“IF you think opera is antiquated art form in which tragic heroines take an eternity to die, then you need to see War Sum Up.
This extraordinary production from Denmark-based company Hotel Pro Forma is an example of how opera is being redefined, leaving old-fashioned opera companies struggling to keep up. The concept may seem unlikely - a Danish production sung in Japanese by a Latvian Choir - but War Sum Up transcends cultural boundaries in its contemplation of the devastating effects of war.
The result is quite simply one of the most thrilling nights of theatre you could ever hope to see.
I was not alone in being gobsmacked by this production.
It is largely an ensemble opera, sung by one of the world’s greatest choirs, the Latvian Radio Choir, with four excellent soloists drawn from their number, notably Ieva Ezeriete, who was superb as the Gamemaster.
The direction by Kirsten Dehlholm is tightly focused on a two-level platform with a thin strip of stage in front filled at first with apparently random bits of furniture.
Digital projections are used sparingly but with striking effect.
Everything about this production has the stamp of originality, honesty and dramatic insight without any gratuitous gimmickry.
The result is completely engrossing, and the singing sublime.
We are indeed lucky to have this show here, given that two days ago the choir was in Latvia and in another two days they will be on their way to New York.”
War Sum Up
Hotel Pro Forma