We all know what effect wine has on everyone. But there is someone who in fact has an effect on wine. It is the famous wine expert and auctioneer Michael Broadbent. One fine day his writings and experience gave Sebastian Thewes, a crazy idea to base an opera on them. While Broadbent had forgotten about it when, the opera was already in production. In no time, composer Peter Cowdrey and librettist Hamish Robinson’s came up with this unique musical show called, “The Lovely Ladies,”
This comic divertissement about Broadbent, took place on May 12 at the Christie’s International auction house in Mayfair, London. The opera begins with a rumor that after decades of staying with the best of wines, Broadbent decides to retire. The expert was set to resign, but wines weren’t. So, several great wines including Champagne, Bordeaux and Chateau d’Yquem began competing with each other to lure him back to their world. The performance proved the work to be a light, charming 45-minute piece dripping with musical allusions to Handel and Purcell. The singers included top-drawer performers such as countertenor Michael Chance and the baritone Richard Suart.
When the 83 year old wine connossieur was asked how it feels to be an operatic hero, he said “It’s the most unlikely thing on earth,.” That’s true, but this unlikely thing was received by audience like never before. A great idea backed by a truly great performance was witnessed by a house full of people.