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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

Opera: La Fille Du Regiment

The production of La Fille Du Regiment at the Royal Opera is in its first revival, and Thursday night's performance included Colin Lee in the role of Tonio, which earlier in the run was filled by Juan Diego Flórez. Having seen Juan in a passable but hardly thrilling recital at the Barbican earlier in the month, I was happy to miss him in the opera. The audience were thrilled after his performance of "Ah mes amis" with its nine successive high Cs and Lee himself looked awfully pleased as the audience cheered and applauded... The same applied after singing the tender declaration of love in his Act 2 aria, ‘Pour me rapprocher de Marie’. It was all great stuff...

Laurent Pelly’s production, first staged in 2007 is a lot of fun and the performance by Natalie Dessay as the tomboy daughter of the regiment, who falls in love with Tonio gives the show its heart. The rest of the cast round out this great opéra comique (a slightly silly one)... There are two more performances next week (also with Colin Lee) and definitely worth catching... And if you miss it, there is always the DVD...

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