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Showing posts with the label Marcy Dolapo Oni

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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

Big Rhythms: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives @arcolatheatre

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There’s no subject matter taboo in The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. This is a play where the title character’s penis is described as “so big that two men could share it and still be well-endowed.” The characters talk to the audience, throw props at them and emerge from the audience. Detailed and frank depictions of sex and gender dynamics play out before you at the Arcola Theatre . Yet behind the funny and frank depictions of sex, there’s clever storytelling in this adaptation for stage by Rotimi Babatunde, from Lola Shoneyin’s novel. It deftly moves between comedy and drama, past and present without skipping a beat. Baba Segi (Patrice Naiambana) looms large over the piece. He’s a rich business man. But he’s also a buffoon who has three wives. The combination makes him likable even if he cannot believe women can fend for themselves or if he uses his organ on them like a hammer. His first wife had money and was the daughter of his mother’s friend. His second wife was to pay a debt