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Messages - Il Grande Inquisitor

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1
The Coffee Bar / Re: Happy Birthday
« on: April 13, 2014, 08:58:39 pm »
Many happy returns, Don Basilio! :bubbly:   :bubbly:
 

2
The Concert Hall / Re: Forthcoming concerts in London
« on: March 29, 2014, 06:14:51 pm »
It's sold out now, chiz, chiz.

My impression, if you can have an impression of a theatre that's only been open a few months, is that it's always worth ringing the Box Office to see if anything has come back.

I didn't buy my ticket until about 10 days ago. They suddenly released a batch and I took the plunge, picking up a £40 pit bench. Most of the seats released were standing places in the upper gallery, but day returns are more likely to be decent seats.

3
The Concert Hall / Re: Forthcoming concerts in London
« on: March 29, 2014, 04:47:06 pm »
Contrary to what I've heard previously, there are still tickets available for L'Ormindo at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Of course they tend to be either the very expensive ones or the standing/restricted view ones, but if you can swing it either way please do come see it. The dress rehearsal last night went down a storm. I think it's a very very good show with excellent performances all around - and the production beautifully demonstrates how the theatre itself can be far more than a historical curiosity.

(Say hi in the Swan afterwards if you're there - I'll probably stop there after most shows.)

I wish I'd looked in and seen this earlier, or I'd have popped into The Swan afterwards! I went to L'Ormindo yesterday evening and was delighted to spot your name in the programme. I was down in the pit, with the divine Joelle Harvey wafting past my shoulder. I thoroughly enjoyed the opera, the playhouse (I went there for The Duchess of Malfi, so had experienced its delights before), the atmosphere - hearty congratulations to all. Ironically, I wasn't reviewing - the second Friday in a row where I've not be reviewing but had been confronted by 5 star performances!


4
Theatre / Re: The Duchess of Malfi - Sam Wannamaker Theatre, the Globe
« on: February 16, 2014, 12:57:16 am »
Quite so, Don B; indeed, charming and fascinating though the SWT is as a place to visit, seeing a play there makes you very aware of the advantages of modern theatres.  The SWT seems to cram the audience into any space available, with little regard for sightlines*.  And since the theatre is even smaller than I imagined this reduces the number of seats with perfect views – indeed it might be that, like its parent theatre, the SWT has no seats with perfect views.

I must have been enormously lucky with my seat! Lower Gallery, Row B Left, from where I had a very good view of the stage (Gemma Arterton especially  ;) ). I did wonder what those 'very restricted' standing views were like, as I had considered booking a return at one point. As it turned out, they suddenly put on two Thursday matinees, one of which I managed to grab a ticket for last week. I had also seen the Old Vic production and agree that Eve Best's Duchess was far more powerful, but then the whole production made a greater impact. However, I appreciated the intimate atmosphere of the SWP and loved the candlelight, but loved the padded bench somewhat less...

5
The Coffee Bar / Re: The Happy Thread
« on: February 16, 2014, 12:48:00 am »
Thanks again, everyone. Another happy r3ok moment this evening, when I bumped into JSC after King Priam at the Linbury.

6
The Coffee Bar / Re: The Happy Thread
« on: February 15, 2014, 12:42:57 pm »
Many thanks for all your good wishes!

Well done, IGI.   Indeed, London is the best place to be in your prime years - I lived there for more than 35 of them at Crouch End, Swiss Cottage, Maida Vale, Holland Park

The office is in Crouch End, Stanley. Arriving for my interview a good hour beforehand, I took the opportunity to have a poke around and found it delightful. Several friends have reported living there, or have friends who've lived there, and they all say it has a 'village' feel quite unusual for London, which - as a boy from the sticks - I rather like. I'll settle into the job for a few weeks before looking at various locations and house/ flat prices!

After my interview, I was due at the ROH for an appointment. Running a tad late, I made it from office to Stage Door in just over 35 mins, which is an attractive proposition at the end of the day!

7
The Coffee Bar / Re: The Happy Thread
« on: February 15, 2014, 09:12:09 am »
Has nobody been happy since December?! Well, I'm here to remedy that situation! Last week, I was appointed classical music & opera editor at Bachtrack, a review/ concert listings website. It publishes around 200 reviews a month, so I'll have my work cut out. It's also in London, so I abandon my 25 minute walk for a 2-hour commute - for the time being. Eventually, I plan to up sticks and head to the big city, which is both exciting and terrifying at the same time (so shall be seeking advice re location, location, location)!

http://bachtrack.com/new-classical-music-editor-appointed?destination=%2Fall-articles


8
Broadcast and Recorded Music / Re: Now spinning ...
« on: February 15, 2014, 09:05:30 am »
Handel Op 6 Concerti Grossi, played by Il Giardino Armonico.  Bracing, like the weather outside.

