Friday, 6 January 2006

Weekend Plans

Tonight we're off to Covent Garden to see their revival of The Bartered Bride; the main draw being Sir Charles Mackerras in the pit. The Bartered Bride is one of those curious character comedies which have a vein of cruelty running through them. Francesca Zamballo's production for the Royal Opera is one of those which take the work at its entertaining face value. I think the more interesting productions of the opera are the ones that manage to combine this entertaining quality with some feeling of quite how cruel Jenik is to Marenka; hiding the facts of his upbringing from her and forcing her to believe that she is going to be married almost against her will. The ending is apparently happy, but part of you should question whether Marenka will ever trust Jenik again. Zamballo is content to just give us sparkling entertainment, but besides Mackerras in the pit we have Susan Gritton as Marenka and Timothy Robinson returning to the role of Vasek hot on the heels of his debut as Captain Vere.


On Sunday we're off to a matinee of Edward Scissorhands at Sadlers Wells. Matthew Bourne's new dance work based on the eponymous film has not garnered completely uncritical reviews but we were curious. I have a sort of love-hate relationship with his work, finding the comic/jokey rather unsatisfactory; so the only parts of Swan Lake that I really enjoyed were the bits with the Swans (plus parts of the Act 3 ball scene); the first Act scenes sending up the Royal Family were almost too much for me, especially the bit in the disco. But the Swans somehow transcended this and made up for it all. Though I could not help wishing that his choreography was a bit more expressive and more interesting


Anyway, Sunday's performance should be interesting, at least. I'll report back.

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