Toi Toi Toi @ Paradise in Augustine's

Review by Antony Sammeroff | 22 Aug 2013
  • toi

Toi Toi Toi (break a leg, if you're an opera singer,) is one for real classical music lovers. A low budget opera at the Edinburgh Fringe, about putting on a low budget opera... at the Edinburgh Fringe. With much humour and beautiful singing from this Scottish duo: Lizzie and John (or should we say Elizabetha and Giovanni?).

The music synthesises themes from many favourite operas, and it is a particularly enjoyable surprise when the overture from The Marriage of Figaro merges seemlessly into an all-too-brief flash of The Bridal Chorus. In this way it forms the operatic equivalent of a jukebox musical, with all the greatest hits laid out - by string quartet.

Some of the dialogue is a bit trite, the language a bit bland - it could be more flowery, but if you love the singing you may not mind at all. Perhaps a little more aria and a little less recitative would lift this hearwarming performance higher still, nonetheless there are some excellent passages and great laughs, including in-jokes about Scotland (Govan is renamed Govanny, and gets a solid chuckle,) and others for opera-lovers about budget cuts and the fate that awaits the unsuccessful opera singer whose dreams fall through - a life in arts admin.