An unlikely setting — Las Vegas, its airport and casinos — and a more unlikely cast of characters: the Chorus of flight attendants, an undercover agent called Doll, and a shady pair called Trench and Trilby . . .
Paul Muldoon’s libretto, Vera of Las Vegas, for Daron Aric Hagen’s opera, centres on a pair of IRA volunteers, now illegal aliens, Taco Bell and Dumdum Devlin (‘not Devine’). But is there more to Vera than meets the eye? Should her calling card really read LAPDANCER or just LAPD? Shadowed by the ‘Troubles’ of Northern Ireland, this ‘nightmare cabaret opera’ extends the author’s Six Honest Serving Men and implies a way, through conscience and ‘something like a confession’, to a point where things might begin to become more clear.
‘The enterprising Opera Theatre Company presented their latest offering – Vera of Las Vegas – at the Helix Theatre on Saturday as part of an extensive tour. The “Nightmare Cabaret Opera in One Act”, which is having its European premiere performances, is the work of US composer Daron Hagen and Armagh poet Paul Muldoon. The piece covers considerable ground in the development of its almost surreal fantasy. Taco and Dumdum, two IRA volunteers, illegally in the United States, find themselves unexpectedly in Las Vegas. Here, Taco almost succumbs to the allure of Vera, a transvestite lap dancer. There are serious and frivolous cross-plots and subplots to complicate things and whether or not the entire piece remains locked in Taco’s vivid imagination is open to question.’ — Irish Independent