Review: The Merry Widow shines in fun Vancouver Opera season opening

Vancouver Opera opened up their 2018-19 season with the spectacular operetta, The Merry Widow. Widow is Franz Lehár’s 1905 story of a rich widow trying to find the right husband while Parisian men try to woo her.

It’s interesting that VO chose to open with this show as it doesn’t have the most dynamic or fascinating of stories, but it is a beautiful production that captivated audiences for three hours.

Vancouver Opera - The Merry Widow; Tim MathesonThe performances were fun with beautiful vocals from all, but occasionally the cast was unable to project over the orchestra conducted by Ward Stare. The long periods of English-language dialogue also felt a little stilted at times, and really slowed down the pace of this overwise fun romp.

This show also had some fun choreography. They have folky European dances, campy Parisian cancans, and nice waltzes that all went a little over-the-top to match the luxurious designs. This lavish Art Nouveau-inspired production had spectacular sets and beautiful costumes which wowed audiences with every new addition.

Although it may not have been the most dynamic show of the year, this was a fun romp with lots of laughs. This show runs through October 28 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Tickets are at www.vancouveropera.ca

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