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Showing posts with the label Thom Sutherland

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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

Driving Miss Marianne: The Grand Tour @finborough

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The intimate setting of the Finborough Theatre and some wonderful performances make The Grand Tour a surprisingly enjoyable and sweet romp across France. Jerry Herman's 1979 show is only now getting its European premiere. While then it was a full-scale musical, the smaller space of the Finborough allows the focus of the show to be on the three leads and the various adventures they run through as they attempt to escape France under Nazi occupation. At the opening we are introduced to Jacobowsky, a Polish-Jewish intellectual who has always been one step ahead of the Nazi's as he explains in the show's opening number I'll be here tomorrow . As the Nazi's invade France he finds himself with a car that he cannot drive. By chance he meets the snooty and slightly anti-Semitic Polish Colonel Stjerbinsky, who needs to flee France with information for the Polish government in exile. And he can drive. So the Grand Tour begins.