Composed by Puccini (he’s an important opera guy — I checked), and directed by Aussie living legend John Bell, who has taken the original 1800s setting and switched it to Nazi-occupied 1930s Italy, if you’re thinking of dipping your toe into opera and aren’t sure where to start, may I calmly suggest YOU BLOODY WELL START WITH THIS ONE.
I have reviewed a few of these now (so humbly fancy myself a bit of an expert), but this was my date Jacob’s first time, and he started giggling with delight the second the curtain rose. Opera is such a feast for the senses, and he was so overwhelmed and excited by the whole thing, he could barely contain himself (which, despite the wine we had overlooking the Harbour Bridge before the show, is a typical reaction).
The sets are momentous. The singing is gorgeous (and surtitles make it easy to follow). The music hits you right in the chest.
Here’s the dealio, through a Married At First Sight filter to make it easier for my television-riddled brain to understand.
Yes — this is opera... as MAFS.
There’s this dude, Cavaradossi, who loves to paint, and just wants to spend his life painting and eating bread and cheese and drinking wine. Sounds lovely (trade ‘painting’ for ‘watching TV’ and I’m right there with ya, buddy), but, turns out Cavaradossi is like that one contestant on MAFS who says they ‘aren’t here for drama’ but somehow manages to be at the centre of any and all drama.