I caught the second night of the latest Opera Theatre Co. production last night at the Watergate Theatre. The nymphs and shepherds of Handel's pastoral opera, Acis and Galatea get a country and western makeover and are transformed to line dancing, smirting young 'uns out for a night in their local pub . A revolving set moves us from the cosy interior to the back door smoking area Mostly the conceit works well although occasionally the ancillary action distracts from the singer and I believe no one should have to sing while simultaneously managing a costume change.
The singing is terrific throughout the ensemble. Eamonn Mulhall fresh from his appearance at the National; Theatre Amadeus and Susanna Fairbairn are the ill fated lovers. Andrew Gavin impressed as Damon and Edward Grint was Polyphemus transformed to a sinister bar room bully.
If you are going , I suggest you sit near enough the orchestra so that you can watch Peter Whelan in action. Directing from the harpsichord, it was a pleasure to watch this dynamic performer mould and shape his forces. Special mention to the wind who worked hard on oboe, piccolo and recorder to add distinctive pastoral colour to the score.
Handel' Acis and Galatea is on a nationwide tour. It arrives in Waterford's Theatre Royal next Monday . I see that the Dun Laoghaire date is sold out. If you have the time I suggest a mini break in the South East where you can enjoy your own pastoral bliss on the newly opened Waterford Greenway. Walk or cycle the rural coastal pathway which runs between the medieval port city and Dungarvan. The opening took place 50 years to the day of the final train journey along the route There was a wonderful atmosphere at the official opening. The Barrack Street Concert Band serenaded
Jennifer O Connell's piece on Waterford Grehttp://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/travel/ireland/waterford-s-46km-greenway-opens-for-cyclists-and-walkers-1.3022201
Tour dates for Acis and Galatea here http://www.opera.ie/whats-on/acis-galatea-1