The Turk in Italy features eye-popping, synchronised movement with wonderful voices and music. This is as it should be. The visuals and running text keep us contemporary, the music is timeless.
Rossini would have enjoyed the 1950s costumes, rotating set, musical deck chairs and the multitude of Elvis impersonators. The surtitles are clever and humorous, prompting much genuine laughter and guffaws from the audience.
Director Simon Phillips and his team give the singers all they need to make the music shine and it does, wonderfully.
The costumes by Gabriela Tylesova are stylish and cleverly designed to work with the bodies of each performer. No standardising bodies in this production and it works so well. The variety of colours, shapes and movement is beautiful, eye-catching and always allows the music to be the star.
Emma Matthews as Fiorilla is sublime. Paolo Bordogna, with a twinkle in his eye, has a great voice and a racy charm as Selim, the philandering Turk. Anna Dowsley shines as Zaida, his ex-lover. Conal Coad is suitably volatile as the jealous husband and Luciano Botelho a bit at sea as Fiorilla’s sidelined lover. Samuel Dundas (Prosdocimo) with his wonderful voice, adds much needed continuity to this story of love and intrigue. (MS)
Until Feb 12, Sydney Opera House, Bennelong Point, $44-315, sydneyoperahouse.com
BY MÁIRE SHEEHAN