Opéra Risqué

Galatos, Auckland

01/03/2011 - 04/03/2011

Auckland Fringe 2011

Production Details

Loosen your black tie for a naughty night of operatic burlesque with some of the most gorgeous and talented young stars of the New Zealand opera scene. Stories of love, laughter, passion, revenge, and ultimately, the loss of a ladies lingerie… Let the girls of L’Amour La More strip you of your modesty and wow you with an elegantly inappropriate cabaret, pop and classical show.

Opéra Risqué showcases the highly trained and very experienced vocal talents of five hot young singers with not a fat lady in sight. Including blonde bombshell Jessie Graham, murderous mezzo Tamsyn Matchett, the sultry tones of Aria Jones, soaring soprano Alexandra Ioan and the tantalising talent Jessie Cassin, as well as some surprise special guests. Opéra Risqué aims to show another side (or perhaps another cheek?) of opera, one which you’ve never seen before.

Through a combination of opera favourites everyone will know through to pop classics from the likes of Britney Spears and Madonna, these triple-threat performers play the ladies of L’Amour La More with a touch of burlesque, comedy and dance thrown in for good measure.

Don’t miss the spectacle that is Opéra Risqué.

Opéra Risqué
Galatos theatre, Galatos St, Auckland city:
Tuesday, Wednesday March 1st and 2nd at 6pm
Thursday, Friday March 3 and 4th, 9pm
Tickets: $20/$15 concessions
Book now at www.iticketexpress.co.nz 
Show duration: 2 hours  

Weaknesses may be overcome

Review by Craig Wilson 03rd Mar 2011

Entering Galatos from the bright sunny street is like stepping straight into a 1930s underground French cabaret. Red tablecloths with candles face towards a well crafted set, which resembles a ladies’ dressing room. The dimly lit interior is spiced with promise, and all signs point towards a special night of opera and burlesque.

Unfortunately, the show begins with more of a fizzle than a hiss and a roar. Severe sound difficulties combine with nerves from the performers that make a rendition of Britney Spears’ ‘Circus’ a task to sit through. The five performers struggle to harmonise throughout the song, and on the opening night at least, rather than shivering with delight, the audience was left cringing on the performers’ behalf.

The show does improve from there, with the performers playing to their vocal strengths which lie in the more in classical opera renditions rather than pop. A couple of the troupe of five are reasonably talented opera singers, but the performances from number to number continue to be variable. Though all of the performers are very attractive, the amateurish burlesque simply isn’t enough to redeem the weak elements of the show. Perhaps with more practice and more varied costumes it could work harmoniously, but as it is, it comes across as somewhat awkward.

After the interval, there is a marked improvement as the performers settle into the show, although the numbers continue to be hit and miss. There are definite glimpses of promise. Aria Jones displays the kind of sensual operatic burlesque the publicity promises. And Jessie Cassin performs fun cheeky numbers that have potential, though they lack a certain something.

The performers utilise the venue well, entering from all sides of the room and working the crowd through several of the numbers. Though there is a loose theme of love and revenge, a more cohesive story to tie the numbers together would add to the flow of the performance and allow the characters to develop on stage.

Despite the attractive, scantily clad women getting more scantily clad as each song goes on, the true redeeming features of Opera Risque are the two men who remain fully clothed. The French MC is fun and scandalous, and gets the crowd genuinely laughing along and enjoying his every quip. And the surprise turn of the stagehand shows not only that he is ‘part of that world’ and can remove gloves as sensually as the best, but that a solid performance can overcome even the most troublesome sound difficulties.

If you come with the right attitude, the show could be fun. But for good burlesque, or good opera, elsewhere is recommended. 
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