Albert Herring

The opera Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten is directed by George Kan. The dress rehearsal was in Fitzpatrick Hall at Queens’ College. I had not been there before. They have an orchestra pit, between the stage and the audience, that is filled with musicians and their very own conductor, Benedict Kearns. This is a bit of a short blog post, since I have a big backlog. For those who want to read more, check the reviews at the end of this blog post. Enjoy the photos!

We jump into the play partly through when Albert Herring’s drink gets spiked. The scene was lit in pink. This can be a bit tricky, as the other colours are darker and if you expose for them you risk overexposing the pink regions without really noticing it.
The choir was partly lit, so I had to brighten the girl on the left with a graduated filter. It was a toss up between making it colour or black and white, but in the end I went for monochrome as the skin tones were a bit orange with the light.
I was waiting for all of them to turn and face the man singing on the right, to put the focus on him. The black frame around him also helps to set him apart from the group.
The city’s virgin May King Albert Herring is not entirely happy with the situation he finds himself in. I went for another head on shot and cropped the photo to 16:9 to get rid of the excessive white space above.
The effect of the drink kicks in. The cast is nicely posed around him. Perhaps the shot would have been slightly better if shot from a few steps to the right to have Albert less obscured by the woman kneeling to the left.
I like that there are several things to look at, so your eyes can go on tour and explore the photo taking in the cast one at a time.
Albert is not in the happiest of places, and decides to run off for a while. This causes a bit of a commotion in the little town.
I like this shot, it has good light and a nice clean background.
I originally had the photo in colour, but then tested to switch it to black and white and it really came into its own then. The face of the man in the background suddenly became more visible and helped set the tone of the image.
Nicely posed, but a bit poorly lit. I did not want to push the exposure more as the shadows started to look noisy. Shortly afterwards rose petals were dropped from the ceiling onto the cast.
Albert returns and talks about all the dirty deeds he has spent his money on, to mixed reactions from his fellow townspeople.
The play ends with Albert handing out apples to the town’s children and them dancing around on stage.

The opera has been running this week, and I think there is one more show on Saturday. So if you want to see it there is still time! The Cambridge Student gave it 8/10, The Tab gave it 4/5 and Varsity loved it with 5/5.

— Johannes


Albert Herring – Hiroshi Amako
Lady Billows – Hannah Partridge
Sid – Peter Lidbetter
Nancy – Olivia Bell
Florence Pike – Helen Charlston
Miss Wordsworth – Rosalind Donson
Superintendent Budd – Stephen Fort
Mrs Herring – Nell Warner
Mr Gedge – James Proctor
Mr Upfold – Michael Bell
Cis – Pollyanna Furness
Emmie – Hannah King
Harry – Hamish McLaren

Repetiteur – Adam Hickhox, Richard Gowers, James Leitch, John Gowers, Doug Tang
Flute – Jenny Whitby
Oboe – Morgan Foley
Clarinet – Jarred Bennett
Horn – Jake Rowe
Percussion – Carl Wikeley
Harp – Niall Murphy
Violin – Aditya Chander, Stella Hadjineophytou
Viola – Roc Fargas Castells
Cello – Leo Popplewell
Double Bass – Joe Cowie

Production Team
Director – George Kan
Musical Director – Benedict Kearns
Producer – Henrietta Gullifer
Assistant Director – Eleanor Warr
Assistant Musical Director – Ben Morris, Susie Self
Assistant Producer – Mary Hamilton, Dan Lewis
Stage Manager – Anna Lush
Lighting Designer – Hope Chen
Photographer – Ben Day
Set Designer – Jack Parham
Assistant Stage Manager – Zoe Silkstone
Photographer – Johannes Hjorth

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