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This elegant and stylish production would have satisfied as simply a showcase for the remarkable talents and distinct vocal styles of its two Manitoba-born stars. It turns out to be a polished piece of storytelling, as well.

The drama is set in 1960s Paris, against a backdrop of civil unrest about the Algerian War. When a bomb threat leaves two famous singers from different cultural and social — not to mention musical — backgrounds alone on a stage, they wage their own battle of wills.

Ria Krauss (Steinbach native Danie Friesen) is the older, classically trained opera diva, desperate to make her comeback. She looks down her nose at Carminda Fernandes (former Winnipegger and playwright Jess Salgueiro), the poor young Portugese fado singer whose mournful, sultry ballads she accuses of “encouraging moral depravity.”

Their mutual contempt turns deadly until they discover they speak the same universal language, just different dialects. Hearing Friesen perform just one aria is worth the ticket price.

— Carolin Vesely

From the Fringe program:

Set in the 60s, two singers are billed at Paris' legendary Palais Garnier: the reigning queen of opera and the sensational new face of the Portuguese Fado.

Due to the tense climate of the Algerian War, a bomb threat is made on the theatre and the two performers are trapped.

The women discover a way to use the empty stage to showcase their distinct styles of music and the striking harmony of their own fears and obsessions.

 

Recommended For: General Audience

Length: 75 min

Tickets: $10

 

Warnings: Language, Gunshots

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Updated on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at 6:02 PM CDT:
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