Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Yet another Melbourne opera company

Last Saturday P&B and I had a tasty dinner at Birdman Eating before heading off the the newly refurbished hall at Australian Catholic University in Brunswick Street. There we were treated to a performance of Erwin und Elmire, an opera by Anna Amalia to a text by Goethe; this production, by IOpera, was the first since its first one in 1776.

A minimalist, or perhaps minuscule, plot (girl loses boy, girl regains boy) was accompanied by a pleasant, though hardly memorable score. The whole was very well performed by an talented young cast accompanied by an excellent orchestra. Unfortunately, the whole thing was presented in an updated production; no great problem with sets and costumes but the linking text didn't seem to know quite what mood to strike - the expressions "piss off" and "popinjay" surely don't sit well together in a libretto. And as for the use of the mobile phone interruptions ...

But the whole performance was a reminder of what an amazing group of talented young musicians we have in Melbourne. Suzanne Shakespeare and Christopher Busietta I've performed with, but Lee Abrahmsen and the calisthenic Nick Jones were a pleasant surprise.


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