Cock up your beaver

There was something about Collectìf’s cabaret show, Do Over, last night that reminded me of a folk club in the 70s or 80s (as in when I was their age!).  It was in a pub.  The room was full of young(ish) people.  It was loud.  It was irreverent.  And people were having fun.  Shocking!  An opera related event that was irreverent and fun.  No solemn “palaces of culture” here.  No AMOP style “in my day” grumbling.  Just three rather good singers, a pianist and a thoroughly eclectic, not to say at times filthy (there were more double entendres than an eight hour episode of The Two Ronnies), selection of music drawn from four and a half centuries.  The AMOP crowd should probably prohibit their daughters and servants from seeing this show.

collectifSo what was on offer musically?  A selection of pieces from Purcell (Once, twice, thrice Julia I try’d) to Monty Python (Sit on My Face and, inevitably, Always Look on the Bright Side of Life) via Robert Burns (see headline), Donizetti, Bizet and the music hall and lots of stuff I’ve forgotten.  The beer was good.  The singing was good, often very good.  Danika Lorèn has been mentioned often enough on this blog.  She just gets better and as she has gained confidence her stage presence has become quite impressive.  Whitney O’Hearn definitely seems most at home in the “britches” part of the classic mezzo triad.  I’ve seen her do gender fluid before but Escamillo was definitely a step further.  The trio was nicely rounded out by the brighter soprano of Jennifer Krabbe.  Perhaps the best music making, if not necessarily the most fun, was when they were singing as a trio because it’s a really nice blend of voices.  Tom King was appropriately versatile on the, for a pub, pretty decent piano.  There was audience participation too definitely helped by the fact that half the people there were singers (reminiscent of the Freemasons Arms on Long Acre back in the day when there were usually a few members of the Royal Opera Chorus at the Sunday night sessions.)

I think there’s a real need for this kind of show in the Toronto music scene.  Worth keeping an eye on Collectìf either on their webpage or on (Sit on My) Facebook.

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