OPERA . .0 SCOTTISH OPERA: LA 0 o e‘ BOHEME 09% Theatre Royal, Glasgow, Sat 1 g '

May «on

00.00 00a¢

Updating an opera to a context far removed from that in which it is traditionally set can be a risky business. But director/designer Stewart Laing’s reworking of Puccini’s La Boheme from 19th century Paris to 21 st century New York is one that works superbly well on every level. At a time when a stylish new production should

ROCK FIGURE 5 coco The Universal, Glasgow, Thurs 6 May

As Rev Obediah Steppenwolf Ill steps on to the stage. a preachin'. bearded figure in shades and a pristine white suit. it soon becomes clear that this is not gomg to be yOur run of the mill gig. He repeatedly tells us to yell 'Amen'. Of course we respond accordingly. and it all sets the scene rather nicely for the inuSical reyelation about to occur before our very eyes.

It's the debut single aunch of Glasgow band Figure :3: a hot as hell melting pot of Strokes and Stones and

a little Coral lRDCl‘.‘/O(3".. On first sight they look a little mod-obsessed but then from out of those feathered mops and tight suit trousers comes a raucous melodic sound complete Wllll drawling vocals. taught riffs and sunkissed harmonies.

The frontn‘an is as cool as Casablancas. clutching the ll‘.i(I stand and filling the venue with his guts; groy'xl while psychedelic guitar storii‘s. super speed rhythn‘s and throbbing basslines surround lllll‘. lt makes for a stunning set of slightly eccentric and utterly |l‘i(}(lll()ll53 guita.r pop that's simply begging for the l)lg-i|ll‘(}. iCan‘itla Pia.

do nothing but good for Scottish Opera, this is a triumph that every MSP might endeavour to see.

Timeless themes of young love, death, success, failure and poverty are all caught up in Puccini’s whirling score of melody upon melody and all sung by an apt and able cast. Instead of a dilapidated Parisian garret, these budding artists work in stark studio apartments, embracing technology. In the sort of camaraderie witnessed in TV shows like Friends, it is inevitable that at least one of the four guys falls for a girl pretty fast. Peter Auty’s Rodolfo does just that in his beautifully sensitive and tender duet with Rachel Hynes’ consumptive Mimi, perched on the edge of the New York skyline. As Musetta, Rebecca von Lipinski would be a fool not to succumb to Roderick Williams’ strongly sung Marcello. Unsettled to start with, the orchestra gelled more musically by Act Two under firm direction from conductor Richard Farnes.

Clever touches are made too: there’s a large on-stage band, but spot the players; or look out for the private view arty arrivistes and the transvestite potter who won the Turner Prize. (Carol Main)

I La Bo/ieiiie continues a! Theatre Royal. G/(tstflyflul 2:3. 27 8 2S) i’/i'.'2y'.' .3". :3. 8 a i‘ 7 Jun and Festiva/ Theatre. Edinburgh. 7:3. 17. 1'9. 2.2. 2-1 82 26 Jun.


Making the rework work

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SINGER SONGli’y/Rl'l'L'R LONE PIGEON coco Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Sun 25

Lone Pigeon is a weird fish. if you'll pardon a mixed animal metaphor. An ex—Beta Bander and Fence Collective stalisrart. Gordon Anderson ifor LP is he) is a songwriter of no little genius. yet the man is an erratically brilliant performer on the live stage. as this intimate outing testifies. Sporting shaggy hair and a headband and syn/itching l)(}l‘.'/(}(}ll piano and acoustic guitar. there is something hugely charismatic about Anderson. and at times he is positiyely spellbinding. like in the beautiful and heartbreaking piano-led melancholy of ‘Heaven Come Down'. there is nothing slick about Anderson's live show. however. with rambling anecdotes and constant nervy guitar tuning breaking the man's spell a little. but when begets into his stride there are few who can match him. A homegrown leftfield talent to cherish. iDoug Joltnstonei

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46 THE LIST 113‘ yr Mgr, 230.: