical arrangements of modern-day pop hits, all performed in The Opera Boys’ inimitable style.
Rob Cherry, from the group, said: “A couple of us, myself and Richard, the little fellow with the big voice, started it really because we had a love of the same music and because we had a similar sense of humour – and also because there is a bit of a preconception that opera is a bit boring and a bit stuffy. We wanted to take it away from those ideas.
“We love the music, but most of all we love to mess around and have a bit of fun.”
The point is that they take the music seriously, but they certainly don’t take themselves too seriously: “We want to inject a bit of fun and a bit of humour. We have been doing this show now for about five years.
“I am not sure that (the preconception of stuffiness) is anybody’s fault, but if you listen to a lot of opera music, it is pretty serious, and popular music has moved a long way away from that.
“Many people would not want to go and sit through three hours of opera sung in Italian, which is fine. That’s perfectly acceptable.
“But there are a lot of people that will want to come and listen to the big, amazing, beautiful pieces that you can take out of the operas, things like ‘Nessun Dorma’, which is what Pavarotti did.
“These big, beautiful, amazing, rousing pieces are hugely popular, and everyone knows them even if they might not always know why they know them.
“There are a lot of people that won’t go to the opera but they will enjoy them if we do them and present them with a smile and a bit of a wink and a nod in an enticing setting. It’s a lot of fun. Our current buzzline is that we take the music seriously, but not ourselves.
“There is enough of a niche following of people that will go to the Met and go and see opera for all that to continue. Maybe the opera world would frown on us. The opera world frowned on Pavarotti when he said he was not going to play the big roles; he was going to go and play at Wembley instead. But I think the opera world has changed too.
“And we get a fabulous response from people. We have a great time, and they have a great time with us. We get them involved.
“We are singers, but we are also entertainers. We like to think that we are bringing opera back to the people. And we always get a great reaction.
“We always go out into the foyer afterwards to do a meet and greet, and you know that there will always be husbands that have been dragged along by their wives, and we love it when the husbands tell us that they didn’t really want to come but that they really enjoyed it.”
Tickets cost £20.50. Call the box office on 01403 750220.
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