Opera Victoria - Sleeping Beauty @ Monday, January 21, 2013

On Thursday afternoon we went to see 'Sleeping Beauty' a pantomime (a form of musical comedy stage production, designed for families. includes songs, slapstick comedy and dancing, combines topical humour with a story loosely based on a well-known fairy tale.)

It's based on the Charles Perrault's 1696 version, with a cast of 11 singers, seven Orchestra Victoria musicians and seven junior ballet dancers. With Richard Gill as the music director, this is his last show after seven years with the company. He's amazing.

Narrators Darcy the Jester (Jonathan Bode) and Fairy Godmother Ticketty-Boo (Suzanne Johnston), introduce the show with singalongs and jokes. Which the audience of mainly little girls, wannabe princesses, loved. Note family fun = designed for nuclear family with little kids. I love the fairy godmother's costume! It's a shame there aren't more pictures around (I didn't take any). The time setting looks Robin Hood-esque. Along with the narrators there was a chorus, the Jumping Jollies, four playful singer-dancers who help to tell the tale. They're the four in Robin Hood costumes (red/green guy and crimson/blue girl). I recognized most of the singers from other Operas. Olivia (the queen) is amazing.

 The seven faeries, funny I thought there were twelve?

Faerie no.8. Looks like her costume is based on Neopets' Dark Sisters.
Didn't like her costume, it looked like rags. And her wings have antennas O.o 

The prince doesn't do much, the Fairy Godmother turns the Jester into a worm who eats through the forest O.o. The prince, Daniel Todd has amazing blinding white teeth, that we could see from like 20ms away. There's something strange about him, I don't know why but I think he's secretly evil. 

I absolutely loved the set design, the backgrounds, using layers depth was created, and there were layers of curtains - including 3 for the trees. Now I know the story is for kids but it doesn't make sense to me. Do you really think the dark faerie would let them get away? Prince doesn't do anything... and unlike the Disney version they didn't know each other before she fell asleep. There was also the woman with the spinning wheel in the tower, who originally was the dark faerie, she was played by the dark faerie, but in this show she was meant to be a different characters, even though it was the dark one.

We enjoyed the show even though we weren't the intended audience (little girls and their mothers). There were arias, duets, multi-part harmonies and choruses. Highly recommended for young families. And it's a great way to get your kids interested in going to the opera and theatre rather than going to see Justin Bieber or One Direction


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