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Home Society Jacques d’Ancona watched “Viva la Vida”: terribly out of tune is quite tasty | review ★★★☆☆

Jacques d’Ancona watched “Viva la Vida”: terribly out of tune is quite tasty | review ★★★☆☆

by News Room
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True story… No idea if this counts as a recommendation. At the end of the day, theater is about quality and whether it does something for you. ‘Viva la Diva’ creates tension, which is not a minor aspect by the way.

The vulnerable main character is Florence Foster Jenkins (1868 – 1944), an American who aspired to a musical career as a soprano. He sang terribly out of tune, not just a little. It is not punishable, but he became an object of ridicule and ridicule.

However, he gathered fans and financial support from social circles and performed at the legendary Ritz-Carlton Hotel in New York. He set strict conditions for this: only hysterically cheering loyalists were welcome to his private parties and meaningless parties. Reviewers were banned. They would no doubt get in the way of what he desperately wanted: to perform in front of 2,800 people at Carnegie Hall.

From a dusty box

It was inevitable that this wonderful phenomenon would be turned into a movie (with Meryl Streep) and three plays. Chris Ballance gave the best balanced example. The play premiered in Edinburgh in 2001, but was lost in a dusty box until Erik Brey unearthed it, edited and translated it, negotiated with the author and entrusted the direction to the famous actor Han Oldigs.

Long live the Diva portrays Florence Foster Jenkins as a vain and rather naïve, poseur creature. Posing occasionally with mood swings, keen on relationships with Gershwin and Cole Porter. He doesn’t believe in rehearsals, but he loves working on the works of Johan Strauss junior and Mozart.

By default, he claims that opera is “loud and not sung from the heart, but from the womb”. Accompanist Cosmé McMoon remains her “master”, while she awkwardly tries to hide that she is not achieving anything vocally and technically. Desperate St. Clair Bayfield is also known for this. She shares life with him as “his little princess”. He’s the one who makes futile attempts at correction: “Everybody knows he can’t sing.”

Such a pathetic lie!

Erik Brey (comedian, presenter and pianist) plays both men and adds delicate notes to the compositions. The incredibly strong title role is reserved for Frédérique Sluyterman van Loo. He is huge in creation that goes deep. She carves a character out of her character Florence. This also begs the question of how he manages to sing so pathetically in tune! His coloratura in Queen of the Night is – just before the powerful finale – the highlight.


Event Viva la Diva, a tragicomedy Met Frédérique Sluyterman van Loo and Erik Brey Manuscript Chris Ballance Translation/editing Erik Brey Direction An old man Decor Joris van Veldhoven production TripleT Agency/De Tiende Muze Seen 28/2 Meppel, Engelenbak Schouwburg Ogterop Audience 42 Still to be seen 1/3 Emmen, 13/3 Stadskanaal


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