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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

Scenes from the Tate Modern Friday 13:59


As part of a team building half-day away day I suggested that we try out the slides by Carsten Höller at the Tate Modern. Well actually, the away day was fashioned around the desire to go on these monster slides but never mind that...

I tried both slides in the foreground. Starting with the one on the top level I found it to be a bumpy ride that was only improved after yelling a four-letter expletive for the entire journey down. The lower one was more fun and I managed to even enjoy it a little... There was a shorter slide that I even managed to make "wheee" noises for... By that point I had become a slide pro...

The slides will be around until April next year. By then I may try the slide from level four that has you going at speeds of up to 30mph... But not today... Höller may be onto something when he suggests that slides should be incorporated into new buildings as an interesting way of getting about... It would be more reliable than the tube...

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