01 June 2015

Alice's Adventures in Operaland

Victorian Opera Master of Music (Opera Performance) students
Playhouse, Arts Centre
Saturday, Sunday 23, 24 May 2015

Alice is a new opera by Libby Hill and dead people, and Richard Mills and other dead people. It's a pastiche –  in a nice way  of hit arias from seven operas that you and I know really well. Libby wrote it as an education tool about opera for kids (only for kids?) but one of its hidden agendas is that it's an education tool for the young, but very expert singers of the MoM program. Richard wanted two Rossini clips included because lots of Rossini is fast. If you can sing  his stuff (I've seen one tenor sing a Barber of Seville aria standing on his head, but he was Asian at the time) you can do diction.

There were weekday performances for school kids and weekend performances for grannies and kids. There was also – and this was where it got really interesting – a performance advertised as "accessible". It was a "Relaxed Performance specifically designed to welcome young people with a learning disability, Down’s Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Condition or sensory and communication disabilities, as well as other children who would benefit from this performance environment."

I parked myself up the back where I could see the stage and the audience. I had a great time.

There were no concessions to the audience except space to move around and that idea worked really well. The orchestra, conducted by Victorian Opera’s Head of Music Phoebe Briggs, was superb. The MoM singers were simply terrific as always. Wonderful arias, wonderful singing, lovely, simple staging.  But the best bit was that, at the accessible performance, people (like me) who do the cat's-arse-mouth thing at a lolly unwrapper had to cope with a very different environment. Noise!

Here's a link to a piece I wrote about it with Scott Whinfield, a Vic Opera staffer.

A rabbit in need of a haircut? -and a matchmaker?
Source: https://www.facebook.com/victorianopera/photos/a.10153078983249219.1073741841.127956549218/10153078983639219/?type=3&permPage=1
Disclaimer. My wife and I support the Victorian Opera Master of Music (Opera Performance) program so I'm biased - very! And there are vacancies.

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