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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

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

Theatre: Anyone Can Whistle

Anyone Can Whistle, playing at the Jermyn Street Theatre is an odd sort of show that apart from potentially curing your insomnia will leave you wondering what on earth it was all about. I sat in the front row and even with all that great singing and acting I was none the wiser. It is one of Sondheim's shows that closed shortly after opening and that was probably less to do with the songs (there are a few good ones) and more to do with the book and subject matter.

Still, well done for the cast and the creative team for trying to make something out of it. Just pity the audience that has to sit through it. It is not every show that has four people falling asleep, and about half a dozen not returning for the second half...

It is Sondheim's eightieth birthday so there will be an onslaught of Sondheim shows in London this year. It feels like we get at least one major Sondheim revival every year for the past few years anyway... So perhaps no excuse was needed anyway. It runs a bit longer for those that have to see every Sondheim show out there...


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