Lovers, Losers and larrikins

An original story with opera classics

Opera is full of grand love stories, star-crossed lovers, battles between good and evil, loyalty, jealousy, power and revenge....but it often doesn’t end well for the heroes and lovers!

With an original script, energetic choreography and fantastic music, Rogue Opera takes you a captivating journey, as The Soprano, The Mezzo, The Tenor and The Baritone inhabit some of opera’s best protagonists to try and solve some troubling questions...

Who are the biggest losers? What about the rakes and scoundrels who only care about themselves? The Pianist does his best to keep the egos in check and everyone in line. But it’s not all about Love and Loss – there’s plenty of fun to be had along the way, embodied by opera’s best larrikins – the mavericks, jokers, comedians and sidekicks. When the dust settles, who will have found - or died for - true love? Who are the real losers… and who will have the last laugh?

Act 1

We start the evening at the Capulets’ masked ball, where possibilities for new romance fizzle in the air. Romeo, is ready to declare his undying love for Juliet, but she’s reluctant to think about settling into love and marriage when the world is at her feet.

The Baritone joyfully inhabits opera’s biggest Larrikin, Don Giovanni, to see if he can tempt the Soprano away from the path of true love. After calling out The Don and trying to convince everyone that he really is a harmful scoundrel, the Mezzo tries a different approach – with Carmen. But Carmen’s bohemian attitudes clash with the Tenor’s romantic view and we get a glimpse of the darker side of love – possession and obsession from Don José.

With no one willing to admit their flaws and the fact that, in all of these stories so far, love has led to pain and suffering, conflict rears its head and things get very heated. The Mezzo calls time on the escalating emotions with a beautiful Viennese outpouring of platitudes but is quickly brought back down to earth by the Baritone, stirring up trouble as Mephistopheles. The Soprano, deciding a more practical approach is best, leads the ensemble into the delightful Act 1 finale from L’elisir d’amore.

Act 2

Another party, with more opportunities for romance and pleasure! It’s Violetta’s Parisian salon but only The Tenor is still dreaming of soulmates. Everyone else is revelling in good wine and good company. Tired of being mocked for his naivety, The Tenor tries on the mantle of the womanising Duke of Mantua for size but soon reverts to type, desperately seeking an example of a lover who is not a loser, or at least one case to prove that love is worth all the sacrifices.

The Mezzo and Baritone delight in channelling some alpha characters; Rosina, a determined young woman set on getting who she wants, and Escamillo, everyone’s favourite bullfighter. The Soprano ups the stakes with a sizzling turn as Alcazar’s most famous dancer, Guiditta.

All the hedonism starts to feel somewhat empty and as the party draws to a close, our fearless leader, The Pianist, reminds us of some of great moments of romance. The ensemble reflects on their journey – the fun, flirtation and tenderness but also the heartaches, disappointments and the shockingly high body count in opera. Love does seem to lead to death and suffering, so is it better after all not to get attached? Just have your fun and accept the consequence? Is it Larrikins for the win and are Lovers the true losers....?

Thank you for coming with us on this Rogue Opera journey through some of opera's best arias, duets and ensembles. If you haven't had a chance to see the fantastic operas these pieces are borrowed from, we hope your interest is piqued to explore further!

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