Opera and Beer at Factory 7:
I’ve tried hard to convince friends about Opera in the past. Like marmite, people tend to love it or hate it. But, perhaps unlike marmite, not all the haters have actually been to a live Opera. And yes, I do realise I am lucky to be able to afford to go (sometimes). When I first got the Opera Habit though, I was an impoverished student and I went using student discounts, often standing or going to rehearsals. Then I went to Verona on holiday. It took a lot to persuade my friend that open-air opera would be fun. And, the night we went was stormy. Way up in the amphitheatre on stone steps, draped in a polythene cape it seemed a million miles from the Royal Opera House. But there was a vibrant anticipation. Every person in the auditorium on the edge of their respective seat or step. As Aida started, so did the rain.
A lengthy announcement in several languages about the value of the instruments of the orchestra followed – as the musicians disbanded. A few minutes later we started all over again. And, again it started to rain. Eventually after a couple of hours we’d reached ‘The March of The Hebrew Slaves’ (about 10 minutes into the opera for a normal production). Spear carriers lined the back of the amphitheatre, the cast started to process…and the rain started to fall. As the orchestra left the stage again, the audience started a Mexican wave around the amphitheatre, applauding wildly as the spear carriers joined in to complete the circle. I’m afraid we did give up eventually and never saw the end of the opera.
But my point is that Italian Opera is something that belongs to the people. It is an passionate event, a celebration, a performance for everyone. It shouldn’t be seen as elitist. And so I am really delighted to be going to the Peroni opera performance of Puccini’s La Rondine, with Kwes performing alongside Go Opera. It’s an attempt to make the performance more accessible, without losing the sense of the original work.
It is sponsored by Peroni Beers and if the trailer is anything to go by we are in for a dynamic and exciting performance.
The season starts on 12th March at Factory 7, and after a week in London moves to Bristol Paintworks for two performances on 27th and 28th March. Tickets are just £10. For more information check out the Opera di Peroni website
Photo of Kwes Courtesy of Opera di Peroni.