Opera North's 'La Vida Breve' and 'Gianni Schicci',
reviewed by MIKE WHEELER
Christopher Alden's production for Opera North of Falla's La Vida Breve was first seen eleven years ago as part of the company's 'Eight Little Greats' season of short operas. For the revival it was paired with a new production, also directed by Alden, of Puccini's one-act comedy Gianni Schicci (Theatre Royal, Nottingham, 24 March 2015).
Falla's score is drenched in his love and understanding of flamenco, but Alden's production threw out the clichéd picture-postcard visuals, placing the action in a sweatshop turning out wedding-dresses, the women slaving over sewing machines, the men supervising, or merely sitting around, watching. It proved controversial among some of Opera North's regular followers, not least for a brutal attempted rape scene and the central character's graphically blood-soaked suicide...
Copyright © 30 March 2015