Review by Judith Robinson
“The Last Night of the Proms” was a delightful, rollicking, fun loving evening of theatre and music. Tenor, David Curry, acted his way through his numbers with such intimacy and charisma, that it was easy to forget the National Academy Orchestra was behind him, at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Concert Hall Saturday night. The charming, blond-haired, Oakville native has received as many accolades for his acting in roles such as Tony in ‘West Side Story’ in Paris, and Marco in ‘The Gondoliers’ for the English National Opera, as he has for his fine tenor voice.
Though he calls himself an opera singer, he has the kind of rough and ready, gut-centered instincts of a comical Marlon Brando. His renditions of a Modern Major General, from the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta and O Is There Not One Maiden were hilarious. Also playing a starring role in Saturday’s concert was Montreal soprano, Lauren Margison, daughter of tenor, Richard Margison. Her passionate rendition of “Rule Britannia” was reminiscent of a young Maureen Forrester. The concert hall echoed with the vibrations of a voice that seemed to rise up like an underground spring, at once explosive and refreshing. Margison took control of every song with deep, earthy tones that shook the very foundation of the room. She also emanated a pleasing, shy quality that oozed fragility, sincerity and innocence. She is definitely an artist to watch.
The young members of the Academy seemed to be having so much fun they could barely play their instruments – especially in the second half. While the repertoire of show tunes, anthems and ballads may not have been the most classical of Brott’s summer offerings, it was certainly the most memorable.
Maestro Brott’s appearance in a Superman cape made from a British flag; musicians playing mini-golf & badminton in the middle of a song, with audience members standing up and waving flags and singing, made the evening’s entertainment feel more like a bar room brawl than a proper concert. But it was great fun.
This was musical theatre at its best—backed up by a superb energetic orchestra. Next up in the series is the Mini Beethoven Festival at the Burlington Performing Arts Centre on August 1st and 2nd. Don’t miss it.