“Little Women” shows off young talent: Sydney Conservatorium performs Mark Adamo’s opera of Alcott’s classic novel

Sydney Conservatorium of Music’s production of Mark Adamo’s opera Little Women, adapted from the novel by Louisa May Alcott

Review by Holly Champion


Soprano Jessica Westcott as Meg March and mezzo-soprano Anna McDougall as Jo March

Mark Adamo’s popular operatic version of Louisa May Alcott’s classic novel has now finally been given its Sydney premiere by the Conservatorium’s “opera school”.  Adamo’s lush timbres and exotic harmonies are excellently interpreted by musical director (and this evening’s conductor) Eduardo Diazmuñoz, with his orchestra of Con students. The young singers are highly impressive, in a happy blend of good casting, looks and acting, and great—if sometimes not quite fully mature—singing.

Presumably to allow as many students the chance to shine as possible, the production has been double-cast for several of the roles, with Cast A performing on opening night and Thursday 16th, and Cast B on Tuesday 14th and Saturday 18th. I had the pleasure of seeing Cast A on opening night. I sat in a seat that was a little too far forward for the high proscenium and—despite the fact that it is sung in English—the necessary supertitles. I had a crick in the neck, but came away happy nevertheless.

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