The Six of Calais & Ruth at Susie Sainsbury Theatre

In review: Ruth and The Six of Calais

Libretto and music by Philip Hagemann, directed by Cassiopeia Berkeley-Ayepong and conducted by Avishka Edirisinghe, Nicole V Sylvester writes about the recent Pegasus Opera Company double bill

Pegasus Opera Double Bill full cast
THE PEGASUS Opera Company is the Brixton based organisation that last week treated us to a double bill of Opera at The Royal Academy of Music.

They provide performance opportunities for Artists of Asian and African heritage and have been bringing opera to under-served and diverse communities for 30 years.

The Six of Calais is based on the 1934 play by George Bernard Shaw.

A historical and comedic piece set during the ‘hundred years war’ between France and England, it tells the tale of six burghers –(the medieval middle class) who volunteer to be executed to save their town from being destroyed by Edward III (Carlos Felipe Cerchiaro).

Peppered with wit and humour, Queen Phillipa (Bernadine Pritchett) intervenes and spares them from their fate.

Ruth is a biblical story that tells of the life of King Davids great grandmother. After fleeing famine and living in happily in Moab for many years, the deaths of Naomi’s husband and sons, compels her to return to her homeland of Judah, Ruth, her daughter in law, goes with her, works hard and is accepted by the Jews.

She impresses Naomi’s cousin Boaz a respected land owner, who marries her.

Both stories celebrate cultural acceptance and have women central to the narratives illustrating the actual power of women in times when they had very little.

Alison Buchanan, Chike Michael and Angela Caesar

Stand out performances came in the rich baritone of Chikezie Chike- Michael who plays Boaz and Soprano Alison Buchanan who plays Ruth.

These two very different operas show off the immense talent and versatility of the members of the Pegasus Opera Company.

Every now and then it does you good to experience something different, something outside the box that you will remember.

Even if you think it’s not your thing, If you appreciate powerful, beautiful voices, then trust me, opera is just the ticket.