Peacock Theatre – until 1 July 2018
Reviewed by Sharon Hinds Kennedy
Plenty of Pazazz but don’t expect Covent Garden!
Three tales of love and death are rattled through; subtleties are all dispensed with in favour of acrobatics. Carmen goes trampolining to avoid arrest. A libretto at times crude: Carmen wants to get her hands on the Matador’s buns. A small group of musicians belt out modified amplified scores of familiar arias.
At times the singers struggle. The plot of Turandot was difficult to follow (even with the subtitles) but the essential message of the Princesses’ detestation of men; replaced, in a short time, with love for Calaf was conveyed.
It wasn’t always clear how the acrobatics, and dancing added to the plot except for an impressive butterfly winging its way across the auditorium as Madam Butterfly’s spirit left the stage.
A Chinese dragon partially disguised as a bull was great fun. However, at one point in Madam Butterfly it looked and sounded as if the Geishas were attempting to copy Riverdance.
Some of the cast shone through with their stage presence: Richard Munday as Pinkerton in Butterfly and the matador in Carmen. Naoto Kaiho was also noteworthy but struggled with some of the higher notes.
Altogether lots of energy and fun but I can see why Bizet didn’t comprise operas to last 33 mins.