Soraya Mafi (Titania) and Joshua Bloom (Bottom)
The ENO revival of Robert Carsen's Midsummer Night's Dream production turned out to be a great hit at the Coliseum on Thursday. The magical piece had its way with us as usual - and that was thanks to the excellent conductor Alexander Soddy (a name to watch there is no doubt) and some really delightful performances from the new cast. Soraya Mafi goes from strength to strength, (watch out for her Nanetta at Garsington this coming summer) and is a hilarious maypole of a Helena, marvellously sung and acted. Indeed the cast is a model team of ENO excellence. The whole evening is a pleasure and a feather in ENO's cap.
Yesterday evening's recital by that one off somewhat eccentric Jeremy Denk at the Milton Court Concert Hall in the Barbican promised to be a great pleasure, I having heard him in Chicago back in 2011. And so it turned out to be, though not as expected as the programme had been changed without warning. My initial irritation was however calmed down by marvellous performances of Beethoven's Op 109 and Schubert's last sonata D 960. So all was forgiven, but I nevertheless missed the promised Beethoven/Liszt An die ferne Geliebte and Schumann's Op 17 Fantasie.
I have a busy week coming up - the Royal College of Music's Midsummer Night's Dream tomorrow evening and the National Opera Studios Russian showcase on Tuesday......I am glad to say that the snow and extreme cold are gone. Maybe spring is really round the corner after this brief visit from "The Beast from the East".