Sunday 25 September 2016

Classical and cabaret: That's why the lady is a champ

Review: Classical - Storm Large, National Concert Hall

Pat O'Kelly

Published 17/04/2015 | 02:30

Storm Large
Storm Large

US artist Storm Large is back in Dublin this week appearing with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra under her compatriot Robert Ziegler.

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The first half of the evening is devoted to Kurt Weill's The Seven Deadly Sins - his last collaboration with writer Bertolt Brecht.

Written in Paris in 1933, the original was meant as a ballet blaming capitalism as the source of all evil.

The concert version finds Anna I, a singer, describing the wayward exploits of her sister, Anna II, a dancer. However, they are alternative sides of the same person. A male quartet, acting as a kind of Greek chorus family, makes pertinent comments here and there.

While in the same vein as Mahagonny and The Threepenny Opera, I find Weill's music here far more attractive in its romantic sweep and opulent orchestration.

Using a minimum of props, Storm Large lures her audience with a modicum of sensual gestures and uses her extensive range of vocal colour with appealing ease.

As she guides our path through seven errant cities, she is suitably raucous in the staccato mood of Envy (San Francisco) and the waltzing half-sung, half-spoken Pride (Memphis).

Patrick Hyland, David Lynn, Benjamin Russell and Barnaby Rea are the pungent male quartet making Gluttony (Philadelphia) and Covetousness (Baltimore) their objects of snapping reproof. The RTÉCO responds to Maestro Ziegler with unalloyed brilliance.

In Part II Storm Large offers an amazing reinterpretation of Porter's I've Got You Under My Skin; is bittersweet in Newman's I Think It's Going to Rain Today, and nicely captures the distinctive style of Brel's You Go Away. The Rodgers/Hart classic The Lady is a Tramp explodes with dynamic vitality.

Irish Independent

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