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 Post subject: 'One Touch of Venus'
PostPosted: Mon Dec 11, 2000 11:27 pm 
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'Here's a long-lost hit that's waiting to happen all over again.'
Ismene Brown on 'One Touch of Venus' at The Linbury:

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Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 'One Touch of Venus'
PostPosted: Wed Dec 13, 2000 12:36 am 
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Weill punctures the American Dream One Touch of Venus.
Tim Ashley reports on the production in the Linbury Studio.

Http://www.guardianunlimited.co.uk/Arch ... 29,00.html


Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 'One Touch of Venus'
PostPosted: Sun Dec 17, 2000 12:51 am 
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Robert Thicknesse enjoys 'One Touch of Venus'.

Http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,62-51893,00.html


Last edited by Stuart Sweeney on Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: 'One Touch of Venus'
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:57 am 
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Quote:
A goddess approaching perfection

By SERENA DAVIES
The Daily Telegraph
December 10, 2004

Serena Davies reviews One Touch of Venus performed by Opera North at the Grand Theatre, Leeds.
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 Post subject: Re: 'One Touch of Venus'
PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2004 9:02 am 
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Quote:
Divine inspiration needed

by LYNNE WALKER
the Independent

Not surprisingly perhaps, Weill didn't produce anything like his best work when faced with this crazy tale. And at times it seems as though the librettist SJ Perelman and lyricist Ogden Nash hadn't collaborated; how else could Venus be so astonished by the notion of a telephone, yet sing of finding the key to her lover's "ignition"? Around a confusion of unlikely romance, Savory's school for would-be artists at least gives designer Antony McDonald opportunity for painterly references in his picture-book sets.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2005 2:42 am 
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One Touch of Venus
By Geoff Brown for The Times

After the pig’s ear that English National Opera made of On the Town, London had every right to hope for the cat’s pyjamas from Britain’s first fully staged production of Kurt Weill’s One Touch of Venus, a more neglected 1940s landmark. Simply to hear all the numbers, with their witty Ogden Nash lyrics, would surely be joy enough, especially surrounded by Antony McDonald’s inventive sets in Tim Albery’s production for Opera North, heartily welcomed on tour last winter.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 12, 2005 6:18 am 
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Friday, 11th November, Sadler's Wells

There's plenty to admire in this production: some great songs by Kurt Weill, funny one-liners from S J Perelman and Ogden Nash plus good designs. However, for a feather light piece of musical theatre it is too long, especially the 90-minute first half. Some of Weill's less successful songs and inconsequential action could be chopped to strengthen the whole. Further, although Sadler's Wells is one of the finest theatres for dance in Europe, the acoustics for those on-stage are difficult and some of the voices suffered.

Overall, if you enjoy musicals or operetta, this is a chance to see a work rarely performed and I still have the ravishing tune, "Too soon", running through my head.

Last night of the Sadler's run is tonight, Saturday, 12th November and I understand that tickets are available.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2005 2:13 pm 
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Patricia posted 17 Nov 2005 05:39 pm

"One Touch of Venus" Opera North, Friday 11th November

Whilst there was much in “One Touch of Venus” that was enjoyable, it was patchy. The music of Kurt Weill did not come to life and with a plot as thin as this, the music was very important. Ron Li-Paz, who played Whitelaw Savory, had an excellent operatic voice, but as is often the case this did not work so well with what was not traditional operatic music. It did work however in the rightly doleful quartet “The Trouble with Women” sung with Lorne Geeting, Eric Roberts (Taxi Black/Dr Rook) and Jeffrey Lloyd-Roberts (Stanley). An operatic singer who successfully crossed the musical divide was Christianne Tisdale (Molly Grant) showing the breadth of her musical experience not only in good singing, but in expression and timing as well. Even more important in this role, we could hear the words! Much of Ogden Nash’s witty writing did not come across clearly. This seems to be a problem generally with opera, so much so that the ENO now displays the words on a screen above the stage.

Venus (Karen Coker) looked exactly as she ought to and sang beautifully as did Loren Geeting as Rodney Hatch. In general the comedy worked very well and brought a spark to the evening, especially when performed by Christianne Tisdale, Carole Wilson (Mrs Kramer) and Jessica Walker (Gloria Kramer). The Kramer mother and daughter were an outrageously entertaining double act. Adrian Clarke was an excellent supporting player as Zuveti.

Emma Ryott’s costumes were colourful and stylish. Those of the skeletons and all the characters in the Dr Crippen scene were particularly effective. Unfortunately the costumes of the gods and goddesses (I assume) that came to lure Venus back were unattractive and unintentionally funny.

Antony McDonald’s sets and Adam Silverman’s lighting complemented each other very effectively, creating atmosphere and ensuring that the show was always visually interesting.

There was not much dance in “One Touch of Venus”, nor much scope for creative choreography. Will Tuckett created some competent, but standard pieces. I would have liked to see more of the skeletons’ quirky dance and 10 seconds of tap dancing just wasn’t enough for me.

“One Touch of Venus” was performed well and the evening was entertaining, but lacked a certain spark which meant that overall it was a bit disappointing.

****************************

salzberg Posted: 17 Nov 2005 05:58 pm

Thanks for sharing your impressions, Patricia.

Quote:
Patricia wrote:
Even more important in this role, we could hear the words! Much of Ogden Nash’s witty writing did not come across clearly. This seems to be a problem generally with opera, so much so that the ENO now displays the words on a screen above the stage.


As you mention, it's a recurrent problem in opera (sometimes it seems like they're singing in Italian or French or some other language).

Seriously, as I understand it -- and I'm no expert -- the techniques that are necessary in order to properly form the notes are antithetical to the techniques that are necessary for good articulation...and in opera, the notes come first.

Still, it's distracting to those of us who treasure language for its own sake.


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