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Passable if you prefer English libretto
on 6 January 2016
The Different acts and scenes are colour coded, black and white for starters, followed by greenish blues, or perhaps bluish greens at the Pontevedrian Embassy. Maxims is a bright array of reds. The costumes in all of these are pretty good.
There are some good character interpretations, but unfortunately these are not the two main artistes, I got quite a shock when Yvonne Kenny appears, I imagine her to be a youngish widow of peasant origins, but her Hannah either married late or lived with the deceased Glavary for 20 years.
Still the good news is that Bo Skovhus is a good match for Kenny. So that neither match my expectations. Yvonne Kennys voice is rather thin and metallic in the upper register, and she tends to clip long high notes. Skovhus fairs somewhat better vocally, and is pretty good.
The production is in English, this somewhat detracts from the overall experience as the libretto does not sit too easily with the music.
The dialogue is often stilted and more directed at the audience than at its stage recipient.
Worthy of mention are Angelica Kirchschlager and Gregory Turay who are well cast and sing beautifully.
The character Njegus, who in other productions is played by an older character actor with an inate sense of comic timing, here is a young man played almost straight, with just a few funny lines. A missed opportunity.
In act three the fan ownership sketch is a minor triumph, both Colleen McGrath and Jayne Taini looking good in their comedy routines.
The "Girls Girls Girls" number certainly has not translated well, and the ladies version has been cut.
The dance sequence at Maxims is pretty good, but the ballet section is danced to music which is out of keeping and I suspect has been imported.
Anyway all is well that ends well and the audience seemed to like it.
To compare with other versions, Dagmar Schellenberger and Rodney Gilfrey are far more credible at portraying the leads as young lovers. The supporting cast and scenery are also superior in almost every way.
The Morbisch open air production is in a class of its own, not better but so different that if you do not mind the actors/singers wearing radio mikes, it is not to be missed.
The booklet is pretty good, with the sort of information you would expect, but the synopsis is on the DVD.