Powerful, searing melodies combined with hard hitting choruses fill Lisa Logan’s and David Peimer’s new chamber opera ‘A Silver Spoon: the story of Princess Diana and Dodi’ which premiered on the 1st of July at the Beaumaris Festival. On the 25th anniversary of their tragic death, the blossoming relationship between Diana and Dodi, and their tragic end, seems more suited to the emotional ranges and passions of opera.
Logan’s music reaches intense heights and draws you in, most notably when Diana gifts her late father’s cufflinks Dodi, and Dodi hesitates over remaining in the relationship. Maggie Cooper’s Diana, with her rich mezzo tones, was compassionate, determined. She successfully revealed the playful side of Diana, expertly mirroring her gestures without it becoming caricatured. Sandeep Gurrapadi’s Dodi was gentle and caring, never arrogant, a light focussed tenor, a sweet emotionally connected upper register, that draws you in. We saw a true love developing, even if he was a known playboy.
There was a national wave of grief and mourning when Diana and Dodi died and the car crash was convincingly transformed by Logan into music representing crashing waves in the opera, using dissonance but never so much as to lose her audience. Smith’s simple staging was effective storytelling, in a semi staged design by Charlotte Murray. The Welsh Chamber Orchestra sounded superb under the baton of WNO veteran, Head of Music emeritus Anthony Hose
Words By: Vicky Parker