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Alan Fairs saves the day...when James Cleverton saves the day

Last Thursday, James Cleverton received an urgent request from the Bolshoi to sing in two performances of George Benjamin's Written on Skin on 22 and 23 April - travelling out to Russia on Friday for a rehearsal.  Having taken part in the premiere performances earlier this year at the ROH he is the only singer who knows the role.  Derby Choral Union kindly released him from their Elijah on Saturday night - and Alan Fairs jumped into the breach to replace him.  James was back on MOnday night for the first night of another new opera - Thomas Ades' Exterminating Angel.  Exciting stuff.

There was a nice review from Mike Wheeler: "Of the four soloists, soprano Susanna Fairbairn brought urgency to her role as the Widow. Mezzo-soprano Jeanette Ager was a warmly sympathetic Angel and a steely Jezebel. Tenor Ben Thapa's quieter passages were sensitively delivered. In the title role, bass Alan Fairs, stepping in at the last minute, was richly resonant and patriarchal. He succeeded in making his great Part 2 aria “It is Enough” sound world-weary, steering it away from any hint of self-pity. They were a well-balanced quartet in “Cast thy Burden upon the Lord”. 

Posted on April 25th 2017

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