22 April 2012

MICF review: Contact!

MICF 2012
Arts Centre Melbourne
11 April
Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne
to 22 April

I fell in love with Contact! at the 2011 Carnegie 18, the Arts Centre's new musical series, as did everyone who saw it and its first full production is as awesome as a team trip to Bali after winning a final.

Netball and chamber opera really aren't that far apart. Opera and music express the huge passions that we never share in mere words, and there's little that evokes as much passion as competitive sport.

The characters have sacrificed by not eating chocolate and trimming their nail; the relationships are competitive; the players are territorial; the queen's called Bev, the only prince is Bevan; the stakes are as high as they get (runners up don't play for State) and there's fat moles, stupid bogan and skanks all waiting to sing.

The creative team (composer Angus Grant, Libretto Kate Schmitt and Grant, choreographer Julia Sutherland and costume designer Julia Sutherland) has captured the spirt and urban poetry of netball and let it free in a world where singing is as natural as the harmony on the court and the dissonance of team selection.

And how wonderful to see compositions for young female singers.

This is what I said about the first season and there's not much more to add. I can't wait to see it's next stage of development. (New York Music Theatre Festival?)

This is opera for sport fans and sport for opera fans and so funny that you'll love it even if you're not a fan of either.

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