Directed by Daisy Evans, recipient of the Sky Arts Futures Fund
Produced in association with Old Vic New Voices
As my first experience of opera, this was not so much akin as being dangled upside down by the ankles into a whirlpool of creative interpretations. It wasn’t to everyone’s taste, evident by the distaste from some older (not to stereotype) members of the audience who were adamant that this was NOT opera. With Puccini’s La Boheme being transmitted through (Sennheiser donated) headphones, the audience is wrapped in the music, whist the actors sing there and then (of course I couldn’t resist a cheeky listen san headphones) and the apparent close proximity to such a number of powerful instruments, albeit ones that are not actually there, makes for an intense experience. The opera setting is a bedroom, a flat, a club, and being sat on cushions, leaning against walls of the tunnel, whilst not so much the grandiose and sumptuous reputation that opera has, was a great way to be submerged into the feeling. The beauty of this piece came from the ravaging of emotion and gritty glory of real life and tumbling lush orchestras with slang and swear words, uncomfortable seating with rushing and jarring emotions, this is an excellent modern twist on a traditional story and format that retains both beauty and power.