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Geoff

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  1. So let LS have the rights to his inept fiddling. Then let someone else with a better grasp of stagecraft do a new production, using Petipa/Ivanov and MacFarlane’s magnificent designs. What a show that could be. But no doubt too simple and straightforward a solution.
  2. Wonder if the various booking dates will stay? For example Friends are currently set to book rehearsals from tomorrow morning, General booking from April 15. Alex Beard's announcement - to "close the building to the public and cancel all performances" - leaves open the possibility that booking will go ahead as normal. Anyone know any more?
  3. From the live report on the Guardian website: Q: When will we know this is going to be over? Whitty says this will run for some time. "This is not two weeks and we’re done. This is a significant period of time."
  4. During today's official press conference, I think it was Chris Whitty who said this is not "two weeks and we're done" but significantly longer (the BBC probably has the exact quote). Some bodies have made date announcements, others (like the government or the ROH just now) are leaving things open. The experts are clearly monitoring events as they develop and it is far too soon to set an exact timetable. So when we see announcements saying such-and-such is closed "until April 10th" we should prepare for the possibility that the date will be extended.
  5. I apologise. I was sent this link by one of my senior UN colleagues who told me it is a good example of how to communicate these complicated issues to a general audience.
  6. For those in the UK who would like to remind themselves of the NHS doctrine, here it is, as set in 2011: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/213717/dh_131040.pdf
  7. For example: https://medium.com/@tomaspueyo/coronavirus-act-today-or-people-will-die-f4d3d9cd99ca https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-cancel-everything/607675/ and (a little older but still relevant) https://slippedisc.com/2020/03/some-expert-advice-on-coronavirus/
  8. Oh thank you for this: I too really like Max Raabe and am now kicking myself for not noticing he was back in London.
  9. How nice. I used to play this so can assure your daughter that those of us who have been criticising the playing were not confused by any lack of familiarity with Chopin. To help spot the difference, here's a nice recording of the piece (played properly) -- https://youtu.be/NkdgFfKIWbA
  10. Well, I already called it a mess in my original reply to you, that's just about all I feel like saying (does it deserve more?) However there is one point I think worth adding, particularly as you have reserved your harshest comments for Act II. The director's misguided ideas lead him to one extraordinarily stupid moment (no spoilers but I am sure you can guess): the "new" plot he inserts makes it impossible to concentrate on "ich wanke nicht" which is, as a friend said to me, a crime against Beethoven.
  11. Thanks Lizbie1, you are not alone in saying this: I was sorry not to be there. The two houses are a similar size, so the main difference might be the intervening year (which has not been unproblematic for JK). Also, where were you sitting in Munich? As with Otello, JK's dynamic range might (these days) feel better when one is nearer (or, as I said above, when the voice is transmitted via a microphone). Or else, there is nothing much to say and his "mild cold" simply meant he just dialled everything down to play it safe and so he may yet reach great heights in later performances, which is what we all want. The sound was not unpleasant - hope no one thinks that - just less than one wants from Florestan, too safe, too quiet, and somehow not engaging. When I think back to his Parsifal...
  12. I agree (just as well, as it was clear from the programme how much it had cost!) However I found it so fascinating I hardly noticed the dancing...
  13. Thank you for all your comments Penelope (this Forum always seems a better place when critical voices interrupt the cooing of ignorant fans) You are rightly cross and I hope Rupert C of the Telegraph is not the only reviewer to call this mess out. I would calibrate the wonderful Lise Davidsen slightly differently though: when someone sings that well I don’t notice looks or acting (Joan Sutherland? Birgit Nilsson? Jesse Norman? Montseratt Cabelle? I could go on) If we are really lucky, we were privileged yesterday to have been in early on the career of one of the truly great voices. As you were sitting much closer than I was, may I ask for a considered judgement about the “unwell”? Everyone in the business knows that “indisposed” can mean any number of very different things (for example in the case of one famous singer in Vienna - appropriately called Wiener - the whole city knew that when the stage team apologised for his “indisposition” it meant “drunk again”, and very funny it sometimes was too) It can for example mean simply, the singer asks you to understand that he is not going to be as good as he should be. At the risk of upsetting Kaufmann fans - and not having seen JK close up yesterday - I offer a possible interpretation of yesterday’s “indisposed”, one which has been used before by other singers at other times. Might it be that JK, during rehearsals, discovered that this part does not suit where his voice has got to these days? So one rests (no need to sing the dress rehearsal), save what strength you have for the opening night, and then leave it to technology to create a tremendous impression during the all-important live transmission? Just because JK looked at death’s door, does not mean he is or was (he was after all acting Florestan). And in case you think this is unnecessarily unkind, or conspiratorial, or whatever, I have some evidence: a fan, eager to protect her idol from accusations of singing when he should be in bed, has posted a picture of the two of them together after the performance - with JK looking cheerful (and not ill) - captioned “Just a mild cold”. What do you think, from your closer viewpoint?
  14. Compton set the bar by using the word "magnificent" (what she actually wrote was "piano pieces of Chopin magnificently performed by Robert Clark"). Maybe you're right and she does not have a record collection, or at least does not listen to it regularly or with care (she is not a music critic, having come to ballet via reviewing theatre). I was lucky enough to hear both of these great pianists live a number of times. Magnificent indeed. The main point however is a different one. If you look back at what I originally wrote, it was about basic competence in this repertoire (rather than the works being performed by a giant of piano history, which is of course a ridiculous expectation). It is about honouring Chopin by playing the notes correctly and well, and in so doing, honouring that wonderful ballet.
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