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Showing posts with the label Issam Al Ghussain

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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

Nasty boys: Gentlemen @Arcolatheatre

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It's a tough life in an elite university. If you thought college was a place for caring, understanding, nurturing and tuition, you might be in for a big surprise. In Matt Parvin's Gentlemen, it's the latest battleground for the culture wars. Everything is a score to be settled with sanctimony, mind games or both. Everything is about fitting in or resisting all attempts to conform. It's currently playing at the Arcola Theatre .  The premise is that Greg (Charlie Beck) is meeting with the college welfare officer, Timby (Edward Judge). Kaspar (Issam Al Ghussain) has alleged bi-phobic comments about his sexual orientation. Greg is also potentially up for charges of assault.  Both freshmen, the hormones and the anger race as fast as their minds. Soon, the concept of right and wrong, fitting in or being an individual, gets into many grey areas. Will an example be set of loudmouth Greg from a struggling background, or will he be given one last chance? Each takes turns pleading