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Operatic return for newcomer Oliver Harvey-Vallender

ONE year on from making his opera debut, Shirley's Oliver Harvey-Vallender is doing it all over again.

ONE year on from making his opera debut, Shirley's Oliver Harvey-Vallender is doing it all over again.

The 23-year-old has again teamed up with the Birmingham Opera Company and is appearing in their production of King Idomeneo at the Sherbourne Building in the city centre.

Last year saw Oliver make his opera debut when he appeared in La Traviata at the NIA.

And although the latest show is in a smaller production, he is happy to be back on stage continuing his operatic apprenticeship.

"It's a great story," Oliver admitted. "It focuses on the king returning from the war. He gets into trouble and he makes a deal with Poseidon, god of the sea.

"He says he will sacrifice the first person he meets on shore if he survives, which he does. Unfortunately he returns and meets his son.

"He's got to decide whether to do the right thing or be selfish - obviously he's selfish because otherwise the story would be over in half an hour."

Having studied drama at university and performed in three productions from Hall Green Little Theatre, Oliver sees opera as a very different challenge.

"I definitely have more of an appreciation of what opera can do," he explained.

"It's been quite a hectic schedule and we're currently rehearsing three or four days a week.

"I'm just glad we're in English and not Greek - I'd have to sit there with a pen and paper translating the words."

The singers and actors who make up the cast have been drawn from all walks of life.

Oliver will be performing in a very eclectic ensemble which includes a 13-year-old schoolboy, an Edgbaston drag-queen and a pair of Japanese tenors.

King Idomeneo will be performed at the Sherbourne Building, found on Ladywood Middleway, from August 12.

Tickets are available from the Rep Box Office on 0121 236 4455.



Cathrina Hulse
Multimedia Journalist
Annette Belcher
Multimedia Journalist
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