Review by Mark Sherry.
Performance seen Friday 7 May at Sideshow West End
Many years ago, I saw an opera in Vienna, with an audience of over a thousand people. I flew to London the next day and saw another opera with a similar size crowd. “Pavarotti and the Diva,” starring Roger Davy and Gabrielle Jack, showcases virtuoso talent that deserves standing ovations from huge crowds, like they would receive at an Andre Rieu concert or at a classical venue in Europe.
If you ever get the chance to see the show, or other opera productions by Vavachi Entertainment (which produces this and other shows of popular classical opera), make sure you go. Don’t miss it. It will probably be one of the best musical experiences of your life. Their voices are incredible. Breathtaking. Virtuoso.
Everyone knows that Pavarotti made classical songs popular for many people who had not been previously exposed to classical music. Songs like “O sole Mio” and “Santa Lucia” became popular with whole new audiences because of his work.
“Pavarotti and the Diva” is an incredible show which continues this mission, making opera accessible. I saw the production at The Sideshow at West End: a non-traditional venue for opera, in keeping with the broader theme of the Anywhere Festival.
Roger Davy has impeccable credentials and incredible talent as an opera singer – which you would expect, given he is performing a tribute to one of the greatest musical performers of all time. Davy has sung with the Ten Tenors, Opera Queensland, and Opera Australia. The power of his voice was evident throughout the show, including in Pavarotti’s most famous song, Nessun Dorma. You could immediately feel the impact of the song and the singer’s explosive power and incredible vocal range as it electrified the audience.
Gabrielle Jack has an amazing soprano voice. She is an award-winning, classically-trained singer with a great vocal range. One of her solos brought tears to my eyes. The beauty and power of her upper register is something to behold. I felt honoured to be in the audience listening to such an incredible talent.
The performers encouraged the audience to sing along with two songs – “Funiculi, funicula” and “That’s amore” and it was evident that people attending the show really enjoyed singing alongside these great performers. Davy and Jack also sung beautiful duets which showcased their abilities, such as “Time to Say Goodbye” which was made popular by Andrea Bocelli, Sarah Brightman and was also sung by Pavarotti.
As would be expected, some of the songs were sung in Italian, and Davy and Jack mastered those accents and conveyed the meaning of the songs impeccably.
I went to the show with a friend, Chris. He had never seen opera before. At the end of the show, I asked him what he thought of it, and he said it made him want to see more opera. Is there any greater compliment for performers wanting to bring opera to the people?
I wish that Australian audiences didn’t need to be encouraged to see opera by having names like Pavarotti being associated with a show. I wish we knew the names of our own stars, our own virtuosos. I wish we could say names like “Davy and Jack” and know that audiences would come flocking to the show. They should. These stars deserve it.
This was a showcase of two Australian talents that deserve to be famous – Roger Davy and Gabrielle Jack. Remember those names. Google them. Look for shows which they are in. See more shows by their company (Vavachi Entertainment). I certainly will. I couldn’t recommend them more highly.