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Beanbag Music Club: Opera North's Big Sing

Nottingham centre

Join singers from Opera North on an exciting tour of opera music. Be wowed by the amazing sounds that great singers can make and join in some of the big tunes from some famous opera moments.

*Bring your lunch from 12.45pm to have a picnic with Beanie Bear before the 1.15pm show.

Times and prices are subject to change. Contact venue before setting out.

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  • LocalEditorNottingham

    16-Oct-2016 Report

    The Royal Concert Hall invited us to review Beanbag Music Club, ‘magical musical adventures for under-6s and their families', with ‘Graffiti Classics', on the 27th September 2014.

    Our two-and-a-half year old reviewer took two adults to the 1.15pm performance, joining the optional picnic with Beanie Bear from 1pm.

    Entering the performance area, we found beanbags a-plenty and about 30 children, from babies to five, settling in to meet a quartet billed as ‘16 strings, 8 dancing feet and four voices, with one aim: to make classical music wickedly funny'. Beanie Bear introduced the programme, the quartet entered playing, and the double bass player introduced the instruments and musicians.

    Ravel's Bolero was played as musicians weaved amongst the beanbags. Beethoven's long forgotten Disco 5th Symphony followed, with dancing musicians, what fun! The Sailor's Hornpipe began and the audience happily clapped and sang along. Creaking masts and screeching gulls were cleverly evoked with the stringed instruments. The piece developed into a shanty extravaganza which pitted 'big' people against 'small' people.

    An inventive duet followed, as the viola player sang Puccini's O sole Mio in Italian - with the double bass player as Elvis, in giant gold sunglasses, singing It's Now or Never. Flight of the Bumble Bee combined traditional high speed virtuosity with plucked strings and vocal wobble silliness which delighted the audience. Young imitators emerged. A parent was invited onto the stage for a reprise... much to their family's delight.

    Finally, a western-style hoedown. Everyone clapped rhythms and dancing broke out at the back. To finish, the young participants were invited forward for 'a go on the double bass'. This proved very popular and many photos were taken.

    The programme was lively, funny and captured children's attention. Our young reviewer ran around but says she'd like to go again. Perhaps Beanbag's powers of invention and engagement match the curiosity of the upper end of its age-group best but the combination of an exciting programme and a laid-back setting accommodates toddler caprice and provides a great introduction to live music performance.

    TRCH is signed up to Family Arts Standards http://www.familyartsfestival.com/family-arts-standards and welcomes children and families.

    FD, BD, LB and CG for Mumsnet Nottingham

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