Opera Locos ★★★★

Opera Locos offer a timeless love story filled with colourful characters complete with the greatest hits of opera, all in one night

International opera group Yllana, founded in 1991, have produced over the last 33 years and graced stages across the world, performing in New York, London, Mexico, Rome, Milan and Tokyo. They now bring their opera comedy show for all the ages to The Peacock Theatre.

An eccentric troupe of opera singers are rehearsing backstage for a repertoire of the greatest well-known composers. Throughout the performance, each character’s inner desires, turmoil and passions are revealed through song. Situated in this sort of limbo for a bunch of egocentric opera singers, expect colourful clowning chaos as these five exceptionally-talented singers perform some well-known opera hits with a sprinkling of pop classics.
Featuring music from Mozart, Puccini, Bizet and Rossini with a few misplaced references to Michael Jackson, a-ha and Mika, it certainly is a unique night at the Opera.

As the magenta wearing, pop-loving, boyishly charming, Counter Tenor Frinelli (Michaël Koné) breaks into certain pop hits you are reminded of certain similarities between Figaro’s aria in Rossini’s Largo al Factotum and Mikka’s Grace Kelly, this choice seems to succeed in relaxing the opera novices but whether it was actually needed or whether it cheapened the experience overall for cheap laughs, is up for debate.

Expect ’pantoesque’ audience participation from Enrique (Enrique Sánchez-Ramos), the persistent Baritone maestro, and finally to find a use for somehow knowing the tunes to Mozart and Beethoven. Being  allowed to sing along is always good fun, and during an opera it feels like breaking the rules.

The tragic love story of tenor Alberto (Jesús Álvarez), plagued by his inner turmoil of past fame and no longer being able to hit the notes of Nessun Dorma, and the naïve and sweet lovesick soprano, Maria (María Rey-Joly) is woven through the performance and is a simplistically-beautiful portrayal of unwavering love and adoration.

The rambunctious, passionate, mezzo soprano, Carmen (Mayca Teba), whose infatuation with an audience member leads to a performance of Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You, brings chaos and humour in abundance.

There are times throughout the show where the audience is watching three different stories: Alfredo and Maria’s love story, Enrique desperately trying to prevent Frinelli from bursting to a-ha and a Michael Jackson hee-hee and Carmen providing a one-woman show, in which she just wants to be loved, and hearing her rendition of I Will Always Love You sung in a classical style coupled with her flirtatious clowning is an experience in itself.

The audience is often left clutching for a narrative for the comfort of the story, which appears at times with each character’s journey, but does tend to get lost from plot to plot. Opera Locos offer a funny, albeit confusing, two hours of clowning and opera with a sprinkling of pop, far from a genteel evening at the opera but a lot of fun.

Colourful clowning and chaos in this fun-for-all-the-family opera – ★★★★ 4 stars

Opera Locos

Opera Locos runs at the Peacock Theatre until 11 May

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