It’s opera Jim, but not as we know it…

As part of our continuing mission to sample what the NYC cultural scene has to offer, and because the open air performances we want to see keep getting rained off, last Sunday evening found us downtown for our first Off-Off-Broadway* show.

Part of this year’s Fringe NYC festival, the event in question featured the artist known as La Donna Improvvisata. Otherwise known as Lisa Flanagan, la Donna is a formally-trained opera singer, accompanied by a fantastic pianist, who improvises a mini opera based on a character and some notes selected by the audience.
They were really impressive – at the performance we saw she ended up playing 6 different characters and telling a good story, with (as Tom put it) enough fluffs and hesitations that you were sure she was actually making most of it up along the way! I understand that she performs at various cabaret venues from time to time, and we’ll certainly be keeping an eye out, it was a really entertaining show and I’d love to see another one.

*N.B. as I understand it, these days the whole Broadway / Off-Broadway / Off-Off-Broadway thing actually refers to the size of the theatre, not its location. So you can attend an Off-Broadway performance on Broadway, or a Broadway show somewhere else (technically speaking the Met Opera would qualify as a Broadway venue, I believe – NYC readers, correct me if I’m wrong), and of course Off-Broadway shows regularly transfer to Broadway, grid-reference notwithstanding.

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