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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

When I kissed the teacher: Moormaid @ArcolaTheatre

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Life is too much to bear even when you’re an art teacher with sexy students who undress you with their long gazes. And then let you paint their muscular bodies with acrylic. Well that’s only part of Marion Bott’s play Moormaid which is having its premiere at the Arcola Theatre .  Layered with meaning, there’s much passion and drama in the piece. But it’s the performances by the two leads that make it unmissable. Even if at times you’re admiring the piece for for its aesthetics over a coherent story. It’s late night in Berlin. Melissa (Sarah Alles) is an art teacher on the edge. Her husband is away and she’s due to exhibit her works but has painted nothing in two years. Full of despair she is about to do something drastic when there’s a knock on the door. It’s a former student Medhi (Moe Bar-El). He’s had a dream and had to see her.  But he’s not exactly her saviour. He dropped out of her life two years ago and has his own demons to face. And a past adventure gone wrong comes to visit h