Saturday, May 30, 2009

William Dart enjoys The Italian Girl in Algiers at the Aotea Centre
By William Dart reviweing in the New Zealand Herald ,30 May, 2009

Katherine Wiles as trophy wife Elvira. Photo / Martin Sykes

What: The Italian Girl in Algiers.Where: Aotea Centre, to June 6.

The Italian Girl in Algiers launched this year's NBR New Zealand Opera season in a riot of lime green, chintz and glamour, complete with a bevy of bodacious babes.
There were no turbaned potentates and harems on the Aotea stage but, instead, we saw the cast and crew of a Latino soap opera, as director Colin McColl presented his on-screen and behind-the-scenes take on Rossini's opera.
Set numbers were ingeniously played out against a chroma-key screen, enabling us to see the characters on screen, duetting on water-skis, quartetting on a luxury yacht or, in the case of the heroine, playing the femme fatale against a Renaissance Venus.
Backstage goings-on were dished out in the snap 'n' crackle of recitative, while scriptgirls and make-up teams hovered and fussed over the stars.
It was wonderfully wacky, even inspiring the occasional applause over the music.
Read the full William Dart review at NZH online.
The Bookman attended this performance also and was thrilled and entertained by it. Opera like I have never seen before. Think a funny Roger Hall play crossed with the soap opera Shortland Street and all set to Rossini's gorgeous music. Great stuff.

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