Melanie Carruthers, Francis Meria, Sophie McCarlie, Caitlin Brennan and Megan Brennan. Photo: Supplied.

REVIEW: Angels of Music

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Angels of Music at Nelson Centre of Musical Arts by Nelson Youth Theatre

Saturday, 21 November

Reviewed by Maxine Noar

Originally intended for the Edinburgh Fringe, this concert featuring 18-year-old Sophie McCarlie and friends took us through a mix of musical theatre and movie songs with a confidence that belied their age.

Sophie opened with Phantom of the Opera, stunning us with her vocal range and control. It is a true talent who can hold an audience without the need for costumes, set or microphones – just the strength of a beautiful voice.

For the next 45 minutes, we were treated to songs loosely linked together in a story of a young girl dealing with the changes in her life. Favourites for me were her renditions of ‘With You’ from Ghost and ‘Winner Takes It All’ from Mama Mia.  Sophie’s outstanding performance took me on a real emotional journey.

I was convinced by the versatility of Sophie’s exceptional voice but wanted to hear what she could do with other styles and would have liked a change in tempo.

The second part of the show included just that – with the songs sung by Caitlin Brennan and Alex Jenson bringing humour and acting ability to the fore. Their hilarious delivery of ‘All For The Best’ showcased their beautiful voices.

My standout for the second half was Megan Brennan whose comedic rendition of ‘Popular’ and powerful presentation of ‘Feelin Good’ revealed a performer comfortable in a range of genres.

Melanie Carruthers’ performance of the Swedish ‘Gabriella’s Song’ captured my heart in a way that meant I didn’t really need the English translation to understand how she felt.

It’s a shame that this was a one-night show, as having talent like Sophie and her friends in Nelson is something that should be celebrated by many.