Opera Australia’s The Turk in Italy Featuring Some Comic Genius!
by Melissa Wimbish
Opera Australia’s The Turk in Italy runs until February 12 at Sydney Opera House and at Arts Centre Melbourne from May 1st-13th. Sounds like Clive Paget is in love! Check out the Operagasm Review Rundown!
Slow burn, but the good kind: “Simon Phillips is the director in question and, on this showing, Australia’s finest when it comes to buffoonery and sheer comic chutzpah. He fills every waking second of this fizzing production with ‘business’ but his business is not just busy, it’s lovingly crafted, given space to breathe, and packed with the kind of slow-burn gags which can take an entire musical number to develop and reach their hilarious payoff.”
Tit and bum?: “Sure, there’s a lot of ‘tit and bum’ humour here – there’s even a Benny Hill chase in the delightfully staged overture – but then that’s what Rossini and his librettist Felice Romani were after – that and some fond side-swipes at the racial preconceptions of the day. And Phillips is never (well, hardly ever) gratuitous – he always tailors his jokes to the plot and uses them to enhance and reveal character.”
It’s like they knew we were celebrating comedy at Operagasm this month!: “Emma Matthews plays Fiorilla, the goodtime girl in search of, well, a good time, and not too fussed about where she finds it. [Matthews] is a singer both staggering in her coloratura and razor sharp of diction, every top note secure and seemingly always able to hit the money note. But she is also a fine comic actress, able to make us care about this highly sexed kitten that ogles every Turk who crosses her path, while we laugh at every lascivious pant and wiggle.”