The Information on: `Paul Bunyan'

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The Independent Culture
What Is It?

Revival of Francesco Zambello's bold production of Benjamin Britten's 1941 operetta Paul Bunyan (right), directed by Richard Hickox, and based on the myth of a Swedish lumberjack and his cronies. The absence of dramatic build is more than compensated for by magnificent singing and eminently hummable tunes.

Who's In It?

A strong ensemble performance includes Timothy Robinson (Hot Biscuit Slim) and Kurt Streit (Johnny Inkslinger) as the principal tenors, Jeremy White as Hel Helson, with Peter Coleman-Wright as the narrator. Superb support comes from the Royal Opera chorus and orchestra.

What They Say About It

"Musically a miracle, dramatically a dog," Annette Moreau, The Independent.

"Benjamin Britten's Paul Bunyan is a wow. Take the kids, take your parents, take anyone who thinks that they don't like opera," Rupert Christiansen, The Daily Telegraph.

"The closing image shows the whole company, motionless, gazing into the audience, left on their own after the abdication of their leader to build a new world. Every single face on stage was saying something. Unforgettable," Rodney Milnes, The Times.

"...fresh and amiable and entertaining," Richard Fairman, The Financial Times.

Where You Can See It

Paul Bunyan is at Sadler's Wells, London EC1 (0171-863 8000) until Saturday