Opera Circus, Arcane

Review in Issue 17-1 | Spring 2005

The title of this performance is apt, as the plot and reasoning certainly seems to be known or understood by only a few. There is a storyline about a sacred book representing an ancestral bloodline, confusing without a detailed synopsis. The operetta follows the progress of a dying angel and her interaction with mortals. More interesting are the themes of woman living in a world of man and symbols of anarchic society embodied by characters as omniscient as the angels. Social and global hierarchies are explored. People are driven barefoot from their homes and are forced into sudden life-changing decisions, Sometimes in the pursuit of goodness, sometimes love, sometimes lust. All the seven deadly sins are dabbled in. From lusty mothers and greedy sons to a bedraggled barefoot peasant obsessed with a captured angel with wings chopped to bleeding stumps, the performance is a musical gallivant on a stage strewn with white feathers. The company combines comedy with tragedy well; particularly good is the repressed transsexual butler who is sick of living with a killer, Frank Slick, the wing-hacking culprit obsessed with Cockerel (a puppet who launches into jaunty songs). Instead of pecking at corn, this cock dines on caviar. Perhaps the ‘opera’ refers to the acrobatics of the voices, although the musical highlight was the outstanding trio of musicians (with clipped wings) who play the cello, clarinet and piano.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Oct 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 17-1
p. 27