'I think therefore I am.'  Descartes            'I AM THAT I AM.'  Exodus.3.        'I am what I am.'  La Cage aux Folles

31 August 2015


Opera Queensland
24th and 31st July
Late July I twice saw Leonard Bernstein's Candide and what a show. Firstly I must get out of the way my one complaint. I sat in the front row to the right and for the first act I saw next to nothing except the backsides of three lovely cello players (orchestra on stage). a whole integral section of the performance space was obliterated as was the first level of the chorus. Cast members back blocked my view of the entire cast as well. After interval and some disgruntled words I was able to move to a better seat which shone a whole new light on the show. I have written to Opera Queensland about this.
I have been going to the opera since I was five so it was so refreshing to see something new to me. Half musical, half opera and all comedy, tragic, farcical fun. Take a bit of war, Eldorado, riches poverty, Venice Carnivale, Rape, Bayoneting, resurrection, lots of death and lots of jolly music with some tender moments as well. Bernstein must have had so much fun with this. There are outstanding songs like 'Glitter and be Gay' with those stratospheric high notes sung to absolute perfection by Amelia Farrugia and some melancholic songs of the wonderful David Hobson. What also led me to this my 41st show this year was the presence of the outstanding young people from the Queensland Conservatorium - Musical Theatre, Sarah Murr and Billy Bourchier, both of whom I have met and whom I have now seen three times this year and both will also be in Les Mis from October. They each had some star moments, agonisingly good and charismatic performences and they looked gorgeous. Such obvious star material which everyone is recognising. Not bad for truly brilliant talents so new. 
Now to the man who stole the show for me. Bryan Probets as the narrator is nothing short of stunning. In fact when he made his entrance in the big curly wig he looked really beautiful. His physicality, his wit, his timing and his power to have you glued to him is fantastic. I also discovered that he can sing. He has been this attention grabbing actor in other plays I have seen like his spontaneous scout routine in 'Australia Day' and audience interaction in 'As You Like It'. Bryan Probets is also in several films I have on DVD like The Great Gatsby, The Railway Man, Dabbreakers and Nick Cave's The Proposition.

I was heavily involved with The old Queensland Opera and the Australian Opera back in the early eighties and knew and entertained so many of the singers,directors etc and it is so wonderful to once again see people I know (just a little) on an operatic stage. There are a lot of people on stage making glorious music so the experience is worth it. There was a young Baritone Jon Maskell who was sensational. Rich in tone and what a future I expect to see.
Conductor Paul Kildea
Director Lindy Hume
Set and Costume Designer Bill Haycock
Lighting Designer Andrew Meadows
Choreographer Rosetta Cook
Sound Designer Murray Keidge
Video Designer Craig Wilkinson – optikal bloc
Chorus Master Narelle French

Candide David Hobson
Cunegonde Amelia Farrugia
Dr Pangloss/Narrator/Voltaire/Martin Bryan Probets
Vanderdendur/Governor/Captain Bradley Daley
Old Lady Christine Johnston 
Opera Queensland Chorus
Queensland Symphony Orchestra

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...