Kanen Breen wears a dress


in Pinchgut‘s latest production of Cavalli’s L’Ormindo, which I went to tonight.

The style of the opera takes a little getting used to. At first, the twists and turns of the plot limit the opportunities for building up any particularly sustained affect or mood, other than a tendency to rather cheerful triple time. It’s a comedy, after all.

In the third act, as the various plot lines reach their respective resolutions, there is more of an opportunity for some longer musical paragraphs, which comes as a bit of a relief. And of course denouements are the more affecting moments. Or maybe I was just getting used to the style by then.

The house didn’t seem to me to be as full as Pinchgut might have hoped: they sold most of the good seats but should probably have lowered the price on the cheap ones, at least for the first night on a Wednesday.

Every year when I hear the orchestra at Pinchgut I remind myself of what early music bands in Sydney used to sound like. There’s a generation and more of tuition and development of skills now and you can really feel it.

This is really just a provisional comment: were I a twitterer I would probably tweet. As hinted above, Kanen is a tremendous scene stealer. I was a bit surprised to read that Trevor Pichanek (Amida) has been in the AO chorus since 2007 because he didn’t really seem comfortable on stage. It was something to do with not wanting to let his elbows leave the side of the body, so that we had arm gestures from the elbows only. He’s meant to be a military hero but I can’t say he came across as one. Amongst the support characters, Anna Fraser made a particularly strong impression.

Someone tweeted earlier that those baroque plots are often easier to follow on the stage than they are on the page, and I certainly found that to be the case.

There are performances on Saturday, Sunday (early evening/late afternoon) and Monday. I’ll probably say more after I see it again on the last night.


5 Responses to “Kanen Breen wears a dress”

  1. Ken N Says:

    Did you notice no radio mikes? That’s because there is no recording this year, except for the broadcast Sunday. It will also be streamed on ABC Classic FM for a couple of weeks after but no CD.
    BTW The David & Jonathan CD from last year is just out.

    • marcellous Says:

      Yes, I did notice no radio mikes and I was grateful for it. I was going to mention the broadcast on Sunday except at the late hour I couldn’t find a convenient and brief way of pointing out that the broadcast would be a live recording but obviously not a live broadcast. I expect I shall be beavering away at chambers whilst I listen to it. I’m intrigued at the possibility that even while the last performance is going on, the ABC could be listening hopefully to it in order to patch in something missing from the earlier recordings, even after the broadcast has begun (though I bet they won’t be: too hard).

      One thing: if it is possible to make a broadcast using the aerially distributed mikes and floor mikes in the orchestra, then why not use this for a CD recording? Or is it a question of copyright in the edition or availability of particular artists?

  2. ken n Says:

    No, they’ll put it to air as it was last night.
    It is believed that a recording for CD needs to be a higher standard than broadcast. Semele was recorded without radio mikes and as singers moved around they faded. For that there was quite a bit of patching.
    Fairy Queen was done in studio and since radio mikes and multi track have been used.
    Come and say hi Monday.
    Pity there won’t be a CD this year, esp as it is Erin’s first conducting gig and probably David Walker’s last opera.

  3. Opera Australia 2013 « Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] was Sid).  Kanen Breen succeeds (again) Graham Ewer in the title role.  I don’t think he wears a dress, but perhaps he can work that in […]

  4. Kanen Breen wears a dress, yet again | Stumbling on melons Says:

    […] And as Bardolfo, Kanen Breen got to wear a dress, yet again. […]

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