[Victoria Fringe Festival 2018] Confessions of an Operatic Muse, A Review

29 Aug

Location: 
VCM Wood Hall
917 Pandora Avenue
*Victoria, BC

Remaining shows:
Sat Sept 1-9pm
Sun Sept 2-8:15pm

* Spoiler Alert

Canadian Comedy Award recipient Briane Nasimok had quite the life. His play, Confessions of an Operatic Mute is very autobiographical, and this playwright told me he does want to set this performance into a book. From a very young age of 8, he fell in love with theatre. He is perhaps best known as Ambrogio in The Barber of Seville when it played at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto. This character did not sing. His talent is unique such that in opera, mutes are essentially movie extras. Thankfully, he has done other work in the entertainment industry. Other credits include writing for YTV’s Uh Oh!

This show is very candid and is, at its core, about achieving success. It also recounts some of his romantic interludes (well, attempts at). Yes, he’s hit snags along the way, and I like how he found a path to happiness. To hear he had mentors who supported him in his many careers makes this show all the more engaging and meaningful.

With this work, I had to laugh the most when he talked “What’s Opera, Doc?” which helped set the stage for what this performer became. He recalls this Warner Brothers cartoon as Kill the Wabbit, but I knew what he was getting at. The set pieces he had on stage were not obvious, but I did notice the connection upon mentioning this cartoon.

It’s not fair to reveal those meetings with the numerous celebrities along the path to his success, and I wonder if he crossed paths with Donald Sutherland.

This show has been performed since 2015 at least. Perhaps its gone on longer, and as for when it will all get penned depends on when this performer is ready to set it all down as a memoir. In the meantime, if anyone likes to know what goes on behind the scenes of many a touring act, this performance is not one to miss. Like up-and-coming music bands, life on the road is tough, and to get used to it is not for the faint at heart. This talent has the bumps and bruises to reveal and he is not shy about it.

4 Stars out of 5

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