Geoff

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  1. The leap - into the trenches, into eternity? - of the last soldier at the end of MacMillan's Gloria.
  2. Just back from today's dress rehearsal of Mozart's Mitridate. No comments of course but I think it fair to say that Graham Vick's highly stylised production, first seen in 1991, looks bright and fresh and classy, particularly when one compares with many other "modern" opera productions we have had since. So if you've never seen it, please consider going.
  3. He's great-ish, in that the quiet passages show JK as great as he always been, whereas the high volume sections (of which there are some notorious examples in this part) suggest the voice changed during last year's trouble (it's all there, don't get me wrong, just not as blazing as it was, compare e.g. that Parsifal at the Met). Shouldn't we do this on the opera part of the Forum though?!
  4. Indeed. Incidentally there is a hint that setting up this series of Insights - MacMillan & Me - has not been plain sailing. In the magazine they are not detailed, but shown only as "Details will be published". The published start date is given as 18 October, whereas in the event they now start on October 26. So probably all a bit last minute. Perhaps I am being unnecessarily picky. But as the department responsible spelled their star guest Jonas Kaufmann's name three different ways on just a couple of pages of an Insight programme, each time incorrectly, I wonder if they are completely on top of things. Are they still called Education?
  5. With the opening up of other venues and a general expansion of programming, the ROH has in recent years increased the likelihood of scheduling clashes (if you want to see this, you won't be able to see this other thing). But I have never found any such to be a real problem, thanks no doubt to imaginative planning by ROH. However I have just found one in the autumn season which seems perverse. On November 1st ROH are giving one of only three performances of MacMillan's rare ballet Sea Of Troubles. This starts at 6.30pm in the Clore. But at 6pm we are also invited to a one-off Insight at the Swiss Church where "Prominent interpreters of Kenneth MacMillan’s groundbreaking ballet discuss his influence on their lives and careers". Both of these would seem to appeal to just about exactly the same people. The solution is presumably to go to a different night of Sea Of Troubles (assuming one can get a ticket) but the scheduling still seems odd to me. Congratulations on hosting Insights at the Swiss Church though, as that seems likely to make it easier to get tickets.
  6. This was quite an occasion. I always try to go to galas, as they are mad and odd, and often one sees amazing things one would otherwise not have the chance to. This gala was no exception but had the advantage of being in aid of an obviously good cause (not always the case) and featuring some wonderful dancers. For my taste Kretova was the absolute highpoint of many, wearing her superstardom truly gracefully, showing the most perfect lines. Just breathtaking. Also I had never seen The Rain before (since found two excellent recordings on YouTube) and was knocked out, both by the piece and the dancers. Too many other good things to list here, but very much hope the very strong line-up is matched when (as one assumes) this event becomes an annual part of the London ballet scene. All credit to the organisers, pity to see empty seats (as I wrote about elsewhere), let's get the word out next time!
  7. Yes, I found that Cosi so exceptionally odd that I wonder if SB had other factors to contend with. The cast were young and not equally talented, but going slow would normally just makes things even harder for them. It was a puzzle. Anyway, to Schehezade's most pertinent question, my answer is not a list of names but a list of essential (imho) job requirements:- * A singer's conductor, so the ROH starts to win back its international reputation as one of the few places (cf Met, Vienna) where all the greatest singers appear on a regular basis, and where casts stop being one-major-voice-plus-others, but where just about all parts are cast at the top of the game. * A conductor with international heft, so as finally to outclass and outsmart the ROH casting company of Katona and co, ditto. * A conductor with the cunning to outwit one of the most complacent bands in the UK and/or their reprentatives at the MU, so the orchestral standard goes up and becomes again reliably good most nights (rather than, as at present, good some nights). The brass, to name just the loudest offenders, could all usefully be re-auditioned, though the MU would no doubt try and stop this. Other qualifications - such as pleasing the Arts Council (fitting tick boxes as to youth, race, gender, outreach, commitment to young singers etc), or appointing a Brexit Brit (for reasons of cost and practicality if not politics), to one with strong repertoire, to someone collegially popular and so more open to world-class star engagements (someone who could entice say Muti back to ROH for a few nights) - are second order requirements. Imho.
  8. ....directed by Richard Jones
  9. Bit surprised no one seems to want this, given the range of dancers appearing. But perhaps there is something exciting on the same night?
  10. As a postscript to FLOSS's extended and thoughtful post, might I ask for someone who knows their theatre history to give us a guide to the old stage divisions, with maybe a reference or two? The different types - found at least as early as Commedia dell'arte and Shakespeare - survived well into the 20th century, though seemingly now forgotten (suppressed?). Examples of such types would include, not just the romantic hero and the ingénue, but actors/actresses known for playing e.g. "the king", "comic old woman" and so on. This way of thinking - which as FLOSS suggests has vanished with the rise of "all shall play everything", along with democratic/egalitarian theatre practice and the collapse of the repertory system as well as stable state-supported companies - survives in opera for obvious practical reasons, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fach My point is that certainly 19th century, at least, choreographers and theatre people generally, thought in such "stereotypic" ways (I imply no value judgement, just how a company was organised). I'd like to see a well-sourced list, say of the kind which theatrical managements would use for contracts.
  11. Some more information on this Gala from elsewhere on the Forum:-
  12. I have a spare ticket for next Sunday's Gala at the Cadogan Hall in London:- http://www.cadoganhall.com/event/natalia-kremen-ballet-foundation-gala-170618/ Front row Gallery £15. If interested please send me a PM rather than posting here. Thanks.
  13. And just about the last thing we saw was Osipova kissing Shklyarov full on the lips at their curtain call, even more passionately than on their first night in the short M&A run. Not so often seen on the stage of the Royal Opera. In any case, thank you all the company and KOH for this year, most especially, if I might just pick one piece out of so many, most surprising to me, Emeralds.