Friday 17 February 2006

Opera Tickets

Yesterday was one of those days when all our advanced bookings seemed to arrive. Our tickets for the next batch of the Royal Opera House season include a revival of their Duke Bluebeard and Erwartung double bill. We've not seen it before so we're going along, just in case....

Also at the ROH, we're going to see the new production of Sleeping Beauty which is going to use Oliver Messel's designs for the production of the ballet which re-opened the Opera House after the war. This production is iconic in the history of the Royal Ballet but is also iconic in my own history as my mother saw the production with Moira Shearer in the early 1950's and it had a profound effect on her. She never failed to enjoy recounting her delight both at the dancing and at the spectacular staging. Her stories helped inculcate my interest in ballet. So I will be fascinated to see a recreation of the production, but such returns to memory lane rarely work.

Also in the post, tickets to Grange Park Opera. Wasfi Kani's company never fails to offer an interesting mix of the familiar and unfamiliar. This year the unfamiliar is Massenet's Thais, an opera that I saw as a student in Manchester in a lovely production at the Royal Northern College of Music in 1977. Both the staging and the singing had a profound effect on me and help fuel my love of opera. Of the singers in that production the Thais was outstanding but I am not aware of ever hearing her again. The Nicias was a talented young tenor called Robin Leggate whose career has proved rather more enduring.

Since then I've come across the opera on record, but missed the ENO concert performance. So I'm looking forward to the performance immensely. The title role is being sung by Anne-Sophie Duprels who was Teresa in Benvenuto Cellin in Strasbourg recently.

Also on the Grange Park agenda is a revival of their 1950's L'Elisir d'Amore. Nemorino is Colin Lee who has done some rather good things at ENO recently. We are also going to the recital being given by Bruce Ford; a singer who I've heard in opera but never in recital.

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