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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

Theatre: South Pacific

While many of the critics seem to think it has lost something in crossing the Atlantic, Saturday's performance of South Pacific at the Barbican was still an impressive night out at the theatre, and highlights what has been missing from London musicals for a while.

Notwithstanding a little lack of chemistry in the leads (and a fully fleshed out characterisation of Nellie by Samantha Womack), South Pacific is an impressive show. The cast give an excellent performance with some very fine singing. There is even a little bit of rear nudity and flesh in this production which no doubt gives a modern updating (and a thrill for the older gentlemen in the audience of a certain persuasion).

The work is a marvellous example of how seamless and integrated a story with music can be. While the songs could stand on their own (and most do), there is very little pointless exposition or labouring. The three hours you spend in the South Pacific will breeze by. If only all musicals were this clever and well written. It runs through to October.

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