Laughter is not often associated with opera, but laugh the audience did at Opera Australia’s current production of Rossini’s “The Turk in Italy”.  Never before have I laughed virtually from the beginning to the end of an opera performance, I only wish I could have understood Italian so I did not have to keep reading the sur-titles to understand what was being sung.

Gabriela Tylesova’s ultra chic set with pink neon tube lighting, provided the perfect Naples beachside café atmosphere for the evening’s mayhem to occur.

The sight of a stage full of white clad Elvis (complete with slick back hair and sunglasses) and Marilyn Monroes, dressed a la “Seven Year Itch”, was certainly a sight to behold.

Take two long lost lovers (a gypsy and a prince), add a quarrelling couple (a free spirit and a fool) and stir in a secret lover for good measure. Mix them with a masquerade ball, a dash of the seashore (with 1950s bikinis of course), dancing, deceit and delightful confusion, simmer it all and there you have it, a night of pure entertainment, not only for opera buffs but for everyone.

“The Turk in Italy” is playing at the Joan Sutherland Theatre, Sydney Opera House until 12 February as part of Opera Australia’s Sydney Summer Season 2014.

Sandra Tiltman 


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