One Touch of Venus, Grand Theatre, Leeds
By Richard Fairman [Financial Times]
Published: December 13 2004 02:00 | Last updated: December 13 2004 02:00
It is no surprise that Kurt Weill's One Touch of Venus was one of his bigger successes in the US, running for more than 500 performances. As soon as Marlene Dietrich had rejected the title role as being too "sexy and profane" the queue for tickets must have stretched half the length of Broadway.
These days it is more or less unknown on stage, at least in the UK. Ever the explorer, Opera North has put on its archaeologist's gear again to go excavating for this rarity and proved what a rich haul the many and varied stage works of Weill still afford.
The Venus of the title is an ancient Roman statue, who springs to life and soon settles down enthusiastically to modern suburban life, reducing the ancient ethos of divine love to nothing more mystical than the "triumphant twang of the bed-spring".
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