October 6th, 2019

operasing

#Orpheus in the Underworld...

I forced myself to attend the dress rehearsal Friday night, and, for a change, there were no delays, detours or anything to peeve me in my travels.
The show ended before 9:30 (but already there were loud drunk people lurching all over the place, outside, and I just missed treading in a puddle of vomit...)
I caught a bus straight away, though, and was home in less than half an hour. Heh.
Although HOFFMAN is one of my all-time faves, I'm not overly enamoured with Offenbach on the whole. I often find his stuff rather souless. I've only seen ORPHEUS IN THE UNDERWORLD a couple of times, once at ENO, the production with the famous Gerald Scarfe designs, in the eighties.
This louche and larky staging by Emma Rice has a lot going for it, though.
For me, the first half hour or so is a trial (although I loved the 'sheep') and the piece doesn't really get worthwhile until we hit Olympus, and the catchy tunes start rolling out, one after the other.  It all looks quite jolly,The production team have done  very well, (Lizzie Clachan, Len Brotherton, and Malcolm Rippetin's wonderful lighting.)  The soloists are fine, with the cast including popular ENO veterans  Sir Willard White (Jupiter), Anne-Marie Owens (Juno), Keel Watson ( Mars), and Alan Oke (John Styx) Alex Otterburn, previously unknown to me, is a saucy Pluto, with a good line in dirty dancing. Everyone on stage seemed to be having a good time, and I must admit, I did too. If you can stay awake through the first act, it's quite a pleasant diversion.
I may has misspelt some names, etc. as I wasn't able to get hold of a free cast list. ENO was trying rather agressively to flog £6.00 programmes ('£5.00 for Friends') to the extent of forcing the poor woman who was working the lift to try and shift some on the way up! Very awkward, and not , I think, a success. There was another minion roped into trying to sell ice creams in the old-fashioned cinema style, in the interval. I think she did a bit better. I was almost tempted myself, but I imagine the lil' tubs cost at least a fiver.

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