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Geoff

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  1. First Operas

    PS To avoid any misunderstanding, my comments were intended for Timmie, who asked a specific question at the top of this thread as the result of his specific situation (seeing his first opera a few weeks ago and wanting advice on what he might see next)
  2. First Operas

    If you haven't already got the point, this is as bad a production as I know. So:- i) imho someone looking for their next opera to go to after only having seen Tosca might not want Wagner as their number two (as per what I said above) ii) if you really want to jump into Wagner next, then maybe not the Ring (see others comments, above) iii) and if it nonetheless has to be the Ring, then maybe hold back from starting on this most exciting of music-theatre journeys handicapped by a secondrate suburban staging only mounted again by ROH because they (as I happen to know as a fact) couldn't find the money to offer a new one next season. Just trying to help, other opinions are available!
  3. I'm appalled to hear this Sim. I have nothing but the utmost respect for those who volunteer to look after this site, without which we would all be worse off. We are all in your debt and, please, don't let a tiny minority distress you to the point you can't go on (as has happened elsewhere). We are all sincerely grateful. And happy anniversary, by the way! To those who sent such upsetting messages, cut it out.
  4. Grace on ice

    Not sure but we seem to be going round in circles somewhat. One doesn't need to read things on libellous websites, one only has to read what the investigation panel of the US Figure Skating Association said: this panel said she knew beforehand. I gave a reference in my earlier posting, above http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/01/sports/figure-skating-us-title-is-taken-back-from-harding.html But I also said this should be balanced by the fact that she was not convicted of this charge, indeed it seems Tonya Harding has always denied it. You decide!
  5. Grace on ice

    I thought her guilty plea (and conviction) was only for hindering the subsequent investigation, not to foreknowledge of the attack?
  6. Having been brought up with opera, working for a while at the opera and certainly being a lifelong opera fan (yes to both Callas and Sutherland, btw!) I must admit to noticing a difference when I came, late (over the age of 50 anyway), to a deeper appreciation of ballet. The nature of ballet discussion, writing and general responses, whether by amateur fans or professionals, does seem notably different. I suspect there could be a simple explanation, at least for some of the difference. Not many children dream of becoming opera singers, whereas every year sees another generation of aspiring dancers take their first ballet classes, supported by their families. Of course most eventually fall by the wayside, sooner or later, sometimes not until adulthood, but for so many of those in the audience to be either aspiring, active or former dancers (or their family) must inevitably change the demographic nature of the ballet-going community.
  7. Grace on ice

    The film - at least as I read it - gives Tonya Harding the benefit of the doubt on this point, while making clear that the story is a confused and confusing one. The evidence is muddled, including by the incentives provided by the US system for her (ex) husband to testify against her. I am no expert on the case but there are two important facts to bear in mind when writing about it: i) She was not convicted on this charge ii) On the other hand, see for example this news report: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/07/01/sports/figure-skating-us-title-is-taken-back-from-harding.html
  8. This has already appeared in Links but given the discussions elsewhere on the Forum perhaps this news story is worth highlighting: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/15/arts/dance/peter-martins-ballet-investigation.html
  9. This feature film, opening in the UK on March 1, tells the story of a ballerina recruited to a Russian intelligence service where "she is forced to use her body as a weapon". Polunin is in the cast. More here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2873282/
  10. Btw when I last looked, these shows are sold out
  11. First Operas

    Looks like this may start to sell soon. This review just out by a critic I have a lot of time for: http://www.theartsdesk.com/opera/iolanthe-english-national-opera-review-bright-and-beautiful-gs-all
  12. First Operas

    Thinking about your question, I have a couple of avoids when it comes to first time visits: Wagner, as many people can't get on with his work, and in any case the altered state one tends to have to put oneself in to get the most from the experience is not necessarily for beginners. A less obvious avoid might be Mozart, despite the Magc Flute traditionally having been fed to children. The major Mozart operas can feel as if one has had a full evening already by the halftime interval (even, yes, the Magic Flute). That said, Don Giovanni was my favourite opera as a teenager and the current ROH production is back soon, an exciting piece of staging whatever some people thought of the details. Moving to my main recommendation, Verdi (to stay at the same dramatic pitch as Tosca) because, as it happens, ROH Macbeth is coming towards us with a great cast (do anything you can to get a ticket, although I can't vouch for the production). You might want to save Falstaff, also on its way, for later in your opera career. Turning to the ENO, Turn of the Screw is coming (and this always seems to hit the spot, is it producer proof I wonder?) However, one never can tell. I recently got a standing ticket for Semiramide for a complete (adult) beginner, a friend from work. And that is a long show to stand for, as well as being pretty static, pretty daft and with music that not everyone finds exciting. She not only stayed to the end of the (very long) show, she loved it so much she is now converted from opera scepticism to wanting as much as she can get.
  13. First Operas

    Boheme - imho - is cast specific. These two, if they are the right two, can break your heart. But they have to be right, and that's rare. And the current, new, ROH production has, um, not yet found its feet.
  14. Carmen at Royal Opera House

    Apologies, it was in fact the distinguished Stephen Jay-Taylor commenting, not on Twitter but on the ROH's own comment page: >>Mariame Clement's projected production was scrapped, and this modish garbage brought in cheap and ready-made from Frankfurt, where it should have stayed.
  15. Carmen at Royal Opera House

    Possibly more familiar to the German public this show was intended for. Someone on Twitter points out that the only reason ROH has this production is because they cancelled a new one and then bought this one secondhand. So it is seemingly not a true co-production, but more of a cut-price stand-in.
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