Half a night’s music

Hopefully half a review is better than none. Truth to admit, I left at interval. By then, the current performance of Sondheim’s magical A Little Night Music at the State Theatre had become so soporific that I decamped to the launderette to watch the washing go round and wake myself up.

It’s all very dreamy and lovely and lyrically clever but somehow doesn’t excite the way previous productions have done. A pity really, as Opera Australia’s season had so far been a vast improvement on what the hugely deprived Melbourne audiences had been forced to endure in other years.

In the lead role of Desiree Arnfeldt the heavily promoted star attraction Sigrid Thorton did what Sigrid Thornton usually does – gave a faultless performance as Sigrid Thornton.

The mostly young and emerging singers showed many signs of future talent but were acted off the stage by veteran Nancye Hayes in the role of ageing grande dame Madame Arnfeldt – a performance reminscent of Hermoine Gingold’s in Gigi. In fact, the entire show kept evoking memories of Gigi and making one wish A Little Night Music had even half that memorable show’s spark and vivacity. Plus a similar succession of singable songs. But it was not to be and we wafted out into St Kilda Road for a little night air.

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