The Helios Collective, as part of King's College's Arts and Humanities Festival, are presenting a version of Dido - hugely enjoyable and Dido as you have not seen it before. It has been morphed into being all about Dido and Belinda. And in its wacky way it works. This has been my year of Purcell's masterpiece. The Mark Morris version in Chicago was all about Mark Morris, the Birmingham opera version was all about the community. I actually danced in that, in a rather Ed Balls kind of way - the whole audience did - I was not picked out you will be glad to know.
The Helios version was directed by young Ella Marchment who is making a good deal of effective noise around town; conducted by Leo Geyer who also "recomposed" the piece while leaving it more than recognisable; and the dramaturgy came from Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, a professor of music at King's.
This was all very refreshing with some excellent vocal contributions from the energetic cast - most notably from the very good Sophie Gallagher as 2nd woman, making a supporting role as important as the three title roles. Good for her!
Yesterday evening it was the turn of the National Opera Studio who gave a friendly and generous audience a mammoth programme of arias and duets - 25 items in all. This was at the Mansfield Street home of those remarkable patrons of London music, Bob and Elisabeth Boas. And it was good to see the redoubtable Vernon Ellis there. As well as being chairman of the National Opera Studio he runs a rich programme of musical events at his home in Kensington - they are great friends and have the same wonderful objective of supporting young artists at the early stages of their careers. They both subscribe to the Nietzsche line: "Without music, life would be an error." To have three such splendid people here in London is indeed a blessing.
The weekend is upon us - family time!