Tuesday 15 September 2009

Hear, hear!

Rupert Christiansen has an interesting piece over at the Telegraph. He comments on the fact that there is little that is English or National about ENO, neither their repertoire nor their performers.

His list of major English operas which they have not staged makes interesting reading, 'King Arthur, The Yeomen of the Guard, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Troilus and Cressida, Albert Herring or A Night at the Chinese Opera'. To this I would add the operas which were once popular and which deserve some sort of investigation, both Ivanhoe and The Immortal Hour had significantly long runs when first produced, and surely The Wreckers deserves another go, particularly as there is now a new translation (the libretto was written in French) which removes some of the major infelicities. Also to this list we ought to add Goldschmidt's Beatrice Cenci.

Many years ago, ENO had a programme of doing quick and dirty revivals of operas which would not otherwise be done, Rienzi was done in this way. Could we not surely have a similar scheme to put some of our English operas before the public.

His other complaint is that the company does not nurture native talent. Their young artists programme ought surely to be more firmly slanted towards UK singers rather than being indifferent to their origins - a laudable intention, but one which I think is a rather doubtful one when you are talking about the training programme of our National opera.

One of the regrets of recent years is the the short lived previous regime, for all its faults (both actual and perceived) seemed to be taking the English National role a little more seriously. But the current management seem to have dropped all of Sean Doran's ideas, whether good or bad.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, a fellow composer on blogspot! I really found your blog interesting. It complements my blog well, so why don't we follow each other? It would help both of our sites. Happy blogging!


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