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Sunday, January 20, 2019

Music

Review: Opera rendition impresses


Moores School of Music presented a rendition of a satirical opera play dealing with the triumph of love in a Caribbean setting Friday through Monday evening at Moores Opera House.

Daniel Catan’s comedic opera “Salsipuedes, A Tale of Love, War and Anchovies” is set in the 1940s during World War II. The tiny island nation of Salsipuedes is under the corrupt leadership of General Garcia, played by Voice Area Coordinator Joseph Evans.

While Garcia declared war on Nazi Germany, the declaration is merely a front. In secret, he cut a deal with German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels, who thinks anchovies are an aphrodisiac and arranged to make a trade.

The story focused on newlyweds between singing the national anthem at the rechristening of Captain Magallenes — played by voice performance graduate Eric Lindsey — and being forced into battle.

While the plot line is absurdly hilarious, it’s rarely noticeable. The characters took themselves seriously, the underlying humor and there is very little clowning about from actors.

This witty satire element of the show achieved its objective well.

Despite the sobering plot, an act never goes without a chuckle because there’s always something humorous happening on stage.

Music Director Brett Mitchell and the Moores Orchestra featured percussion and woodwinds for a strong Caribbean feel.

While the story delves into a Nazi war, the lack of Nazi appearances in the production takes depth away from “Salsipuedes.”

Otherwise, it was a strong production and near perfect performance of Catan’s classical satire and was a treat to watch.

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