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Classical Music Review

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Loose, Wet, Perforated


Composer: Nicholas Vines: Loose, Wet, Perforated
Label: Navona Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 13 October 2017

Commissioned by the Boston-based experimental opera company Guerilla Opera, this 2011 recording of Nicholas Vines’s surreal opera Loose, Wet, Perforated, coincides with a new production of the opera that involves video projection and audience interaction.

The story at the centre of this modern opera follows the trials of two protagonists, ‘Loose’ and ‘Wet’. Both are competing to ascend within a secret organization, and at stake is the possibility of fame and fortune, or total isolation. The staged production’s sets, costumes, and, in particular, video projection underscore the opera’s dark humour and absurdism. With these elements inaccessible on the audio recording, the listener is still transported into the opera’s world by Vines’ enthralling score and libretto.

Loose, Wet Perforated is a modern opera which, I think it's pretty safe to assume, is a multi sensory experience. So, unless you've seen the production, you're only getting half of the experience by listening to the music.

Personally it didn't do anything for me. I am a casual fan of opera, but I prefer the old conventional approach. I'm the same with classical music - I enjoy modern works as long as they move me or provide an emotional response. Sadly, a lot of modern releases instantly turn me off. Messing with the format is all well and good; experimentation is fine. But not for experimentations sake. I still feel you have to bear in mind the end audience's experience instead of delivering self indulgent nonsense.

Sadly, with Loose, Wet, Perforated, it tends to lean heavily towards self indulgence. As I mentioned previously, you'll get a lot more out of it if you've experienced the opera live first.


Darren Rea

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