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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

Movies: Vallanzasca - Angels of Evil



It's been a while since I have seen a truly satisfying crime film. This is probably the most interesting film since Animal Kingdom and worth catching, despite the luke-warm reviews from the press.

It probably helps to have lived through the 70s and 80s when Vallanzasca was Italy's notorious bank robber, kidnapper, escapee etc. Characters come and go and you are taken on a whirlwind tour of fashion through the period. But even without the prior knowledge of the history (and the endless characters), it is a great (gory) ride helped by the performance of Kim Rossi Stuart in the lead. He's hot and for a gangster film he spends an unusually long amount of screen time in his underwear. One suspects he won't be single for long...

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