This is a glorious experience from the opening theme tune, through commercial breaks, down to the 'traditional' preview of the next episode. Oh yes, there are seven episodes and you will be completely hooked after this, the first.
A funfest of campery performed with full classical skills
Gerard Noir is opera, just not quite as we know it. Having said which, true opera fans will get a whole other layer of fun with the operatic Easter Eggs hidden here. It is an unexpected joy when they reveal themselves.
Fans of The Rocky Horror Show will feel immediately at home, albeit the voices here are all fully classically trained. It is a wonderful sound and is delivered with a sense of huge enjoyment, the vocal equivalent of dressage horses allowed out for a good gallop. There is a special kind of humour that is generated when the operatic voice meets the pop culture wraparound. And this has it all, in a time-travelling, bed-hopping, zombie-slaying tale of how super-spy Gerard Noir saves the world. Gerard is a private dick (full disclosure – which there is – the dick does not remain private throughout the show) and this episode is the series opener for another six, just waiting to be unleashed.
As in the aforementioned Rocky Horror Show, the story is in the hands and rich but athletic bass tones of The Narrator, here, Jared Schwartz, who wrote the entire piece. He is fabulous. Our hero, Gerard, is brought to bare-chested, testosterone fuelled life by Michael Hewitt. You can immediately see this guy as the star of a long series of adventures. Bring them on!
It is lovely to hear a tenor get a chance at being the bad guy and Segio Mandujano as Tinkle Ted Tinkums is a very good baddie. Marvellous mezzos Caroline Hewit and Sabatina Mauro make a wonderful pair of powerful women. They are women to be reckoned with. And voices to be adored. Musical accompaniment is provided by Mary Dibbern who is the perfect, onstage foil to all the campery. She is worth watching herself.
I cannot wait for this full series to be unleashed on the world. It is that wonderful thing, a funfest of campery performed with full classical skills. That is a very special combination. Don't miss it.