Reviewed by Paula Citron
Queen of Puddings is known for its avant-garde music theatre, and Beauty Dissolves in a Brief Hour is a stunner.
Artistic directors Dáirine Ní Mheadhra and John Hess asked three composers to write a triptych for two female voices and accordion, with texts inspired by love and beauty. The result is an absolutely enchanting show – delicate and poignant all at the same time.
Mezzo-soprano Kristina Szabó and soprano Xin Wang look like Greek goddesses in the beautiful costumes of Michael Gianfrancesco. Director Ruth Madoc-Jones plays the two voices off each other with passion and longing.
Pierre Klanac’s piece Jeux à Vendre to medieval French text uses the canon effect with the voices gorgeously tripping over each other. Fuhong Shi’s dissonant Spring, River, and Flowers on a Moonlit Night, performed in Mandarin, is a cry from the heart, while John Rea’s melodic title piece is a soulful dialogue. John Lettieri transforms the accordion into a very expressive orchestra.
Beauty Dissolves in a Brief Hour continues at the Young Centre until tomorrow and should not be missed.
Beauty Dissolves in a Brief Hour
Queen of Puddings Music Theatre
Composed by Pierre Klanac, Fuhong Shi and John Rea
Conducted by Dáirine Ní Mheadhra
Directed by Ruth Madoc-Jones
Performed by mezzo-soprano Kristina Szabó and soprano Xin Wang with John Lettieri, accordion
Young Centre, Jul. 29 to 31, 2010