Ali McGregor's Opera Burlesque
This article is from 2006.
It’s opera Jim, but not as we know it. As Opera Burlesque prepare to hit the high Cs, director Ali McGregor is one of the three lovelies who tease to please.
5 reasons why this isn’t grand opera
AC/DC is never heard in the opera house. We sit on your laps. Radiohead is accompanied on the zither. Corsets and petticoats are the mainstays of the costume department. A favourite aria that always goes down well is about a very cunning linguist (slowly and carefully articulated in interview).
4 arias audiences might recognise
‘One Fine Day’ from Madama Butterfly. ‘Quando Men Vo’ from La Bohème. Dido’s ‘Lament’. ‘Three Little Maids’ from The Mikado.
3 names for two sopranos and a mezzo.
Miss Della Pearl (McGregor’s granny on the Australian side). Madame Flutterby (who is half Japanese). Fraulein Minsky (a nod to the 1940s New York burlesque house).
2 UK-based guest singers.
Catherine Friel from Glasgow and Jacqueline Tait, who were flatmates of McGregor’s at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music, where they were all classically trained. And went clubbing together.
1 recommendation for wearing a corset when singing.
Once you get used to the pain, it gives rock solid support, which is what every opera singer is searching for.
The Spiegel Garden, 667 8940, 21 & 28 Aug, 9pm, 24 Aug 8pm, £8 (£6).