Oh dear this is a really grim place by any measure, even for someone who has visited Tulsa, OK or Merrillville, IN. However it has the advantage for me of having a rail connection from the obscure station of West Brompton just up the road from home. And so I decided to go there this afternoon to see Glyndebourne's production of the Yellow Sofa in a charming space called The Stables, some fifteen minutes by cab from MK central.
But the real treat was to find myself on the train with Anne Mason - a most distinguished English mezzo who had been in the Glyndebourne company when I was there and remains, after 30 years in the business, much in demand. She was on her way to MK to sing in the production of Rusalka in the theatre in the "city" - back in the concrete jungle.......We had a really great chat and many a laugh, and she led me by the hand to get me to the theatre for my meeting up with the Glyndebourne top brass with whom I went in a cab to the Stables.
The Yellow Sofa was just 75 minutes long - a chamber piece in the manner of Leonard Bernstein, and a great vehicle for singing actors, and acting singers......and there are plenty of those around these days. This production had two fine leading ladies in Lauren Easton and Gabriela Istoc, each providing star power. Gabriela had been a finalist in Neue Stimmen in 2011. It is great to see her doing so well in her fledgeling career. She took every opportunity provided to produce some ravishing singing.
I am off to Gütersloh in the morning. Tomorrow evening we will be celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Neue Stimmen. It should be an occasion for pride as well as a good party!