Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013 (1): A ‘Mash-Up Opera’ Provides Fun

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United KingdomUnited Kingdom Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2013 (1)Toi Toi Toi: Opera Breve, Paradise in Augustine’s (Venue 152) (SRT)

This show, billed as a mash-up opera, is a good piece of musical fun about the trials of putting on an opera. The two characters face the trials of raising funds, being rejected by the intern and going viral on YouTube, not to mention the dangers of the prima donna walking out on the first night. The score is a fun mash-up of numbers whose tone has been used to fit the mood of the characters at the time. So Cleopatra’s Piangerò fits the soprano’s feelings of rejection at getting the boot from her first production, Largo al factotum for their ebullience at raising some money, and the pair share ideas for their opera to the duets from Don Giovanni and Hansel and Gretel.

It’s a pretty good idea for our cash-strapped times and it’s performed well. The soprano and baritone (neither of whose names I could track down) hold the show well. She has a rich, room-filling voice, though still a little breath-y. His voice is pleasant and characterful but smaller and he tired noticeably as the hour-long show progressed. The accompanying music all came from a busy string quartet who improved after a slightly shaky start. A decidedly good effort, though, and worth catching.

Toi Toi Toi continues until Sunday 18th August. For more details see here.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe continues until 26th August at a range of venues across the city. For full details click here.

Simon Thompson