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Everything posted by Geoff

  1. Indeed. Netrebko has come in for criticism on occasion but generally from those who are relying on recordings/cinema transmissions. I have been following her since her first Violetta in Salzburg (2005? I was sadly away for her earlier Donna Anna at ROH) and have never once been less than overwhelmed by her live performances. At the rehearsal for Forza I overheard someone ask their friend, how does she make the sound go all around you? That is indeed one of several special qualities which have rightly placed Netrebko into the very top of the international league. Only a few singers in any generation achieve that position and at the moment she just seems to be getting better and better. Kaufmann is in a similar position in terms of fame but for me, if one is being really honest, he didn’t appear entirely comfortable in the part and generally didn’t quite make the sound one hopes for in a Verdi tenor. But then the opera was commissioned by a tenor best known for singing Arnold (William Tell) and Manrico (Trovatore), which suggests a rather different quality to Kaufmann’s Germanic sound. But the crowd cheered him so perhaps I am being too picky. He wasn't anything less than really good. There was some great singing from Tezier - also cheered - and Furlanetto, whose scene with Netrebko was a dramatic high point, in part as the director left it alone. The production is unnecessarily distracting in several places (I am going back a couple of times and now know to keep my eyes shut during, for example, the overture). And I wonder if the original staging by Loy had quite so many black stage curtains delaying the action and clumsily slowing down the performance.
  2. I spoke to the usher who had tried - but failed - to tackle him. She, perhaps also intimidated, clearly felt there was nothing more she could do.
  3. Thanks SheilaC. I suspect the Swan Lake is actually 23 February. Does anyone know which screenings are actually live and which are repeats?
  4. You are right Capybara, I did not make enough clear in my account, apologies. The man in question was a hulking big chap (albeit with a sweet little jewel in his earlobe) so his looming forward was even more of an issue for those who were near him, who happened to be small, female and old enough that perhaps discretion or natural wariness held them back from intervening too directly. I believe - but can’t prove - that the reason the two women adjacent to him left in an interval is that they preferred to give up on the event to taking on the bloke who was stopping them seeing anything, Whereupon he moved up so his new neighbour - also small, also older, also female - finally spoke up. I tried to indicate this in shorthand in my post but in these days of language policing I should probably have spelled it all out in detail. The trouble was primarily between one “large” “younger” man and several “smaller” “older” women. In an age of enforced equality I should probably not notice such differences but I can’t help it: I am from the age of chivalry and so I do notice. Sorry for any unintended offence. I wish my original post could reach the bloke in question though: he is someone I would *like* to offend.
  5. Just found another problem. Say you try and outsmart the scrolling (a bit) by setting filters. You then eventually find the event you are interested in, check it out, maybe buy something - and then go back a stage in order to choose another show. However there is no way of staying inside the universe you have selected: the filters are automatically reset back to zero, meaning you start your search from scratch. It is as if they want to make it as hard as possible for us to give them our money. Maddening.
  6. Someone I know said he was sounding fantastic at the weekend. No word on the baby as yet.
  7. Rehearsal today so no comments on the show as such yet. Just to say: Netrebko turned up, Jonas Kaufmann did not (“indisposed”). Wishing him schnelle Besserung.
  8. Calling out the arrogant man in Row A Amphi at the ROH Forza rehearsal today: * Watching appalled from a distance I noticed that however often you were asked - by those next to you, behind you, as well as by staff - to try not to lean forward blocking the view of others, you then determinedly leant forward even further. * But you got very upset with a little old lady to your left when she finally said something (this was towards the end of the show) and told her off for speaking, during the show. So are you the pot or the kettle?
  9. Anna, thank you, it sounds like you gave them a lot to think about. My advice: send it all again to them by email (or if that feels like too much work, why not just send them a link to your post?) That will make it much harder to ignore everything you said or just cherrypick the criticisms they want to engage with.
  10. The site is now truly horrible and will end up alienating all those who try and do more than flick (or rather scroll) through it, from first time bookers to the rest. It seems the current design is probably the result of i/ Making top level decisions on general principles (attract new/different customers, for example) while forgetting to include “maintaining or improving current functionality” as a key strategic goal ii/ Prioritising design ideas to deliver (i) while not properly tasking or supervising the web designers (a trade that can get as easily lost in its own not-always-sensible ideas as any other specialist activity) iii/ Not checking the result against a full list of criteria iv/ Nor doing beta testing with enough different kinds of user (eg teenage and other new users; those who regularly spend thousands a year at ROH; those who book one show at Christmas; those who visit several times a week) Last year’s row about the marketing consultants retained by Lucy Sinclair was a sackable offence in my view. This ill-conceived redesign is bad enough that here too heads should roll. But we know this won’t happen. ROH is a protected third sector organisation (once-in-never-out is the general rule) And Alex Beard’s long experience at Tate is not encouraging: the Tate is an organisation that tries to solve problems by adding new layers of management, just as has happened in recent years at ROH. The alternative? Fewer but cleverer people, less pre-occupied with corridor politics and their own position, could work wonders. Sadly we can’t hope for this given the current managerialism that is running riot at Covent Garden. This is all not going to end well but will nonetheless be determinedly sold as a “brave new world”.
