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Showing posts with the label Alexandra Mardell

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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

Love and Marriage: Mad As Hell @JSTheatre

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The life of Peter Finch is forever intertwined with his final film role in Network. Being ”mad as hell” is the topic of this play, Mad as Hell currently showing at the Jermyn Street Theatre .  In Network, Finch plays Howard Beale. He transforms from a mild mannered news anchor at a struggling television network to a modern day prophet. Tired of reporting the bullshit of the world he urgess his viewers to get “mad as hell”. The story has enough relevance today to warrant a exciting reimagining at the National Theatre. Here writers Adrian Hope and Cassie McFarlane, imagine the character Finch plays has many parallels with his own life. A hard living angry man tired of the bullshit that goes with being a celebrity. He finds solace with a woman who helps him escape and live a normal life. It’s also a sensitive tale about a mixed race marriage in a time of tremendous change.  McFarlane took inspiration from her mother’s retelling of the story. This includes the Jamaican reaction to Finch’s