Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Fab Review from fab Magazine

Our friends at fab Magazine had a great time at A Synonym for Love last night. Here are some highlights from Drew Rowsome's take on the festivities:

Opera checks into the Gladstone Hotel and both benefit from the sexy experience
Drew Rowsome

Emily Atkinson as the "plucky lesbian" Teresa
The finale is the only time that critical faculties kick in - it has just been too much fun and the vocals are intoxicating. Countertenor Scott Belluz, given an unfortunate - but very apropos for the Gladstone - hipster look, has a stunning voice that resonates extraordinarily. Atkinson is already so endearing in her anguish that judgement is impossible but for the first time I marvel at being so close to such a powerfully emotive sound - the stereotypical little girl with a big voice but pushed to the nth degree. Opera is the Olympics of singing and all three are medal winners, especially for making it look easy. By the time Atkinson and Tracy Smith Bessette are facing off in a catfight to rival Joan Crawford and Mercedes McCambridge in Johnny Guitar the audience is absorbed in the action and rooting for their favourite. I admit I did guffaw when Atkinson sang, in peerless ringing tones, "Heartless bitch!" but then opera is heightened emotions and often teeters on the edge of farce - credit to the cast and creators for keeping A Synonym for Love emotionally real while also transporting the audience into a heightened state of musical passion.

Each audience member will have a slightly different experience - partner in crime and opera virgin Phil Villeneuve followed Belluz and has a totally different take on the story but experienced similar rapturous enjoyment (but then he spent more time in the bedroom with Belluz). It will not be his last opera, A Synonym for Love has proven to be a gateway drug to high art. As fond as I now am of my plucky lesbian I would tackle a different character if I were lucky enough to re-attend - but I would sure hate to miss the melodious sounds of the sweet aria, "You're evil, you're evil, screw you slut."

Read the full review here.

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