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Postby Barry » Wed Feb 24, 2010 11:27 pm

Opera North, the lowry, 24th February 2010

Now I have been watching Gilbert and Sullivan operas for 44 years, and this production by Opera North has to be the most brilliant I have seen. It had none of the irritating mannerisms and traditions that sometimes make my skin crawl. Here was a production rethought from scratch and played with great dignity and gravitas but also real joy and warmth. I smiled constantly for two and a half hours. Exqusitely designed with four major locations and a front cloth -all hinting at the silent films that it was taking its inspiration from. Every element said something about the main ideas - I love it when there is a central idea, a limitation or restriction, and that forces such creativity. It treated this piece with respect and gave it great theatricality. The appearance of the ghosts was both scary and joyous, but inventive. Everything was inventive as a result of superb direction. Some of the songs were sung with such tenderness, especially Dame Hannah's 'there grew ra little tree' that I don't think I breathed for three minutes. This was not a rollicking production, nor a coarse one, but so tender and poignant, qualities that those who scorn G&S would not begin to associate with the appropriate. It was a vibrant piece of real musical theatre. The evening was made more special by the great company of Wyn and Jane, and a reception for benefactors of Opera North, all in front of some magnificent circus photos. I met some great people tonight and fell in love with Opera North again, especially after their rather gimmicky Mr Broucek. I hope Ruddigore has been reborn.

here are some good stills and such
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Re: Ruddigore

Postby Richard » Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:04 pm

I'll second that...

I saw this production last night and, although I was seated right up the top, was able to appreciate it's lush design and superb direction - I loved the overal sepia tone of the piece.

I wasn't familiar with Ruddigire before and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thanks for suggesting it, Barry.
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