St Bride’s Church, Liverpool
24th November 2017
Reviewed by Joe Coventry
Originally billed for last month, this concert was rearranged for this evening. It was to have been a Night At The Opera but unfortunately some of the stars could not make the revised date so the performance became a pick and mix of popular hits from the London stage, as well as some classical arias.
On a bitterly cold night the sell out audience warmed up with a sit down meal before entering the main body of the church, wine glasses in hand, to fill the pews, which themselves are to be replaced, along with much needed repairs to the roof, from the proceeds of tonight’s show.
Liverpool based Emma Dears is the musical brainchild behind the effort to save the Georgian Quarter Grade 2 listed building, and she was joined on stage by renowned tenor and Director of Absolute Opera Roy Weissensteiner for tunes that had the crowd singing along in the aisles.
With no live musical backing they swopped at the laptop to provide a musical soundtrack for alternating solos and effortlessly timed their entries for the duets to the delight of all present. There was no programme as the songs came quick and fast but Nessun Dorma and a Porgy and Bess classic proceeded You’ll Never Walk Alone from Rogers and Hammerstein’s Carousel; now the anthem of Liverpool FC, as Emma explained, before singing it in 4 4 3 time rather than Gerry’s 4 3 to the bar: which is where most of those present went to replenish their glasses in the interval.
The evening would not have been complete without some ‘Les Mis.’ I Dreamed A Dream, Fantine’s heartbreaker provided that from Emma, while Roy was into Neapolitan love song mode before his take on Cavaradossi’s emotional outpouring to Tosca.
Both left the stage for a rousing foray into the stalls to join in with the flag waving crowd. Funiculi Funicula anyone? The evening continued apace before a Christmas Carol duet and one from Puccini’s La Boheme.
Satisfied by the evening’s entertainment the audience trooped out into the elements after the couple had taken the applause. There could be no losers tonight.