These one act operas, by Rossini and Poulenc respectively, were staged as “Love in Two Acts” by OA at the Arts Theatre, both conducted by Stephen Mould. Rossini’s short opera buffa is, as usual, very kind on the ear, eye and understanding, as assumed identities, a pompous guardian and true-love-triumphant make for a nice pas de huit. Emma Matthews and Kanen Breen as the lovers, led a fine cast, directed by Stuart Maunder.
Poulenc’s piece, on the other hand, is like a cross between Sorry, Wrong Number and and a Lifeline transcript, as Elle, on her disheveled bed, rends garments and pleads for her lover to return (he’s marrying someone else on the morrow). There was appropriately bleak staging by director Rachel McDonald but this is not a particularly worthy piece, although Yvonne Kenny, who constitutes the entire cast, made it seem more than it was.