Rossini’s La Scala di Seta (The Silken Ladder) was first performed in Venice in 1812.
Following Storm Ophelia, amid a flurry of last- minute breakfast-rolls, americanos and croissants in our own canteen, Enniscorthy Vocational College Music Department began the annual Opera pilgrimage. 1st,2nd,3rd,5th and PLC Music students boarded their gondola to Wexford Opera Festival. The sparkling overture began the performance, played with precision by Music Director and accompanist Tina Chang. 5th year Music student and piano player, Sarah Illburck, commented in admiration after the show “There was a lot of playing!”
Sung in Italian, like all the best traditional Operas, this was a comedy played to the hilt by a wonderful international cast. Surtitles over the stage on two screens helped the audience keep up with the whirling action of eavesdropping, mistaken identities, nocturnal rendezvous, reluctant brides, secret marriages and even a shot of cross-dressing. Costumes were a deliberate mixture of formal-wear with quirky touches such as a ridiculous spiral beard for the guardian, Dormont, and a wig for Giulia (sung by Galina Bakalova), the beautiful soprano. Singing was of a very high standard particularly tenor Hi Hyun Kim, who played the husband, Dorvil. He had the difficult task of climbing the silken ladder every night. Happily, for him, all was forgiven by the end of the Opera and his wife’s cousin, the flirtatious Lucilla (Cecilia Gaetano) married the lecherous Blanca.
Reece Dobbs and Molly Walsh ,3rd year Music students, agreed that it was an unforgettable show while Claudia Powlowska, 3rd year, declared “That’s real singing!”. First year instrumentalists, including Ciara Sharpe and Mein AK soy, posed for photos with their complimentary Wexford Festival tickets, excited to be included. On the voyage home, the group docked at an eatery on the Rosslare road. Rumoured to be the next Michelin -starred establishment in the southeast; the menu is heavily influenced by French cuisine. The pommes frites were pronounced particularly good. Stephen Sinnett ,5th year Music student, was very happy with his meal and the thoughtful gift provided by the chef.
Chloe Denton, 5C, commented that ‘everyone thoroughly enjoyed the performance and had a wonderful time’. Students were accompanied by Anita Cullen, Brídín Kelly and Catherine Lawless. Gondolier was Seamus of Roche’s Bus company.