Views of Grange Park in its rural Hampshire setting

Carol as Babulenka in The Gambler


Carol Rowlands, mezzo soprano, in a bath chair as Babulenka in The Gambler"Carol Rowlands sets the stage alight as Babulenka, the old aunt. Her enjoyment of the discomfort she causes by appearing just at the moment everyone imagines she's dead is worth the trip to Hampshire alone, and her forceful mezzo is a joy."


Daily Mail (June 8th 2007) David Gillard

"Carol Rowlands effortlessly scene-steals as his (the General's) aunt ..."


Robert Hugill praises Grange Park Opera's production of Prokofiev's The Gambler

"At the end of Act 2 Prokofiev spectacularly punctures this frantic atmosphere with the arrival of Babulenka herself to gamble. Carol Rowlands's entrance as Babulenka, sitting in a bath chair and surrounded by retainers was brilliant. Whilst on stage Rowlands dominated the action, as she should. Rowlands relished the fact that Babulenka is essentially unlikeable and knows it, using her fortune as a weapon."


Carol Rowlands, mezzo soprano, in another view from The Gambler

Country Life (June 14th 2007) Michael Billington

"Only with the hilarious arrival of Babulenka (Carol Rowlands), reports of whose death have been greatly exaggerated, does the opera catch fire."

The Times (4th June 2007) Richard Morrison at Grange Park, Hampshire

"Carol Rowlands,mezzo soprano, in a contemplative pose as Babulenka in The BamblerHe is desperately waiting for his rich old aunt (feistily played by Carol Rowlands) to kick the bucket so he can inherit her loot ..."


Guardian (Thursday June 9th 2007) George Hall

"All the characters are two-dimensional and a fine team of singing actors cannot make up the deficiency ... plenty of purposeful energy from Andrew Shore the debt-ridden General; Carol Rowlands as the elderly aunt who succumbs to the gambling bug and from Jeffrey Lloyd Roberts's perilously devoted Alexei."


Hampshire Chronicle Series, (June 14th 2007) Diana Hargreaves

"... Carol Rowlands made a magnificent fist of Babulenka, the rich, old ailing lady whose relatives hope for news of her death."


Sunday Telegraph (10th June 2007) Peter Reed

"The hard-gambling, high-living aunt was played with considerable zest by Carol Rowlands ..."