Friday 27 January 2006

This month's Opera magazine seems to be the beefcake issue. Not only do we have a full page colour picture of a shirtless Simon Keenlyside in ENO's new Billy Budd, but there is also shirtless Nathan Gunn in Tobias Picker's disappointing (I gather) new opera for the Met, American Tradgedy.

Whilst on the subject of Billy Budd, it was interesting to read in Rodney Milnes's review that ENO trashed the previous production by Tim Albery because it was prohibitively expensive both to stage and to store.

Max Loppert's obituary/appreciation of the late Ronal Crichton made a rather interesting point about the craft of reviewing, "He (Crichton) had few equals in the difficult art of finding the just reviewer's approach toward that tricky area of worthwhile concert-hall or opera-house event located in the middle ground - neither 'disastrous' nor 'great'". Something that I've not got quite sussed in my own reviews, I suspect.

This month's issue is also a rather fun on to play spot the significant other in interviews, profiles and obituaries. The lack of a mention of a significant other being an indication that there isn't one, the person likes to keep their personal life private or the significant other is a person of the same sex; its always rather fun to try and read between the lines even if you are completely wrong!

I was shocked to learn that Elizabeth Harwood was only 52 when she died 15 years ago. She was such a figure of my student-hood and later that I had always assumed that she was far older.

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