On Sunday we headed to St David’s Hall for Welsh National Opera‘s Halloween Family Concert. These events are always full of fun and intrigue, so we were excited to attend once again.
Review: Welsh National Opera Halloween Family Concert at St David’s Hall
We arrived to at about 1.30pm and it wasn’t quite as busy as usual. The theme was Halloween so there were lots of spooky treats in store! The children were encouraged to take part in the treasure hunt, so that was the first thing we did! George and Molly loved hunting for the different bits and bobs around the hall and once they’d completed it they received a little free gift.
After this we had a little look at the other areas (face painting, music, hair design, crafts) but the queues were a bit long so we decided on colouring in. They sat there for ages colouring in little monsters and munching on some crisps we bought from the bar. We all felt there was a lot less to do than at previous events, but I doubt anything will ever beat singing at The Wizard of Oz performance before the show.
Soon enough it was time to find our seats. We were sat quite far back but the sound from the orchestra was still fantastic. The song choices for the first half were interesting, but they definitely had us hooked with Batman and Ghostbusters.
We had a lot of fun pointing out the instruments being used and listening to the notes they created. It really was goosebump time when the orchestra played!
I have to say I’m not a big fan of Steve Speirs as presenter. I felt a lot of the humour was dated and repetitive and I longed for Wynne Evans to be there. I was also quite shocked when Speirs decided to tell a female member of the audience to close her legs when deciding which side of the hall she was with during a shouting contest. I was pretty speechless and although it may not have been intended in a sexist, crude way, that’s how I interpreted it. This is just my opinion though, this kind of humour may be right up your street though!
I also thought some of the operatic elements were super quiet and it was hard to hear what was being sung over the orchestra. I think the repetition of Cat duet was a little disappointing because there are so many spooky songs that could have worked just as well for this Halloween inspired concert.
The second act was really fantastic, and I completely adored Song to the Moon from Rusalka. The children were seriously impressed with the Jaws theme and we really got into the performances during the second half. I also loved the snippets of film and attention to detail that kept everyone entertained throughout.
Listening to The Youth Opera Effect felt like such a privilege and they performed exceptionally well. We had a great time as a family and I look forward to seeing how they shake it up next time!