Nicholas Jackson: The Rose and the Ring
An opera in two acts b Sir Nicholas Jackson based on the history of Prince Giglio and Prince Bulbo by William Makepeace Thackeray with adaptations of harpsichord sonatas by Domenico Scarlatti.
‘… Jackson’s operatic adaptation of this piece of children’s literature stands up to a mature audience… the cast acquitted themselves admirably, proving more than equal to the challenging vocal roles. But it was Prince Giglio, played by tenor William Moran, who stole the show; the passion he displayed after his arrival in scene three had a palpable effect on the rest of the cast. With characters like the fat Prince Bulbo, the ugly Countess Gruffy and the trigger-happy Captain Hedzoff, The Rose and the Ring is more pantomime than restoration comedy, but it’s the best one you’ll hear.’ Edith Hancock – City A.M. *****
‘The result is an opera whose action and music are fresh, piquant, splendidly absorbing and charmingly wrong-footing; and, which retains the oxymoronic blend of innocence and sophistication which characterises Thackeray’s original… Mofidian, whose diction was superlative, threw himself enthusiastically into a range of minor parts — coachman, gaoler, officer and porter; and in the latter role demonstrated a tangy cockney accent.
I found Sir Nicholas’s score intriguing and engaging throughout; there was always some detail, contrast, juxtaposition or tartness to capture the interest… the playing of the Concertante of London was splendid. Leader Madeleine Easton did sterling work from a centrally placed position, indicating tempo, articulation and dynamic with utmost clarity and, seemingly alert to every detail of the complicated score, offering clear guidance to the whole ensemble of players and singers.
Sir Nicholas Jackson has done a terrific job in marrying diverse worlds while retaining the idiosyncratic uniqueness of Thackeray’s novel. Initially, I was surprised that the music of some sonatas were chosen to accompany more than one scene but, then, each Scarlatti sonata seems to possess unlimited variety of passion and expression. Sir Nicholas’s The Rose and the Ring shows us the inventiveness, unpredictability and joviality common to both Thackeray and Scarlatti, as well as their underlying perspicacity.’ Claire Seymour – Opera Today (May 5th, 2016 )