Entertainment

Theatre/Opera Review: Love Burns

Composer Graeme Koehne, well known for his ballets and orchestral work, combined with talented writer Louis Nowra to write this chamber opera for the Adelaide Festival of Arts 1992.

3.5

Presented by State Opera South Australia
Reviewed 3 June 2021

Composer Graeme Koehne, well known for his ballets and orchestral work, combined with talented writer Louis Nowra to write this chamber opera for the Adelaide Festival of Arts 1992. Based on a 1970’s American crime film called The Honeymoon Killers, it is a dark tale of love, deceit and betrayal with a comic twist. Transplanted to Adelaide, and on a much smaller scale, the story works well although the setting could be anywhere.

Plant 4 is not the most conducive of venues but the sparse set by Simone Romaniuk served quite well as the many settings for the action, with Ben Flett’s lighting adding to the atmosphere. I especially liked the use of the framework as various entrances. Director Nicholas Cannon kept the action well-spaced using the available area well. The scene changes by dance did not always work and at times felt a little awkward. Under Anthony Hunt’s baton the small ensemble of ten musicians played well.

This was a strong cast with much vocal talent and excellent characterisation. Jessica Dean was impressive as Angela, the female half of the con team who swindled rich women; whilst Mark Oates was suave and unsettling as the smooth-talking dance teacher, Jack, with eyes on their money. The other roles were presented by Cherie Boogart, Rosie Hosking and Jeremy Tatchell as various marks and other players. Rosie Hosking was convincing as the widow who Jack married, (causing jealousy and betrayal in Angela) who follows him to the prison. Boogart and Tatchell were amusing as the police who arrested the pair. All played their parts well.

This State Opera offering was a little different and all though well done, was not to my taste.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Rating out of 5: 3.5

Venue: Plant 4 Bowden
Season: 3- 6 June
Duration: 65mins
Tickets: From $35

Bookings: https://stateopera.com.au/productions/love-burns-3-6-june/

Photo Credit: Soda Street Productions

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