Monday 5 December 2005

To ENO on Saturday for the first night of their new production of Billy Budd; the production itself is not that new having been seen previously in Wales and Australia. The production seemed to have been created with 2 thoughts in mind; first it was not to be a traditional depiction of ship-board life, but something more abstract; secondly, the production had to tour. The result uses a flexible hydraulic platform which features as a constant and moves constantly. I understand that in the productions previous incarnations, the platform dominated the stage but at the London Coliseum it looked simply marooned and extremely unlovely. My full review will appear in the next day or two on Music and Vision, but reading the existing reviews what is fascinating is how tolerant the critics have been of the look of the production.

On Sunday I was singing at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, as usual. It was one of those days where the cycle of the Christian year clashed with the vagaries of singers’ timetabling; we were a little low on numbers but the time of the year rendered Bruckner’s Virga Jesse suitable. So sing it we did, with the lower 3 parts just 1 or 2 singers per part – not the ideal forces for such a big work, but it went very well.

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