Brighton Fringe: Opera Naked, Chapel Royal, Brighton, June 1

First published in Brighton Festival and Fringe 2014 reviews by

The title suggested we might be given an interpretation of Opera Buffa but there wasn’t a nude in sight. The four singers instead exposed their souls and expressed feelings about their art.

Unexpected Opera’s production was full of originality and comic invention. It provided two hours of musical magic plus insight as four highly-talented performers shared their knowledge and quoted from interviews with other singers. They radiated the pure joy they got from singing.

Interspersed with the spoken word were operatic highlights, each received with great acclaim. Their glorious voices thrilled and moved an entranced audience. Soprano, Nadine Mortimer-Smith was superb in Butterfly’s Un Bel Di and Tosca’s duet with Scarpia. Here, Richard Immergluck’s rich baritone soared up to the loft ceiling of the Chapel. Helen Evora demonstrated her fine mezzo voice with Carmen’s Habanera while tenor Alex Tsilogiannis gave full-power to the broken hearted clown’s Vesti La Giubba.

Sensitive piano accompaniment came from Berrak Dyer while Roger Mortimer-Smith acted as a comical commentator.

More comedy came as each singer went through mock auditions and Evora’s battle with a diva pianist was priceless.


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