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PIRATES OF PENZANCE : OPERA AUSTRALIA
on 12 February 2016
Ye Gods !!! For once, words almost fail me. I have an eclectic taste in all things operatic and I am certainly no Die-hard Traditionalist but this travesty of a production hits all the wrong notes for me. Having thoroughly enjoyed a box set of "Opera Australia's" productions of "Pinafore", "Mikado", "Gondoliers", "Patience" and "Trial By Jury" I was expecting more of the same, but, sadly, got this turkey. There is minimal info beyond what is printed on the DVD cover itself and the picture quality is pretty inferior. Both of these I could have put up with in themselves but reviewing this production leaves me in a quandary as to where to start ! To start with, the bulk of the music seems to be provided by a synthesizer and the overture is omitted altogether. I've nothing against synthesizers as such but the instrument comes nowhere near to the sound palette provided by a full orchestra and therefore the full quality of the music lacks any kind of depth or subtle nuance as a result. Visually the main emphasis seems to be on acrobatics and tomfoolery ...a sort of Chuckle Brothers meets The Ukrainian Gymnastics Team in Baron Stoneybroke's palace. A complete waste of money, especially after the excellent production shown on "Sky Arts" a few weeks back, which I, fortunately, recorded. This one will take its place in some dark corner along with such classics as the "Ronco Knife-Sharpener" and the Arctic Ice-cream maker !