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Saturday, 26 May 2012

Theatre - Carousel - Opera North, The Lowry

Star rating – 7/10

Carousel might not be the best Rodgers and Hammerstein musical there is, with its slightly inconsistent storyline, (nothing can compare to A Sound of Music for me, and arguably South Pacific is a touch better too), but when given the full Opera North treatment it is a delight.
There are some lovely big song and dance numbers like ‘June is Bustin’ Out All Over’ which are sheer joy to watch. The leads, Eric Greene as fairground working bad boy Billy Bigelow, and newcomer Claire Boulter as Julie Jordan, who falls hopelessly in love with him whatever his behaviour, are both excellent. Their duet ‘If I Loved You’ is a real heartstring tugging number.

It’s great to see Opera North doing a musical rather than an opera for a change, and their orchestra fully do the lush score justice. One quibble, though is that Elena Ferrari as Netty Fowler was a slight weak link, her voice not sounding quite strong enough for the part. But who could resist the wonderful ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as the finale? So maybe the scousers have made it their own, but it’s a damn fine song and a damn fine ending to a great musical.

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