Posts

Showing posts with the label Bjorn Ulvaeus

Featured Post

Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

Image
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

On my own: Chess @LondonColiseum

Image
The Cold War, phoney Americans, thoughtful Russians and the game of chess. All all backdrops in Chess the musical . It’s a curious rock opera about everyone out to make it on their own. And to hell with anyone who gets in their way.  It’s playing a limited run at the home of the English National Opera’s London Coliseum. Written by Tim Rice with music by ABBA’s Benny Anderson and Björn Ulvaeus, maybe it is a show about solitude.  I t is a must see for ABBA fans. It allows you to wonder what the band might have sounded like if they carried on into the eighties with its rock ballads and intricate melodies.  It’s the first West End production of Chess in 32 years. And while the show has had many changes over the years, it works best when it flashes its early eighties origins. It looks gorgeous with its neon-inspired outlines and large projections. Adding the forces of the English National Opera Orchestra and chorus it sounds sublime.  But even paring the story back with minimal dialogue co