Hard To Handel | Max RieblMax Riebl, Melbourne’s favourite countertenor has done it again, bringing his latest baroque/pop mash up to the masses with Hard to Handel. After the success of The Great Pretender, Riebl continues to break through the barriers of elitist opera with his down to earth approach to musicianship, and command of the material.

Taking on some of the most difficult aria’s originally sung by the castrato; those young men of the baroque era blessed with angelic voices who in order to maintain their talent were subjected to rigorous training, not to mention the risky procedure of castration in order to prevent vocal changes due to puberty.    

Riebl explains these castrati were the first superstars of the music world. Girls would swoon, composers would create great works for their favorite’s and the top performers would command sums of half a million dollars a performance. The comparison is not dissimilar to today’s pop stars, and Riebl effortlessly intertwines modern pop with ancient baroque, finding the similarities between Farinelli and Whitney Houston.

Both exceptional performers who were the finest singers of their era, both a spectacle to behold and both were to an extent one might say “freakishly talented”.

This concept of the “freak” of the “different” and for the castrati, the genderless, is touched upon throughout Hard to Handel, and Riebl finds the balance between humor and respect with the issues that remain at the forefront of today’s news.

But it is of course Riebl’s own freakishly beautiful voice that the audience have come to hear and as he covers some of the more difficult arias of history he does not disappoint.

Mixing it in with some modern superstars, Riebl sings a divine cover of Dusty Springfield’s “You Don’t have to Say you Love me” and finished with a very special Radiohead treat for all the fans in the audience. Joined by Adam Cook on keyboard, they are a dynamic duo. Through the magic of music and Riebl’s remarkable talent for bringing opera to the masses, Hard to Handel isn’t so hard after all, in fact, it’s a history lesson for anyone who loves, likes or simply listens to music, from classical to contemporary, Riebl covers all the bases and will leave you breathless with his talent.

The Butterfly Club
Hard To Handel
by Max Riebl

Director Max Riebl

Venue: The Butterfly Club | Carson Place Melbourne
Dates: 23 – 28 April 2018
Tickets: $28 – $32
Bookings: thebutterflyclub.com

 

 

Related Articles

Laurinda | Melbourne Theatre Company Laurinda | Melbourne Theatre Company
High school. It’s a place many of us do not wish to revisit. Awkward teenage years, hormones, and the unspoken rules that decide who reigns supreme in the social structure effect all students...
Georgian Songs | Tsinskaro Georgian Songs | Tsinskaro
For me the whole evening was a revelation, a thrilling exposure to a tradition I am unfamiliar with. Tsinskaro is a vocal ensemble of 4 singers based in Melbourne, who dedicate themselves to the...

Most read Melbourne reviews

While the musical is jam packed with the finest and most fabulous 90s hits and the cast are...


The Sound Inside is a gripping, intellectual play that is packed with literary references and...


Come Rain or Come Shine is a faithful adaptation of a rather boring short story by Nobel...


With the world the way it is right now, we can all use a little escapist joy. Finucane & Smith...


SIX is a truly magical night at the theatre, a wonderful moment of joy to experience in the...