It's a cracking set. I like my Handel bracing!

9
The Concert Hall / Re: Does anyone take the Sunday Times?
« on: February 08, 2014, 10:57:49 pm »
PM sent, JSC.  ;)

10
The Opera House / Re: Adventurous programming from WNO
« on: January 16, 2014, 10:36:47 pm »
Just to report that Sarah Tynan has got back to me about the English translation of Boulevard Solitude. It is by Norman Platt and is published by Schott.

11
The Opera House / Re: Adventurous programming from WNO
« on: December 30, 2013, 06:18:07 pm »
On the other hand (as I'm sure you know!) they're written with intimate attentiveness to the intonation and stress patterns of spoken Czech - I mention this having recently read an extensive article on his speech-melody obsession, containing a selection of his rather fascinating transcriptions into musical notation of scraps of overheard conversation, street-cries, bird- and animal sounds etc.

Thanks, Selva. I shall enjoy reading that later. I knew Janacek set particular Czech speech rhythms, but in my experience, they also 'sit' very well in English (in a way in which Verdi, for example, often just sounds wrong). A lot is down to the sensitivity of the translation, of course.

12
The Opera House / Re: Adventurous programming from WNO
« on: December 30, 2013, 06:12:03 pm »
Thanks, IGI.  I suppose it's conceivable the brochure contains the same mistake as the website.  I have known this to happen though it really would be a 'sack the proof reader' case if it has happened here. 


I've just asked Sarah Tynan, who's singing Manon in Boulevard Solitude and, yes, it is definitely being sung in English! She's away at the moment, but will let me know who the translator is tomorrow, so I can let you know then.


13
The Opera House / Re: Adventurous programming from WNO
« on: December 29, 2013, 06:42:41 pm »

 Sung in English with surtitles in English (and Welsh in Cardiff and Llandudno).

What are WNO playing at?  They don't even credit a translator and this is the only piece in the season, as far as I can see, not being done in the original language.  Or am I showing my ignorance - is there an alternative English version created with the composer's co-operation?  My DVD just says Libretto Grete Weil after Abbe Prevost and Wiki  mentions an intermediate German piece: opera in one act by Hans Werner Henze to a German libretto by Grete Weil after the play by Walter Jockisch, in its turn a modern telling of François Prévost's Manon Lescaut

WNO's spring brochure also states it is being sung in English so, no, not a website error. WNO has form in this regard - I recall a year where Rossini's Barbiere was sung in English, whilst a Janacek opera (possibly Katya) was being performed in Czech in the same season. If there was an argument for performing anything in English, Janacek would surely qualify - difficult to get singers who can comfortably sing Czech, but also Janacek's vocal lines work quite well in English.

Last season's excellent Lulu was given in German, so this does appear to be an odd decision.

14
The Opera House / Re: Opera ticket bargains - post your finds here
« on: December 27, 2013, 05:23:25 pm »
Half-price-ish on top seats for the RO's "Manon": http://www.travelzoo.com/uk/entertainment/uk-shows-events/-85-Top-Royal-Opera-House-Tickets-Reg-up-to-156-1650417/?utm_source=top20_uk&utm_medium=email&utm_content=1650417&utm_campaign=uk_top20_2013_52_deal%3a1650417

Thanks, alywin. Unusual to see the Royal Opera discounting a show to this extent. They usually pitch their prices about right - I saw Wozzeck from the front row of the Balcony @ about £25. Their top price for the Stalls was £65, which strikes me as very reasonable indeed, unlike ENO which charges far too much. Most people I know don't bother to buy from ENO itself, but waits for the special deals and discounts to kick in.

If Manon isn't selling that well, I'd be surprised. I've tickets to see both Ermonela Jaho and Ailyn Pérez in the title role.

15
Announcements / Re: Simon Howard
« on: December 09, 2013, 06:23:26 pm »
Very sad news. I enjoyed our exchanges in the 'Now Spinning' thread, where we shared baroque enthusiasms. It's always an odd situation when you have only 'met' someone through their online presence/ persona, yet feel you know them and their personality, likes and dislikes so well. He will be missed.

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