Operatic tragedy was never so funny!
By Jessica Cornish
Opera and music theatre performer Jamie Way stars as the larger-than-life character The Great Pizzarotti in this 70 minute comical cabaret woven around famous operatic numbers such as “Nessun Dorma”, “The Toreador Song” and “La Donna Mobile” anddirected by Peter Cox.
To open the show, the great man sang condensed versions of a couple of arias – not being a devoted opera follower, I didn’t know all the songs and initially felt a little lost on the content matter – but Way certainly has an amazingly rich and beautiful voice. So if nothing else, I thought to myself at the time I may not have a clue about what is going on if the performance continues to be sung in Italian- but it felt like a privilege simply listening to this man sing at one of my favourite venues in town!
After the first few minutes however, the witty banter began and it became clear that the audience were in for a night of hilarity, as Way joked about everything opera, classical composers, wines, and even the odd Beethoven classic spun in to a Elvis-style tune. Plus his constant fascination and flirtation with the ladies of the room was pretty damn amusing.
The woman next to me got presented with a rose, in slow-motion while Pizzarotti simultaneourly belted out a tune of huge and romantic proportions in to her face – ah, if only it had been me…
A highlight moment was the epic one-man re-enactment of The Magic Flute, the famous opera composed by Mozart who according to popular art (and Pizzarotti) is merely a head sitting on a pair of shoulders.
Watching Way playing multiple characters including the leading man, lady and wicked father, and (as morbid as it sounds) performing the tragic attempted death scene with the damsel stabbing at herself continuously under a veil of red light was simply brilliant and ridiculously funny.
It’s satisfying to say The Great Pizzarotti was indeed as great as its title proclaimed. I feel certain that both opera lovers and newbies like me will love the show because it’s hilarious, well-crafted, and Jamie Way is an extremely talented vocalist and performer.
You can catch his final cabaret performance at The Butterfly Club at Carson place in the CBD, tonight at 8pm. For tickets go to www.thebutterflyclub,com.