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Review: Anon, Welsh National Opera, at Gloucester's Guildhall

By citizenmike  |  Posted: March 19, 2014

  • Anon by Welsh National Opera

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Argh! If you weren’t one of the dozen people who turned up at the Guildhall to watch an opera like no other, you have missed out.

Anon is quite simply the best new opera of 2014 – it blew my mind.

Anon tells the stories of women who are trafficked into Britain only to find a life of prostitution, abuse and drugs awaiting them. It is powerful subject matter which is brought to life sumptuously by the hottest composer in opera at the moment, Errolyn Wallen, who has 11 other operas to her name.

The music is electrifying and is beautifully played by a small band. One of the most spine-tingling moments was when the Guildhall’s speakers blasted out hard core clubbing music with the sounds of the three sopranos and the musicians soaring above it – a wonderful blend of musical styles.

The difficult themes of relationships, jealousy, lack of power, multicultural challenges, drugs and abuse are portrayed beautifully with two actors carrying most of the simple, but brilliantly choreographed movements and three sopranos who initially start singing from seats in the audience.

What’s not to like about Anon? An edgy blend of opera and modern rhythms and sublime voices create a fast-paced contemporary soundscape like no other. The star of the show is the show itself.

Michael Wilkinson

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