Friday, July 20, 2001

Claxton Opera caters for all tastes with a triple bill at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, that offers a thrillingly varied fare. The Decision by Bertolt Brecht and Hanns Eisler comes across with great power under conductor John Traill, with brass and percussion underlining the message.

By contrast poised 18th century elegance is all the more delightful in Thomas Arne's The Cooper, the merest excuse for a succession of songs that are sung especially sweetly by Julie Roberts until we come to the happy ending we knew would not long be delayed.

Its musical director, Peter Cooper, has also collaborated with Richard White in Quattro Formaggi or Pizza Passion, a gigantic miniature spoof that would probably turn Verdi green with envy.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH
Eastern Daily Press