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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

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At the start of the Opera Locos performance, the announcement says that they really are singing. You could be forgiven for wondering that, given the amplification turns up the backing track and the voices so loud that you can't always tell what's real. But this is a mostly harmless and slightly eccentric blend of opera classics fused with the occasional pop classic. However, recognising the pop tunes would help if you were over a certain age. The most recent of them dates back twenty years. It's currently playing at the Peacock Theatre .  Five performers play out a variety of archetype opera characters. There's the worn-out tenor (Jesús Álvarez), the macho baritone (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the eccentric counter-tenor (Michaël Kone), the dreamy soprano (María Rey-Joly) and the wild mezzo-soprano (Mayca Teba). Since my singing days, I haven't recognised these types of performers. However, once, I recall a conductor saying he wanted no mezzo-sopranos singing with the s
Dance: Naked (of sorts)

Caught George Piper Dances / The Ballet Boyz preview of their new production Naked at Sadler's Wells last night. Dance, video projection, lighting and music combined to tell a story of love and revenge etc. While I could not follow the full story (short attention span), it certainly looked great, and the dancing was quite exciting and clever at times. Particularly the scene the boys have together in the second act - a stylised fight of sorts - seemed to have everyone on the edge of their seat. Not being a dance afficianado I don't know the significance of the choreographic choices made, but it is fascinating to watch people do things with their bodies that you assumed wasn't possible or legal in some countries...

The production was stopped 10-15 minutes into it as the sound system kept popping and cracking. I actually had thought that was part of the effect but apparently no. The show was delayed for 45 minutes while they sorted it all out and many people took the opportunity to head to the bar for the unscheduled interval. When we got back I couldn't really tell what had been improved (it was that sort of music). Not that there was a problem with the music, it was perfectly suited to this sort of thing, but when there are scratches and cracks and pops throughout it, it is hard to distinguish between what is intended and what is an audio malfunction.

Later, back in Soho for drinks, people were quite interested in the programme cover which depicts two bodies writhing around covered by little pieces of fabric. It all looks very smart and stylistic and sexy so it should be able to pull the punters in for the week it is playing... Oh and is there any garden variety nudity? Well no, not unless you count the video projections that project an enormous set of buttocks in the first act...

Overheard at the bar at the Well...

American Girl: (to barman) Just the house red please. I am American, I don't need classy...

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