Two of Australia’s leading performers come together for an evening of romance and reminiscing. Combining numbers from world renowned operas and musicals, An Enchanted Evening offered a night of reprieve from this challenging year.
Conductor Guy Noble opened the evening, welcoming both in-house and online guests to the show before bringing Julie Lea Goodwin and Daniel Belle to the stage for “Tonight” from West Side Story. Selections for the program included an array of songs from Italian operas such as “Quando m’en vo” from La Boheme and “È la solita storia del pastore” from L’arlesiana, both of which Goodwin and Belle sung beautifully solo. Goodwin included one of the most famous soprano songs in opera from Gianni Schicchi, “O mio babbino caro” about forbidden love, a favourite theme. Throughout the evening Goodwin and Belle would bounce seamlessly through Italian, French, and Spanish favourites with a smattering of English numbers.
Noble injected some humour about current circumstances with a satirical song set to the tune of “When I was a lad” from HMS Pinafore before Goodwin returned to the stage for a moving performance of Carmen’s “Je dis que rien ne m’épouvante”. The shifting and uncertain emotions of this aria came through in Goodwin’s attentive performance. This was quickly followed by Belle’s rendition of “Granada” by Agustín Lara sung in the original Spanish. The long notes of this song allowed Belle an opportunity to show off his impressive vocals for which he is widely known. Here the programming took a more uplifted, yet still romantic, tone as Belle sung of a great love for a great city.
As the evening began to wind down, Goodwin gave a lively performance of My Fair Lady’s “I could have danced all night” in fitting recognition of the nighttime fun 2020 has been deprived of. The duo graced those watching with a gentle duet from Carousel before Noble turned his attention to the in-house audience. To recreate the big chorus backing of “Brindisi” from La Traviata, Noble, Goodwin, and Belle employed the humming help of the audience for a rousing final number.
Of course, though, an encore ensued with another apt song selection: “Con te partirò” by Andrea Bocelli. This final duet brought the evening to a close after a simply lovely collection of opera and musical favourites from some of Australia’s best musical performers.
An Enchanted Evening was performed live and streamed online at Riverside Theatre for Riverside Theatres Digital on October 17th
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