Captivating performances as Ulster Operatic Society brings Evita to life at the Grand Opera House
and live on Freeview channel 276
The heartwrenchingly beautiful show shares the story of the Eva Peron, the renowned 'spiritual leader' of Argentina, and features classic songs including Don't Cry for Me Argentina, Oh! What a Circus, and Another Suitcase in Another Hall.
In an unusual twist, Ulster Operatic chose to split the role of Evita, with a younger actress, Victoria College student Caroline McMichael playing the role of the teenage Eva Duarte. Caroline recently graced the stage of the Grand Opera House in their summer youth production of Oliver and her talent certainly belies her age, with a faultless performance as the headstrong young Eva who sets out to make a name for herself.
As Eva matures the role is taken over by Newtownards woman Karen Hawthorne, who is no stranger to the Opera House stage.
Portraying the tough, determined, yet flawed Eva Peron, Karen's voce soared throughout the theatre as she made the role her own.
Hillsborough man David McCrossan, however, stole the show. He was perfect in the role as 'Everyman', captivating the audience from the first moment he stepped onto the stage.
Matthew Watson also gave a solid, grounded performance as Argentinian leader Peron.
Sean Harkin, who most recently performed in Lisnagarvey Operatic Society’s production of Sister Act, also gave a stand out performance as Augustin Magaldi, “the first man to be of use to Eva Duarte”, and Victoria College student Sofia Delgado, who took the title role in Fusion Theatre’s production of Evita, was vulnerable and endearing as Peron’s jilted mistress, giving a beautiful performance of ‘Another Suitcase in Another Hall’.
Special mention must also go to the younger members of the cast, particularly the children who sang 'Santa Evita' so beautifully.
The choreographer, Ann Marie Morgan, also deserves a round of applause for her hard work in perfecting the Latin American dances which blended in seamlessly throughout the show.
Evita can be a challenging musical but Ulster Operatic Society left the audience in no doubt that they were very much up to the task.