Arts

Theatre Review: La Perichole

SALOS concentrates on producing operettas and this one is particularly rare. If it has been performed in Adelaide before, no one can remember.

Presented by South Australian Light Opera Soc Inc (aka SALOS)
Reviewed 28 Apr 2016

SALOS concentrates on producing operettas and this one is particularly rare. If it has been performed in Adelaide before, no one can remember. So in the style of Gilbert & Sullivan this piece, with music by Jacques Offenbach and an updated libretto by John Grimsley and Phil Park, is a lighthearted bit of fun.

Directed, as usual, by Pam Tucker with musical direction by Peter Potts this production entertains, but misses the mark in a few areas. Normajean Ohlsson’s set design is simple but effective and allows the action to flow well. The costumes are bright and colourful, but the mixture of materials and unsuitable fabric designs does not always work. The small orchestra played well under the baton of Michelle Hassold.

The cast are enthusiastic and, for the most part, the chorus work is good. A few of the minor parts seem to be miscast but the leads worked together well. As Don Andrez, the Viceroy of Peru, Noel Carthew lacked volume on several occasions but carried the part well even if he did not seem particularly lecherous!  Trevor Fleming and Peter Potts, as Count Cigarillo and Baron Panatellas, bounced lines off one another and provided some comedy, whilst Sandra Fameli as Serafina was a stern duenna with good stage presence.

Katrina Treloar sang well as Donna Inez, the Viceroy’s daughter (who is in love with a common soldier), and her love interest Don Felix was Robert Maher, who was a good match vocally and the two managed some chemistry. Victoria Coxhill and Anthony Zatorski demonstrating a definite connection played the lead roles of La Perichole and her lover Piquillo. Zatorski gave us a cheeky street performer dropped into a court situation and he played the fish out of water well. He was animated and sang strongly, but seemed a little out of focus at times, first night nerves perhaps? Coxhill’s was the performance of the night, she sang beautifully and looked stunning in her dress for the presentation scene: a vivacious and flirty La Perichole.

The dancers, Ellen Fogarty and Gemma Fakes, gave us some interesting routines, which seemed to repeat themselves. The chorus did very little choreography, in fact in one of the end numbers they hardly moved at all, but choreography has never been a strong point for SALOS.

La Perichole is a charming light opera, but, as previously stated, in some areas it does miss the mark. Never-the-less there are many worse ways to spend an evening.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Tower Arts Centre, Goodwood Road
Season: 28 -30 Apr 2016
Duration: 2hr 40mins
Tickets: Adult $25, Conc $22 Child $11,
Bookings: 8294 6582

 

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