By Lucy Jones
All this and cake too!
An exclusive Soiree with London’s only Opera Lap Diva, Baroness Tamara von Stein zu Leitershofen, kicked off with the Baroness in high heels, a gold ringmaster’s hat and a glittering midnight blue costume. Baroness Tamara opened her show by giving the audience a brief glimpse of her aristocratic European background. A Schloss here, a castle there – this opera diva had done it all. Interspersed with high notes, high kicks and operatic arias, a glamorous life in an age of grand dinners, soirees and house parties was revealed. She sang a mixture of old favourites from well-known operas, and short comic songs with flirty lyrics, ably accompanied by ‘Mistress of the Ivory Keys’, her partner in crime and pianist, Gabriela Linhartova.
With her act part stand-up and part TV confessional, Baroness Tamara drew audience members into her ‘boudoir’ one by one for interrogation. She illustrated why one couple might prefer to have boys and her impression of a teenage shopaholic had the men in the audience enthralled. Another couple were encouraged to be ‘more romantic’ with the Baroness giving tips including head massage techniques, as demonstrated on another member of the audience (verdict – very good!). Some of her questioning seemed a little too close for comfort for an audience in a small venue, but her mix of charm and bossiness ensured that she persuaded everyone to take part.
The Baroness rounded off the show by ripping off her frilly red dress to reveal under it – somehow – a full length brown velvet evening gown, which was perfect for the short sequence of songs with which she ended the performance.
For the grand finale a birthday cake, lovingly baked by the Baroness, was shared with the audience. Verdict – excellent and a perfect opportunity for yet more audience participation.
There are no more performances of The Opera Diva’s Boudoir at this year’s Fringe but to find out more about the Baroness, go to www.tamarastein.co.uk