11 April 2014

Faustian Pack: Through His Teeth at the Linbury Studio Theatre

The main theatre at the Royal Opera House was showing Faust and it was running other events under the label Faustian Pack to compliment this.

Through His Teeth was a new opera inspired by the story of Faust which was performed at the modern Linbury Studio Theatre on the lower level.

I got to the opera house just as the crowd for Faust was going in which meant that the Floral Hall was all but empty and was the ideal place to have a leisurely drink. I had thought about going to one of the Covent Garden pubs but they were all frighteningly busy.

I had been to the Linbury a few times before but this was my first time in the Upper Gallery, in seat R9. The view was perfect from there, which was just as well as I had already booked the same seat for the next day.

Through His Teeth got its name from the phrase "lying through his teeth" and it told the story of a man who psychologically manipulated women to give up their lives, and their money, and to follow him with almost messianic devotion that defied even the most obvious truths.

One woman escaped due to the efforts of her sister but she was still not free of him and other women were still ensnared.

The story was told as a sung narrative, almost recitative but a little more musical than that. The music was dramatically modern and devoid of the sort of tune that you can hum along to. I liked the impact of the music and it worked well, much like a good film soundtrack helps to signal the mood.

The story was the main feature of the opera and it was a good story well told. It was genuinely at times and all three singers played their part/s well, despite one of them complaining of a cold.

It was a gripping opera and I could ask for no more.

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