Opera without the stuffiness!

She will be cracking a few jokes, and the atmosphere will be informal.

Thomasin Trezise
Thomasin Trezise

But it will be very much a world-class performance, promises Thomasin Trezise as she heads to Arundel for an evening of opera’s best bits.

Opera singer Thomasin will be offering her Opera Cabaret at The Cathedral Centre in Arundel at 7pm on Saturday, August 5.

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She is promising all your favourite arias and songs in the one evening, with plenty of fun, lots of accessibility but always the emphasis firmly on the quality of it all.

The night comes at a time when Thomasin is starting to take her career in a new direction.

“This is a one-off for Arundel,” Thomasin says.

“I had been working virtually full time at Glyndebourne for the last 13 years. I joined Glyndebourne in 2003 in the chorus and got understudies and went on in small roles and built up.”

She became part of the permanent staff, but found that it wasn’t working out in terms of other opportunities or indeed pay – and so left to go freelance at the end of last year.

“I am enjoying it. It is going to take a little while to build things up. There are a lot of plates spinning at the moment, and I realise that I should have started doing this before I left Glyndebourne rather than after I left.”

But she is confident things will pick up.

The show is of her own devising: “I like to give a little bit of historical context, and I also crack a few jokes. It is quite informal. Without giving too much away, in the Carmen arias I do slink around a little bit! And in the second half, people can join in. I know that in every small town in Sussex, there are always going to be some amateur singers that would be up for it!

“So it should be quite a different evening! It will be quite informal, but people will definitely be getting world-class performance.

“The evening is a combination of pieces that I like and that are available, but mostly pieces that I like and, more importantly, pieces that everybody else likes. If you have heard the pieces in films and adverts, you know you are going to like them.”

And that can be a good introduction to opera: “I don’t think people are very confident financially at the moment. It can be very, very expensive to go to the opera now. The Arts Council cuts a few years ago were very savage, and a lot of the smaller companies just had to jack it in. You had to try to organise education and workshops to get the funding, and a lot of smaller companies didn’t have the experience or the knowledge to do that, and so a lot of the smaller companies just disappeared.”

Thomasin’s evening is a way of making sure that opera remains available at a reasonable price – and in a non-stuffy way: “The jokes just started happening by accident. I discovered that I was quite naturally funny, and the more people laugh, the more you do. It was an organic thing.

“And also I do love that connection with the audience so that they can feel they can relax and don’t have to sit there in absolute silence. It has got to the point where in a lot of opera houses you can’t even move without someone shhhh-ing you!”

The evening includes a three-course Italian style meal at a cost of £25 per person. All funds raised are in aid of the maintenance and restoration of St Nicholas Church Arundel.

Tickets are available from St Nicholas parish church office, London Road, Arundel BN18 9AT.

Phone 01903 882262.

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