Reviewed by Paula Citron
Underground/Opera is a daring enterprise that gives the art form a new face. Their latest production Orlando/Lunaire links together Handel’s 1719 opera Orlando and Schoenberg’s 1912 song cycle Pierrot Lunaire to present a portrait of madness.
The brains behind Underground/Opera are conductor Ashiq Aziz whose Classical Music Consort provides the music, and Patrick Eakin Young and his company Opera Erratica. Young is the director and designer. Orlando/Lunairee is being mounted in a corrugated tin shed in the industrial west end.
The production’s fascination is that the opera and song cycle were written 200 years apart. By mixing together the baroque and the atonal, there is madness in the music that mirrors the growing insanity of Pierrot caused by his unrequited love for Columbine. Young’s erractic projections of the lyrics also reflect the fractured mind.
Expressive singers soprano Carla Huhtanen and countertenor Scott Belluz share the role of Pierrot, arrayed in Heidi Ackerman’s stunning commedia dell’arte costumes.
Orlando/Lunaire continues at The Shed until Aug. 28.
Classical Music Consort and Opera Erratica
Music by G.F. Handel and Arnold Schoenberg
Conducted by Ashiq Aziz
Directed by Patrick Eakin Young
Performed by Carla Huhtanen and Scott Belluz
The Shed, Aug. 22 to 28, 2010