by Ronald Harwood
The setting is a retirement home for musicians. Three elderly former opera-singers, who often worked together, are sitting out on the terrace. Reginald, is quietly reading a serious book, but Wilfred is chuckling about sex, as he regards Cissy, lying back and listening to music through her headphones.
They are about to be joined by newcomer Jean, who was a major star in her day and to whom Reginald was once unhappily married.
Is there any chance that these four will ever sing together again? A gala concert is about to take place at the retirement home to celebrate Verdi’s birthday. Three of the four are keen to recreate the third act quartet “Bella figlia dell’amore” from Rigoletto and one is not. But the play eventually moves to an uncertain conclusion when they don costumes and lip-synch to their own retro recording.
Harwood took his inspiration from a documentary called Tosca’s Kiss, about Verdi, who in the last years of his life, built a mansion for himself, and in his will he stipulated that, when he died, he wanted all the opera singers that had once played La Scala, and the musicians who are now living on hard times, which happens frequently, to be able to have a place to live. He donated his mansion to these people.
Playing ages all over 65
- Wilf – is confident, cheeky. A bit of a ladies man!
- Reginald – is more timid, quite particular in his manner. A little OCD.
- Cissy – forgetful and suffering from dementia
- Jean – the typical leading lady, confident, bolshy but with a hidden insecurity from having falling on heard times
If you have any questions please get in touch either via Facebook Messenger or email
I look forward to seeing you at auditions in February.
Elliott Bunker – Director