Small picture of Donizetti




Bel Canto Concert at the Clapham festival

Clapham, London, October 4, 2013

Photographs courtesy of Adam Swann, text by Alan Jackson


Chloe Hinton

The Clapham Opera Festival got off to an auspicious start with its Bel Canto recital on 4 October at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Clapham, London. The programme was an imaginative mixture of well-known items such as duets from L’elisir d’amore (but not the aria), Figaro’s entrance aria from Il barbiere, and the Rigoletto quartet interspersed with rarities from Donizetti’s Rita and Poliuto and Verdi’s I Lombardi.

Alberto Sousa


Ricardo Panela

(photo by Romeu Bio )

What was striking was the sheer quality of the voices of the four young singers, soprano Christina Petrou, mezzo Chloe Hinton, tenor Alberto Sousa and baritone Ricardo Panela. All displayed beautiful rounded tone with no forcing or wobble allied to attractive stage presences (the excerpts were semi-staged). To mention just one moment that lingers in my memory: the soft, true, bang-on-the note attacks from both Ms. Hinton and Ms. Petrou on the high B flats in the opening sentences of the duet “Mira, o Norma” were something to treasure.

Christine Petrou

(photo by Niki Jones)

Were they aided by the over-resonant church acoustic? Possibly, but these are four young singers to watch. The festival continues with an operetta recital on 10 November and a shortened, semi-staged Don Pasquale on 17 November, both at 3 pm. More details on