Last Wednesday I got my morning off to a great start by spending a very leisurely couple of hours brunching with the lovely ladies from London Boutiques at Dover Street fash pack haunt, Automat. Having ignored my iPhone for longer than 5 minutes (shock, horror!) by the time I forced myself to take a peek, the number of unread emails bleeping at me was mildly terrifying. Just as I was considering throwing the bloody thing down the nearest drain I spied a message inviting me to the Opera di Peroni that evening, naturally my love of technology was restored pretty quickly as I hastily replied saying YES!
Any why was I suddenly being whisked off for an evening of opera? Well, Italian beer giant, Peroni Nastro Azzuro had decided to re-magine Puccini’s La Rondine, staging it in a vast warehouse space in Shoredicth and promising an immersive performance we wouldn’t forget. The idea of spending an evening doing something non fashion related was fairly exciting, plus it was the Opera di Peroni VIP opening night show and I was playing “date” to the wonderful Nik Thakkar. As this was a modern reinterpretation of classic opera and held in an East London warehouse, I had been instructed to “dress normal” and leave my cocktail attire at home. Initially I was disappointed to hear this I do so love to get glammed up but let’s be honest, there’s never a lack of opportunities to wear frocks and, as expected, the venue was freezing. After a quick glass of wine and gossip session at a nearby bar Nik and I made our way down an illuminated blue carpet (totes the new red) into an expanse of exposed brick and general coolness that we hastily decided needed hiring for a joint party. The crowd was a mix of hip media, PR and music types with the odd fashion face thrown in. While making my second trip to the cloakroom in five minutes (way to chilly to brave just a jumper, albeit a exceedinly chunky knitted one) I spotted Brit actor, model and rumoured squeeze of Rhianna, Dudley O’Shaughnessy as well as Mr Hudson wandering around sipping Peronis and waiting for the show to begin. Eventually, it did and do you know what? I really, really enjoyed the whole experience.
Opera di Peroni was unlike anything I’d ever seen as the singers wore entirely contemporary clothing and moved around the venue with the audience following them. Admittedly Nik and I did spend some of the performance giggling like teenagers for no particular reason but we were constantly brought back from these blips of random hilarity by the sheer beauty of the music and talent of the singers. Watching a woman clad in thigh skimming, red lace bodycon belt out the most exquisite rendition of a Puccini classic in between swigs of beer is a slightly surreal experience but definitely one I won’t forget in a hurry!
When the show drew to a close, or rather reached a suitable dramatic, operatic finale we headed to Pizza East for a late night snack and a cocktail or two before heading home to hit the hay. Opera di Peroni’s next destination is the Paintworks venue in Bristol (Bath Road, BS4 3EH) on the 27th and 28th of March. Tickets are £10 each and can be booked online at www.operadiperoni.com… Any Bristol bound readers, I urge you to check it out!
Love Ella. X