'Seriously sexy' is not a description that I would normally associate with a production of Handel's great 'pastoral' mini-opera 'Acis and Galatea' but it was one that I overheard on leaving the Richard Burton Theatre at the end of this memorable performance . It was, in fact, quite accurate in referring to much of this production as the cast frolicked their way through Handel's depiction of youthful love (and lust). It was a production full of charm and wit with much tongue-in-cheek humour. Even the character of Polyphemus (Mathew Stiff), usually portrayed as the most brutish of ‘baddies’, was here played as quite a cuddly and comical one.

The singing from the eight members of Mid Wales Opera ,with an off stage chorus from the Royal Welsh College, was uniformly excellent. Jane Harrington was a radiantly flirtatious Galatea as she was pursued at length, in the most gently unfolding of storylines, by a fluent Oliver Mercer as the tragic, lovestruck Acis and Eamonn Mulhall as Damon who produced some fine coloratura.

Nicholas Cleobury was the animated musical director of the splendid Brecon Baroque (led by Rachel Podger) who played with bite and great commitment throughout as well as with chamber music intimacy. Special plaudits should go here to oboist Frances Norbury.

However the star of the show had to be the amazing set . This was a compact , unfolding construction in the shape of a giant musicbox from which the singers appeared and disappeared in often surprising ways. It was all a bit reminiscent of a bit like a Brian Rix farce. All this only increased the overall sense of fun.