Merry Widow and Pinocchio

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Merry Widow and Pinocchio

Postby Barry » Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:31 pm

The Lowry, Opera North, 4th and 6th November 2010

Two very different productions from Opera North, but both utterly brilliant and hugely enjoyable. The Widow done on a single set but with various graphic chandeliers raised and lowered and lit differently - a creative used of strained economics. The last time I saw the Widow, my chum Wyn also conducted it, and he gives it such energy and sparkle, and tonight they uses a wonderful cymbalin, I think, to give some sections a feeling of memory and melancholy, and this worked superbly. The whole idea of indfidelity was given some gravitas and the cuckolded characters not played particularly for laughed. It was all rather moving. A small group of multipurpose dancers carried the more physical stuff, taking over from the Grisettes, who were chorus members. This looked a little contived but they worked hard. A great joyous evening, but Pinocchio. I was dazzled three years ago when I first saw it but today I think I was even mroe impressed. No hint of any stinting of cash here. A spectacular box of tricks of a set, echoing the idea of wood and creating things out of wood....a them echoed in props and all manner of stuff. I noticed more witty details in the animal costumes. It is a startingly epic role fo Pinocchio who is off stage for three minutes to change into a real boy. But the visuals just dazzle, and the music soars, and the production sweeps you along with one impressive scene after another. Very funny with great movement for the characters....again the four dancers working so hard in so many roles, and carrying the wieght of any dance. But so many clever ideas, but I do like the airsick pigeon. Opera at its absolute finest with every element working together.....I could ahve sat right through it all again.
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