Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Review: Postcards from Dumbworld, Grand Opera House, Belfast

Imaginative opera verges on the edge of eccentricity

In typical zany fashion, Brian Irvine and his ensemble, otherwise described as “the pit orchestra”, entered the auditorium playing.

Again it is only to be expected from Northern Ireland’s most colourful and charismatic composer.

It was largely a young audience who attended the opening night of Postcards From Dumbworld, Irvine’s new opera at the Grand Opera House.

To say there was nothing stuffy about this theatrical work is something of an understatement.

During last night’s performance it was sometimes difficult to understand what exactly was going on.

The words weren’t always clear but that of course is an occupational hazard in opera.

This is an opera of anti-heroes, of broken people, of social misfits.

But it is full of gentle pathos and idiosyncratic humour. You almost felt that the music was being created as it went along, much of it a response to the gestures and sheer energy of the composer on the podium.

The staging was a fantasy world, verging on the edge of eccentricity but always imaginative.

You just had to go with the flow of the scenes.

Postcards From Dumbworld provides a totally different operatic experience.

Be warned leave your traditional expectations and classical inhibitions at the opera house door.

RATHCOL

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