IT was my first time at the Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre and, not to mention, my first time watching Italian opera – or any opera for that matter.

But, to my surprise, I was immediately taken in to the stage presence as the audience grew silent when Don Alfonso and maid Despina appeared.

The Mozart comedy tells the story of two sisters, Fiordiligi and Dorabella, and their fiancés Ferrando and Guglielmo, who, after a wager with the cynical Don Alfonso, test the girls’ fidelity by posing as ‘Albanian’ strangers and try to seduce them. Aided by Despina, Don Alfonso’s plot has the girls hoodwinked and comical scenarios soon follow with betrayal and lust sprinkled on top.

Throughout the performance, a projector shone ‘weather warnings’ suggesting funny plot-based reports such as ‘chance of fidelity and sham marriages’ with the odd bits of the plot and speech to give the audience an idea of what was being said; very beneficial for those of us who needed to brush up on our Italian.

For me, it was Ferrando (Robert Lomax) and Guglielmo (Oskar McCarthy) who stole the show with their hilarious acting and pitch-perfect singing.

The duo, among other cast members, were constantly getting in and around the members of the audience; whether it was serenading them or sensually caressing their face with a peacock feather.

The performance made my skin tingle with near enough every song which was bellowed out or softly whispered across the room.

The end of the performance came and was quickly followed by a standing ovation. I enjoyed the performance and my first opera experience. Lo adoro!