Edinburgh Festival Fringe music review: Tutte Contro Verdi, reviewed by The Scotsman’s David Pollock.
“I am a feminist soprano,” declares Basque singer and actress Miren de Miguel at the end of her show, and while it’s possible that the language barrier has shifted the meaning of her words slightly, the evidence suggests not.
The trouble is, it’s difficult to get a handle on what precisely her intentions are with this show. The words she speaks between arias are supertitled on a screen alongside the stage, and they get lost in the murk and folds of the fabric. It’s a minor technical note, but even moving closer to the stage the eyes strain, and a sufficient amount of context is lost.
The intention – an intriguing one – is to explore opera’s attitude to women, particularly through the works of Verdi (the title means “all against Verdi”; and of course calls to mind Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte, which translates roughly as “women are like that”). With the translated lyrics of arias from Verdi’s La Traviata and Otello, Puccini’s Turandot and Bizet’s Carmen lost in the gloom, we are instead left with a potted compilation of operatic highlights – and very well sung and performed ones, for de Miguel is a talent with presence and vocal power, using just a few props to take us into the music, if not quite succeeding in tying together its meaning for us.
New Town Theatre (Venue 7) until 17 August
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