AtG’s La Bohème six years on

Six years ago a bunch of unknowns calling themselves “Against the Grain Theatre” put on Joel Ivany’s English language, updated version of Puccini’s La Bohème in the back room of the Tranzac club.  I was there.  I reviewed it on my LiveJournal because it would be another six months before I started this blog.  There’s been a lot of water under the bridge since then.  The Tranzac has been tarted up quite a bit since La Bohème 1.0, though even by 2011 it had become a lot smarter than when the Nomads hung out there and the wall featured a photo of Sorbie with the McCormick cup.  Lets face it anywhere would be more sedate without Neil (RIP mate).  Oh yeah, and the original AtG crowd have become quite respectable, even famous perhaps.  The singers are all Equity members and get paid properly.  There are sets and props that weren’t borrowed from Topher’s mum.  Topher and Joel have done the conducting and directing thing for major companies in real opera houses.  And I’ve been writing this stuff most every day for six years.

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UoT’s Imeneo

Imeneo is one of Handel’s less well known operas; perhaps deservedly so.  The plot and the libretto are weak and the music pretty variable.  Charles Jennens, the librettist for Messiah, descibed it as “the worst of all Handel’s compositions”.  It does have the merit of being short.  Most recent recordings come in around two hours and this UoT Opera production, rearranged and cut by Tim Albery, comes in at 100 minutes spread over two acts.

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