You know what I love? Theater.
You know what I also love? Writing about things I love.
Funny how these things work out when you have a blog.

I promised myself last September that I would do my best to go to as many productions as I possibly could from now on. So I promptly went and booked as many shows as I could. Next month, I’m going to my first concert (!), but this month, I went to five local productions, featuring local talent, and a few people I actually knew personally.

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Orpheus in the Underworld

One of my best friends is an opera singer, and yet I’ve never been to an opera. Shame on me, to be honest.

But I finally checked that off my list earlier this month, and went this production, held at the Manoel Theater, one of Europe’s oldest and most beautiful.

For those of you familiar with Greek mythology, the story shouldn’t really be new to you. For those of you who aren’t sure, here’s a quick summary of the legend:

Orpheus’s wife unknowingly cheats on him with Pluto, God of the Underworld

Pluto takes her to the Underworld

Orpheus follows

Pluto tells him he can take her back if he starts to walk and doesn’t look back not once not for a second

Orpheus does exactly what Pluto told him not to do

Eurycide has to stay behind in Hades forever.

The production put up at the Manoel was a raunchy 80s version of the tale, with everybody dressed in flashy clothes, campy attitudes, and a beautiful changing set. Orpheus is a violin master who hates his wife, and she hates him back. He doesn’t even want to go and save her, until The Public Eye – in this production, a reporter – tells him that it’d look pretty bad if he didn’t. The play has a happy ending, punctuated along the way with some pretty great musical numbers and dance numbers.

My personal favourite part was watching the Can Can done live; it felt like my whole life had been leading up to that very moment.

(And if you know me, you know that I really love the Can Can for this one reason and one reason alone:)

(If you’ve never seen that video, you’re welcome.)

All in all, I loved this performance. I think it was the perfect introduction into the world of operas and 19th century style farces – the whole thing plays like one large pantomime, with everything coming together nicely in the end because everyone deserves a happy ending to go home to. The cast was energetic and perfect, the voices were (at least to my untrained ears) spectacular, and it was just a fun experience in general. Hats off to the cast and team, and I do hope I’ll get the chance to see them in more operas in the future!

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