GLORIA - A PIGTALE
Music by HK Gruber, libretto by Rudolf Herfurtner, English translation by Amanda Holden. A co-production with Bregenz Festival and Buxton Festival
Gloria is a lonely pig looking for love. She falls for the butcher and is about to get the chop when Rodney the wild boar comes to her rescue. Amidst the yodelling frogs, blues-singing cows, Hollywood hotdogs and a fascist rally in a pigsty, HK Gruber’s Gloria - A Pigtale takes a zany sideswipe at right-wing politics.
Performed by five human sausages and a big band, this ‘cabaret opera’ mixes varied musical styles - jazz, blues, Bavarian umpah, Mahler and Wagner. Frederic Wake-Walker’s production sets the darkly comic piece in a burlesque butcher’s shop with echoes of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Kander & Ebb’s Cabaret.
To gain more insight into the show watch this interview with journalist Andrew Mellor and director Frederic Wake-Walker.
Gloria - A Pigtale is generously supported by Arts Council England, The Boltini Trust, John S Cohen Foundation,
Fidelio Charitable Trust, J Paul Getty Jnr Charitable Trust, Jerwood Charitable Foundation
Director - Frederic Wake-Walker
Conductor - Geoffrey Paterson
Designer - Mamoru Iriguchi
Lighting Designer - Cis O’Boyle
Orchestra - CHROMA
A clamorous, hyperactive production of HK Gruber's 'cabaret opera' blends satire, rhythmic anarchy and hotdogs in hats.
It's mostly scored in the form of clamorous, dense ensemble, which the excellent cast, Chroma chamber ensemble and conductor Geoffrey Paterson steer just the right side of chaos. Though nothing quite qualifies as an aria, Gillian Keith's soubrette-ish Gloria delivers a fanciful meditation while gazing at her reflection in a puddle.
The first impression is the witty and distinctive look of the stage (design Mamoru Iriguchi), the forestage ringed by bead curtains made up of sausages, the band ranked above in their white dinner jackets looking like the dance band at the Tower Ballroom.
… Gillian Keith responds to the challenge superbly. Gloria, we learn early on, is “the hottest hog in town”, a very credible assertion with Keith on board. She handles her frenetically high tessitura with ease and charm, even – whenever Gruber’s orchestration thins briefly – floating her tone with finesse. Her colleagues prove almost as flexible. When not a mezzo pig or hotdog, Jessica Walker is the smoky, cabaret-style narrator. Andrew Dickinson’s tenor is just right for the Fairytale Prince, bedecked in Liberace-style cape, who turns out to be a butcher in disguise. Gloria is saved from his clutches by Sion Goronwy’s Rodrigo, whose bass amply encompasses the wild boar of her dreams. Charles Rice, the other Hollywood hotdog, sports a useful baritone in four roles including the Ox and Farmer. All enter into the spirit of Wake-Walker’s high kinks: spoofs on anything from the BNP (British National Pork) to the church (a mitred bishop intoning a Gloria), Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers (top hats and canes) to Tyrolean yodellers.
Tickets on Sale
17 May 2014
20 & 21 May 2014
Norfolk & Norwich Festival
16, 17, 18, 19 July 2014
Linbury Studio Theatre,
Royal Opera House
23 & 26 July 2014
Buxton Opera House,
31 July & 2 August 2014
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