Signor Deluso and The Women The Warehouse – Mainstage
Remaining Performances: Sunday, July 13 @ 5:30 PM Saturday, July 19 @ midnight (canceled) Saturday, July 26 @ 9 PM Sunday, July 27 @ 6:30 PM
They say: “Presenting Opera Alterna, a new DC opera company dedicated to creating dynamic, provocative opera performances, brings two contemporary mini-operas exploring classic themes of love, relationships and miscommunication. Signor Deluso is a comedy based on Moliere’s Sganarelle & The Women, a surrealist look at the problems between mother, son, and his wife.”
Trey’s take: Good for Opera Alterna, a gaggle of young D.C.-area singers who take their stuff — but not themselves — too seriously. And bravo for whoever picked the repertoire: two brisk little shorts from a New York composer who was all the rage until the ’70s, then suddenly fell out of favor — and moved to Hollywood, where he helped score American Beauty and The Road to Perdition, among other films.
The first mini-opera is the more challenging — not atonal, but dissonant, it’s set in the afterlife and concerned with a mother and a wife warring eternally over the man who’s all they have in common. But it clocks in at a skinny 10 minutes or so, and its heavily Freudian overtones are familiar enough that it needn’t frighten any but the most hardened operaphobes.
Signor Deluso, a slightly more substantial one-act based on an early Moliere comedy, is decidedly more accessible: a jealous wife, an outraged but cowardly husband, a dopey ingÃ©nue who (like the husband) leaps to dubious conclusions, and a saucy maid to set everyone straight at last — you know the genre.
It’s all creditably sung and amusingly staged, and everyone’s doing their best — down to the projected surtitles, even though it’s all sung in English — to make it as unthreatening as a Friday night at the multiplex. And at $15, it’s a fair sight cheaper than a night out with the WNO.
See it if: You think it’s good that this year’s Fringe lineup seems a little more diverse, discipline-wise.
Skip it if: You sprout hives at the sound of young lovers warbling — however sweetly — about their passion.