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by BWW News Desk
Men Alive - The Orange County Gay Men's Chorus continues its successful 11th Season with POP GOES THE OPERA, a high-concept concert experience that blends two musical styles—Classic Opera and Contemporary Pop music—on the same stage. The concert event opens Friday, March 30 at the Irvine Barclay Theatre with two additional shows on Saturday, March 31. In their approach to tackling this show, the group's mantra has become "This ain't your Grandmother's Opera!"
Pop-Opera—or "POPERA" as they have now lovingly called their latest extravaganza—is Men Alive's own artistic fusion that mashes up two opposite genres on the musical spectrum, then adding, of course, their signature flair that's become synonymous with all their entertaining shows. The result of this inspired idea sparked a re-imagining of several well-known songs including Lady Gaga's "The Edge of Glory" performed as a soaring pop-and-opera remix, a jazzed-up "Anvil Chorus" that's got plenty of pep, and even Puccini's "Nessun Dorma" transformed from tender aria to hard-rockin' power ballad!
And in this concert, audiences shouldn't be surprised to hear a bit of Verdi, Beethoven, and Gilbert & Sullivan right next to a bit of Leonard Cohen, Annie Lennox, and Madonna!
"This is the most creative concert we've ever done," gushes Men Alive's Founder and Artistic Director Rich Cook, who is once again conducting the 130+ voices along with Assistant Director / Principal Accompanist Bob Gunn.
Though the concept of POP GOES THE OPERA may seem different on paper, the resulting show stays true to the superb wow factor audiences have cheered for in past seasons. Expect more healthy doses of biting wit, emotional moments, amazing voices, intriguing arrangements, and even a few pleasing surprises.
And in a daring first for the chorus, Men Alive is staging a full, live-action re-enactment of the Warner Bros. cartoon classic "What's Opera, Doc?" that featured Elmer Fudd and Bugs Bunny. (Be forewarned: you'll get "Kill the wabbit, kill the wabbit" stuck in your head long after you've left the theater).
As with all Men Alive shows, POP GOES THE OPERA will have a plethora of magnificent costumes, fabulous, high-energy dance numbers, and incredibly diverse songs that showcase the group's ability to transition from exuberant pop to "legit" choral music. Along the journey, the audience will be guided by "The Popperettas" through the whole amazing experience.
Photo courtesy of Men Alive Chorus.
Performances of Men Alive: The Orange County Gay Mens Chorus' Concert "POP GOES THE OPERA" at the Irvine Barclay Theatre opens Friday, March 30 at 8 pm and continues with two shows on Saturday, March 31 at 3 pm and 8 pm.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.TheBarclay.org, by phone at (949) 854-4646 or in person at the Irvine Barclay Theatre box office. The Irvine Barclay Theatre is located at 4242 Campus Drive in Irvine, CA.
About MEN ALIVE - THE ORANGE COUNTY GAY MENS CHORUS:
Men Alive - The Orange County Gay Men's Chorus was founded in 2001 by Artistic Director Rich Cook. In the short time since, Men Alive has quickly grown into one of Orange County's largest choruses and an active & respected partner in Southern California's arts scene. Since its first rehearsal in September 2001, Men Alive has grown from 13 singers to more than 150+ singers and volunteers. Now celebrating it's 10th Season, Men Alive continues to produce full productions that combine song, dance, and theatrics to provide shows of enormous popular appeal for all ages and backgrounds. The Chorus performs a wide range of musical styles including classical, jazz, gospel, traditional, contemporary, and popular. Several major and noted guest stars have joined Men Alive in performance over the years, including Michael Feinstein, Debbie Reynolds, Sam Harris, Leslie Jordan, David Burnham, Nikki Blonsky and Broadway legend Bernadette Peters.
For more information, visit www.MenAliveChorus.org.