16 November 2016
Reviewed by Louise Watts
I want you to picture the scene in your mind……. you are in the theatre, the lights are off and the room is dimly lit with beautiful, flickering candles. There is a live orchestra on stage dressed as per the 18th century with costume and wigs, playing the most incredible music composed by the one and only Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Then onto the stage enters the vocalists also in costume. Can you imagine this? Are you feeling calm, relaxed and excited about what is going to happen next? So was I… the difference was that I didn’t have to imagine this, I was there at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells experiencing Magical Mozart by Candlelight for myself.
To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, it sounded idyllic…. an evening with beautiful classical music with candles adding to the ambience. And that is exactly what it was. The small orchestra of 7 were just incredible. The sound was beautiful. Having tried to play the violin as a child, I fully appreciated the clear sound of the 3 violins (as I am sure did my mother having listened to me scratch my way through my Grade 1 exam!) The Cello and double bass completed the string section which was then complimented perfectly by the flute and piano. The combination worked and the music was delightful.
The music was taken from various operas composed by Mozart including The Magic Flute and the Marriage of Figaro. The quality of the 3 vocalists was impeccable. The 2 ladies and a man sang the most beautiful opera with enthusiasm and fantastic acting whilst in role. I have never seen opera before and to be honest I wasn’t sure I would like it, but I was wrong. It was absolutely beautiful!
As always the Assembly Hall was wonderful. The facilities are brilliant and the staff are pretty perfect to be honest. I have never met a member of staff there who isn’t helpful and cheerful. We enjoyed a drink at the bar before the show started. These were reasonably priced and the bar area is really quite beautiful and relaxing. Parking was easy. For a flat rate of £1 you can park in the multi-storey within 2 minutes’ walk from the theatre. The only thing I didn’t really understand was why such a beautiful theatre was so empty on an evening like this.
Mozart is arguably the best, most prolific composer of classical music ever. Born in 1756, he was already established and competent in playing the keyboard and violin by the age of 5, when he began his composing. In total, he composed over 600 works before he passed away just a month short of his 35th birthday. That has to be recognised as an incredible amount of composition!
There were a few children in the audience which was lovely to see. I would recommend this for anyone who has an interest in classical music or who would like to get a little taster of what classical music is like. A truly magical, enchanted evening.
For other shows at the Assembly Hall Theatre in Tunbridge Wells visit www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk.
Assembly Hall Theatre, Crescent Rd, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN1 2LU | 01892 530613