Tuesday, August 16, 2005

a mug of Hot Teddy

at the risk of the further indulgence of a) culture wankery and b) lusting over boys... The Delightful Mother(TM) and I went and saw Mozart's Don Giovanni tonight at the Sydney Opera House.

in the past couple of years there's been some serious pop/gay culture referencing goin' down with Opera Australia. anyone who saw Orpheus in the Underworld with the gimpy slave outfits, Deco-hotel-styled Mount Olympus and various Rocky-Horror rejects in the chorus (amongst other things), or perhaps The Love for Three Oranges with Leandro, the Siegfried & Roy inspired magician, and amazing Dada/acid-induced sets and costumes, will dig where I'm at.

Don Giovanni was a little more sedate, but truly lovely nonetheless. a one-room neutral set with large windows and corinthian columns, done in creams, beiges and gold. costumes in more neutrals, ranging into russets, browns, salmon pink, with gorgeous plums and scarlets for the lead characters. very nicely researched costumes too, with some fab boy's frock coats, although committing the heinous crime of aprons tied on underneath the bodice. yes, that old chestnut. great singing, young cast, lots of heaving bosoms... what more do you want?

well, there's the title role of Don Giovanni, played by Teddy Tahu Rhodes (apparently this is a reprise of his 2003 role, but I unfortunately missed out first time round).

this is the standard Teddy mug shot -

he's really tall, has an amazing smile and he sings bass. but it gets better. this is how he looks in Don Giovanni -

it's Jamie's Evil and Debauched Twin Brother!! perhaps with a touch of the Anti-Ob thrown in, because of the fabulous frock coat and sleek ponytail. the grin got wider and wider and insanely devilish. some of the time he swanned around sans frock coat, showing off the black peasant shirt and what looked like a studded sword-belt. it may sound a little bit Sad Goth but in reality, it rocked. hard. at the end, when he's being tortured and pulled down into hell for his wicked ways (sorry to spoil the plot) the shirt is all torn and I suspect it was all carefully choreographed to show off his heaving, I'm-so-tortured washboard stomach. it's terribly, terribly shallow but I don't really blame them - I mean, hell, how often does an opera company get a six-pack to flaunt?

however, I've got to say that as far as opera-company-hero moments are concerned, his entrance in the first few minutes was pretty much the ultimate. Don Giovanni, having been caught out seducing an unsuspecting Respectable Young Lady, Donna Anna, launches himself out of her window - wearing nothing but a black mask, black knee-high boots and black leather hot-pants.

how loud can you say "Thank you, Opera Australia!"

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