Merry Opera returns to East Anglia

The Merry Opera Company is presenting "The Barber of Seville" at Beccles Public Hall.

The Merry Opera Company is presenting "The Barber of Seville" at Beccles Public Hall. - Credit: Archant

Following last year’s Kiss me, Figaro! in East Anglia, Merry Opera return to Beccles Public Hall next Friday, February 20, with their national tour of Rossini’s great comic opera The Barber of Seville.

The colourful show is set in an exaggerated world of the traditional barbershop with a large shaving brush, a giant hair tonic bottle, fabulous frocks and a plethora of newly fashionable moustaches to create an exclusive cocktail of style, which aims to delight both connoisseurs and opera newcomers. Director John Ramster, who was born in Great Yarmouth and brought up in Lowestoft, began his theatrical life in the area, first acting in school productions at Kirkley High School in Lowestoft then with the Seagull Theatre.

Mr Ramster said: “It really gave me a grounding in performance. I saw my first operas at the Norwich Theatre Royal when I was a teenager whenever Glyndebourne Opera toured there - little did I think that only a few years later I would be working for Glyndebourne myself as a young assistant director. And now I’m bringing a production of my own with Merry Opera, with the valuable help of the Arts Council, who are keen for the East Coast to be better served with operatic performances. I’m really thrilled about it.”

The cast includes many singers who have already worked with Scottish Opera, Garsington Opera, English Touring Opera, Opera North and Opera Holland Park as well as Merry Opera whose previous tours to East Anglia have included La Traviata, The Magic Flute, Troy Boy (aka La Belle Hélène) and a staged Messiah. Music director and conductor Stephen Hose is also music director for OperaUK and has worked as an accompanist for BBC 2s The Choir with Gareth Malone.

Tickets cost £10 or £9 for concessions available from the box office on 01502 770060 or