Showing posts with the label Elaine Stritch

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Belters and bohemians: Opera Locos @Sadlers_wells

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: Elaine Stritch at Liberty

I thought it might have been anti-climactic to finally see Elaine Stritch at Liberty, which is on a limited return run at the Shaw theatre . I have had the album of the show for about many years, and the DVD of it too. But to see it live... Well... That was still something else... Ok so the show is a tightly scripted piece of work, but it also is the gold standard now for solo shows; self critical, great anecdotes (including the above one about working with Ethel Merman) and hilariously bitchy... It was worth seeing the 82 year old broad in tights belt out songs and show how a real pro does it... And she does it for two-and-a-half hours. Going with Mark was interesting as (unlike me), he was well aware of Stritch from her television work in the UK, but normally we have totally different taste in theatre. He hated Sunday in the Park with George for instance and has taunted me about it ever since. So I was surprised that he was speechless at intermission, and it wasn't just becau