The Perfect Opera- Workshop
More The Perfect Opera!
Roles: Director, Librettist
Performances: Lecture Recital Room, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, UK (2018)
Collaborators: Peter Davis (Composer), Erika Gundesen (Conductor), Emily Kyte, Will Sharma, Sam Dewese (Singers)
Three years in the making, the idea for this opera was simple: why can’t comic operas actually be funny? In my comedy groups we’d always talk about ‘joke density’, aiming at 3-4 laughs a minute - in opera, it was high praise to say ‘I laughed once every five minutes’.
I strongly feel that, if opera wants a mass appeal, the answer is not to sit around like a bad boyfriend saying ‘LOVE ME JUST THE WAY I AM; YOU’D LOVE ME IF YOU UNDERSTOOD ME!’ We need the humility to listen to other forms - which doesn’t mean forgetting our own.
For this, I made a list of all the contradictory things people told me my operas ‘had’ to have - a classic story, and total originality; a strong empowered female character, and an evil magic woman; and (as my sister insisted) a pantomime camel.
Then I chucked them all into one opera.
Then I lucked out getting Peter Davis to work with me again.
Then we found Macbeth - riding a camel.
“Of course, the perfect opera needs a love story, and Macbeth and the Camel were deeply in love”
“A perfect Fringe hour”
- Audience feedback