The audience may have abandoned bonfire parties in favour of Verdi’s Macbeth but they still enjoyed fireworks – those provided by Southwick Opera’s impressive modern dress production, sung in English.

Director Helen Hardwick chooses simple staging with a few tree trunks, a raised disc and occasional chair thus allowing swift and seamless scene transitions.

The witches’ scenes are performed with stylistic ritual enacted by numerous sprites. However the lack of foliage carried by the soldiers diminishes the Birnam Wood scene.

The standard of singing is high throughout. Steven Hawkesley’s powerful voice thrills and makes one regret Banquo’s early demise while Stephen Caira is most moving in Macduff’s lament for his slain wife and children.

The roles of the murderous couple are effectively delivered by Christopher Parke and Veronica Brookes. They contrast well in the banquet scene where Lady Macbeth leads the gaiety with a brindisi, urging her guests to drink, while Macbeth provides dramatic horror as he alone sees Banquo’s ghost.

A 14-piece orchestra, under the firm control of Simon Gray, provides a rich sound, while the large ensemble produces glorious choral singing – but at a high price. Their number tends to cramp the small stage, overshadowing the principals.