The Opera Locos
Rating: ★★★★ ½
Venue: Peacock Theatre, London
Cast: Enrique Sánchez-Ramos, Jesús Álvarez, María Rey-Joly, Mayca Teba and Michaël Koné.

Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in summer 2023, award-winning Spanish theatre company Yllana brings The Opera Locos to the West End. The Opera Locos is a comic opera show where five lyrical singers combine well-known opera classics including La Traviata and Madama Butterfly with rock and pop hits from Whitney Houston to Mika. The show integrates these musical genres with Yllana’s physical comedy style to create a show for audiences of all ages.

The Opera Locos is created and co-directed by Joseph O’Curneen and David Ottone with musical direction by Marc Alvarez & Manuel Coves, costumes and set design by Tatiana de Sarabia and lighting design by Pedro Pablo Melendo. From its success at Edinburgh Fringe, this comedy opera is taking audiences around Europe by storm and has finally hit London’s West End for its premiere.

The Opera Locos will ensure you leave the theatre with a smile on your face. Whether solo or with friends, the production makes for a fun night out, as there's something for everyone.

By the title of the show, you may think it leans towards classical opera and for some that would turn them away. However what O’Curneen and Ottone have created is a modern comedy opera filled with the classic operatic arias, with well-known current songs in the mix. The way this is done is truly clever and something I haven't seen on stage.

The staging is simple and gives focus to the performers, as the music is the leading force of the show. This goes hand in hand with the incredible lighting design. What Melendo does with the lighting ensures that it flows effortlessly with both the acting and music and enhances the storytelling well. The orchestra is utterly extraordinary and the vocal talent of this cast is jaw dropping; they make singing opera look so effortless.

From the lighting, to the music, to the five phenomenal actors, the show flowed beautifully. Something I am very passionate about is the pacing of a show and it was done expertly; the cast kept the audience's attention for the entire show.

The standout for me was the opera masterclass portion. This included house lights on and audience participation - something I definitely did not expect! But thought it was a hilarious addition, and a fresh take on theatregoing. As a trained vocalist, I was transported back to various vocal lessons with silly yet effective warm-ups.

As a whole, The Opera Locos is a feel good show for anyone - whether you're a die-hard fan of opera, or you feel indifferent to the genre. It’s clearly meant as an escape from reality for an hour and a half and it certainly does that. That being said, I do wish it was slightly longer - I was having too much fun!

You can catch The Opera Locos at the Peacock Theatre until 11 May!

You can book tickets to see The Opera Locos at the Peacock Theatre, here.

Review by Dani

**photo credit: Lighuen Desanto**

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