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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

Opera: Aida

The Royal Opera continues in its current trend to show flesh with its slightly naughty version of Aida. I caught up with it on opening night last week, and this new production looks great. And with plenty of partial nudity, it can be a little distracting. While it has been a controversial choice in staging, I thought it helped since I really don't care for Aida as an opera - a small story blown out into epic proportions that goes on forever. Still, conductor Nicola Luisotti also gets a great sound out of his orchestra and chorus (if perhaps not his soloists). His thoughts on the opera are captured in the latest podcast from the Royal Opera as well.

Opening night was also a charity fundraiser with HRH in attendance (wheeling in his wife), so the standard of dress was a little bit better than usual at Covent Garden as well... It runs until 16 May and worth catching.

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