Sunday, May 15, 2016

May 15. Day 136. The pipes, the pipes are calling

If today was to be represented by a song it would be Danny Boy. I didn't actually hear a lyric of it and yet it was there. Mum has spent many hours over the past week sitting with her dying brother and had said she'd wished she's had Danny Boy to play as it was one of John's favourites. Music, we believe, can still reach people even when many other signs of life are gone. But that was only Danny Boy part one. The second time was at Opera in the Reservoir. The Underground Opera Company's producer and compare Bruce Edwards was telling the audience about his transition from working in the mines to a performance career. One of his first singing gigs was at an old people's home. An old lady's eyes welled up with tears as he crooned Danny Boy. After the concert he approached the old dear and mentioned her emotion. "Are you Irish?" he asked. "No", she replied. "I was a singing teacher." Clearly he was killing it. Laugh, then cry. About two hours later the pipes were indeed calling as cancer, that sh*t disease, finally claimed John. As Danny Boy said:
"The Summer's gone, and all the roses falling
It's you, it's you must go and I must bide."

Opera in the Reservoir. The Spring Hill Reservoir. Review

In terms of the performing arts, Opera is probably the genre I feel the least natural affinity towards. Which is why the format of Opera in the Reservoir is far more suited to me than someone who might be a season subscription holder to an A List opera company.  The beautiful operatic voices are there without the commitment for a full opera. The venue is one of Brisbane's most unusual - in pits and chambers of the 150-year-old reservoir on Wickham Terrace. The acoustics are amazing and no seat is any more that eight rows back from the stage. In any event the performers do like to mingle in the audience, their voices resonating around the subterranean chambers. It's a thing of great beauty. But a venue doesn't make a performance. The package presented by the Underground Opera Company includes four fine singers: soprano Dominique Fegan; mezzo soprano Louise  Dorsan; tenor Glenn Lorimer and baritone Darian Di Stefano-Jones as well as pianist Brendan Murtagh. Throw in a creative use of multimedia with projections on the rear walls of each of the four wings. Stitching the whole production together is Bruce Edwards a dynamic and enthusiastic host whose energy is infectious even if his style and tone is not always what you might associate with strictly operatic. Then again, neither is the repertoire. Yes, there were numbers from Tosca, Carmen and Turandot. Puccini, Rossini and Verdi were represented. But also there was Gershwin, Sondheim, Menken, Larson. This is why for someone like me, this was the best of both worlds and I loved it. There was just the right amount of musical theatre to warm my little heart and when the song that is singing in your head as you climb those scaffold stairs from the "Underground Operahouse" to the world of Wickham Terrace is "you'll never walk alone" how can you complain?

Opera in the Reservoir continues at the Spring Hill Reservoir until May 29

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