  11. What’s the line on split infinitives this week, or doesn’t the ROH stylebook say?
  12. “Underpowered”? Well maybe so - but then against some standards it was quite an underpowered evening all round (this goes to the wider conversation as to what classical ballet should be these days and where the current RB company fits in with that, deep waters and not for me to go into here or anywhere really as I’m a beginner on that subject). What I particularly appreciated about Yuhui’s solo was her musicality. I love it when a dancer conveys the impression of dancing to or with the music, rather than just doing the steps while the music plays. This conductor is I suspect not the easiest to work with (he gives the impression of being understandably interested in pointing up aspects of the “new version” of the score, which is however perhaps not really a priority) but for me her few minutes shone very brightly that evening. Reminded me of her lovely variation in the recent run of Bayadere.
  13. I’m sure I know even less than the little you know, but the work itself is by Brecht and Weill, in which repertory Meow Meow recently triumphed in the West End and on Radio 3 (with Weimar specialist Barry Humphries). In fact she was rather more authentic than the somewhat over-promoted Ute Lemper. The use of the word “burlesque” in the context of Weimar cabaret is a new one to me. The word has a long history but has come to mean striptease to many people, and vaudeville-like entertainment to Americans, neither of which have anything to do with the songs of Brecht and Weill.
  14. Apologies but I am not sure what this refers to. You wrote: >>As far as I can tell, there were NO La Forza seats available when General Booking opened. I would be delighted to be proved wrong if anybody managed to get any. And I quoted Bruce Wall as having written: >>Only one Forza ... Sorry, ROH, I refuse to pay £24 for a dreadful slips place after which you have to fork out for a chiropractor. ...from which it seems he could only find tickets for one Forza, a "dreadful slips place" he could have bought but chose not to. Which suggests there WERE tickets available when General Booking opened. Or have I misunderstood?
  15. You already asked this question. And, unless I have misread what Bruce Wall wrote, I already answered it: http://www.balletcoforum.com/topic/19422-what-trick-did-i-miss-with-la-forza/?do=findComment&comment=271269
  16. A partial answer, if I might repeat what I just posted elsewhere, is on the front page of this morning’s The Times (hope the link works):- https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/at-3-435-per-seat-verdi-fans-are-in-for-a-fright-attheopera-l076mzhpt?shareToken=062944e0ea9b944970af0be73c9e09a8 If anyone has trouble accessing the Times story, there is a ripped off version on Mail Online: https://mol.im/a/6664125
  17. In case anyone is still in any doubt, Twitter (and this Forum) was right to be suspicious. This morning’s front page of The Times has the story (hope the link works):- https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/at-3-435-per-seat-verdi-fans-are-in-for-a-fright-attheopera-l076mzhpt?shareToken=062944e0ea9b944970af0be73c9e09a8 If anyone has trouble accessing the Times story, there is a ripped off version on Mail Online: https://mol.im/a/6664125
  18. At least one person seems to have got a ticket, although it sounds as if the process was gruelling:
  19. There are Encores scheduled in London for this coming Sunday. I will be going again!
  20. Just out of tonight’s ROH Traviata with Jaho (back at Covent Garden in that role for the first time in seven - ! - years) so want to say what everyone already knows: Jaho is the real deal and this is wonderful. If anyone is wavering about getting a ticket, do what you can to get in to see her (I am going back next week). She is doing this once more - the live cinema next Wednesday - which is of course sold out but there are ways to get in. The cinema transmission will be fine but that technology cannot match the extraordinary sound she makes in the theatre.
  21. Dunno, that’s for others who understand ROH ticket release patterns. The point of my post, however, was simply to give Forum members a bit of a jump on some (normally hard to obtain) Insight seats, rather than for any performances. This is obviously long outof date now though. Sorry for any confusion.
  22. Dead parrots? After being nailed to poles and stuck on wrists? They were just resting. She was also given the interval interview, so is certainly being pushed by management. I rather liked the acting.
  23. Exactly, thank you. Some of what you say is echoed in this morning’s lengthy - and blistering - comment following LW’s “review”, you might like to take a look.
  24. I so agree annamk but imho there is another factor even more important than how the music is conducted: this ENB run has, as you suggest, been brilliantly prepared. The details of the dancing have been razor sharp, clear to the back of the Balcony, dedicated as much to story-tellng as to expression, and bringing out the moment by moment intention of the choreography. This has particularly been so with Manon and DG, so along with you I single out the guests who worked with them.
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