Battersea Park from my "room with a view" - 9 am February 28 2018
My blog has been interrupted by a technical glitch preventing me from posting it. And my indolence used this as an excuse for not writing it. It now appears to be working again anyway.....
Actually I have had a pretty idle time since I returned from my excellent nine days in Turkey. But their have been two non domestic/social/family highlights - a recital last week by the ever youthful Joan Rodgers at the V and A, the last recital in the National Opera Studio's lunchtime series there, and the dress rehearsal yesterday morning of the also ever youthful Robert Carsen's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Coliseum yesterday morning.
For me, any recital with Schumann taking up the lion's share of the programme is likely to give me intense pleasure, as the frisson induced by the heart rending beauty of Schumann's melodic genius takes me to a form of "ground zero". And we had a double dose of that with the Liszt transcription of Widmung splendidly played by Simon Phillippo, preceding Joan Rodgers singing it as the opening song of her first group. And so we proceeded with more Schumann interspersed with readings by David Sulkin, the NOS's Director of Artistic Development, of The Last Rose of Summer and Tennyson's Maud. And we finished with a group of six Hugo Wolf. This was as civilised and satisfying an hour as anyone could conceive!
Lawrence Zazzo (Oberon) and Mitros Yerolemou (Puck) in Robert Carsen's A Midsummer Night's Dream - Aix 2015
I was at the first performance in Aix-en-Provence of Robert Carsen's Dream production back in 1991, as I had been of that other ageless production of this magical piece, Peter Hall's at Glyndebourne ten years before. They both have life in them yet as was recently proved at Glyndebourne, and yesterday morning at the Coliseum. I will say no more about it - it opens tomorrow and promises to be another feather in the cap of ENO's winter season. It makes a huge difference to have the original director present for these productions - so it was a professional as well as a personal treat to see Robert, and his designer Michael Levine, at the rehearsal yesterday. They are old friends and colleagues going back four decades......so many happy memories.
I have been hibernating in the extreme relative cold of London these last days. Of course, relative to my old home towns of Toronto and Chicago, this is nothing!