I have been taking it pretty easy on performances these last weeks having been working pretty full time during the day. Not sure that I can manage so many 14 hour days any more! But Christmas is coming and I am sure I will recover......!
On Thursday there was an enchanting evening at the China Exchange - playing hosts to the National Opera Studio's pretty starry current crop who put on a hugely enjoyable programme of Mozart, most ingeniously devised by the apparently immortal Giles Havergal.
He had the excellent notion of getting these young people to act out scenes from Beaumarchais and Molière before singing the matching equivalents from Figaro and Don Giovanni - and it worked splendidly on all levels. And giving them the opportunity deal with the spoken word in such depth was something of a game changer for some of them I fancy.
There was much to enjoy. In particular Laura Zigmantaite was delightful in both her spoken and sung versions of Chérubin/Cherubino, a seamlessly Anglicised Sofia Troncoso essayed both Charlotte/Zerlina and Suzanne/Susanna with complete fluency, and David Ireland and Benjamin Lewis displayed outstanding vocal quality in multiple incarnations.
There was a terrific team of pianists - budding members of the scanty music staff community who provide the foundations of excellence upon which fine performances are built. Here are the most undervalued members of the opera community! I am sorry - one of my obsessions coming out again!
All in all this was a most refreshing and encouraging two hours - a real pleasure.