Featured Post

Grief and fluff: Tiger @OmnibusTheatre

Death is something we all will face. After all, nobody gets out of here alive. But how do you get past it when grief is all you can feel? And this is the premise of Tiger, currently playing at Omnibus Theatre . It's a fascinating exploration of the stages of grief. And with a terrific cast to take you on this journey, it's an endearing and sweet story that has you engaged from the start, wondering what will happen next.  We are introduced to Alice (Poppy Allen-Quarmby) as she gives a stand-up routine. It's not particularly funny and starts to veer into the topic of dying. Something isn't right. She used to be good at this but can't move forward. Soon, she is back in her London apartment with her partner Oli (Luke Nunn), discussing that they need to get a lodger to make ends meet.  Oli is a doctor working night shifts at the local NHS hospital. Alice is not ready to face a return to stand up or anything. So when the first potential lodger arrives (Meg Lewis), looking

Death Becomes Her: La Traviata @RoyalOperaHouse

The original hooker with a heart of gold (and lungs full of blood) is back at The Royal Opera House for the Christmas period and beyond. It’s a bright and stylish production that was first seen at the Royal Opera twenty five years ago. But La Traviata, or the “fallen woman”, is more than just froth, bubbles and champagne. It’s also about the frailty of life and how redemption can come in many guises. In this particular version conducted by Daniel Oren, it’s the somber more reflective moments that stand out. Whether you like that sort of thing or not. 

In case you were wondering if there’s a plot to all these emotions in La Traviata, it centres around Violetta, a courtesan who at one of her lavish parties dumps one lover for another. But her new suitor, a moderately wealthy man called Alfredo, turns out to be more than she expected and they both fall in love. Meanwhile Alfredo’s bourgeois father seeks to restore the family honour while Violetta grapples with moral choices while her health continues to fail. And this is all set to some of Verdi’s best known music.

As Violetta, Hrachuhi Bassenz seemed hesitant at the party scenes, and lost among the full orchestra. But what she lacked in power she made up with her vocal range and vibrato that helped deliver a nuanced performance.

As her young suitor, Alfredo, Liparit Avetisyan, complimented Bassenz’s voice and well-suited the more sombre tones of this production. 

While death looms large, the rest of Richard Eyre’s enduring production is lavishly staged. Everything is either bathed in gold or gorgeously decorated. And the party scenes are just as evocatively staged as ever with the packed crowds and mostly fine chorus singing. Here you get the sense though it’s all just a warm up for the mortality to come. Now that’s a thought for the festive season.

Directed by Richard Eyre and revival director Andrew Sinclair, La Traviata will be running at various dates (and casts) at the Royal Opera until March 2020. 


Photos by Catherine Ashmore

Popular posts from this blog

Opera and full frontal nudity: Rigoletto

Fantasies: Afterglow @Swkplay

Play ball: Damn Yankees @LandorTheatre