I returned to see another production of Britten's magical A Midsummer Night's Dream on Monday evening, but to the Royal College of Music where a very different take on the piece, including completely uncalled for domestic violence, came from Liam Steel and Michael Pavelka. I must say I found it overall curiously misogynistic and generally unappealing in spite of the best efforts of some gifted young singers.
Altogether a pity as there was really distinguished work from Timothy Morgan, a valuable new counter-tenor talent as Oberon, and a particularly fetching Hermia from Lauren Morris - but taller than Helena which rather missed a point or two! And there were really excellent fairies from that amazing stable of youthful talent, Trinity Croydon. They have been providing boys for the best companies in the country half a century. What a splendid start in life for these young people!
And on Monday morning I had the happy opportunity to pop into the ENO understudy showing where there was a remarkable line up of people each of whom could have gone on in an emergency without blinking. It is always invidious to mention names....but I will pick just three for fun - Colin Judson (Flute), Jonathan Lemalu (Bottom), and Angharad Lyddon (Hermia) - each special in their own eccentric ways! But the truth is that it was an amazing line up showing the depth of ENO's resources.
Carly Owen (Susanna) and Polly Leech (Marfa) in a scene from Khovanschina
And then last evening I was at the Rudolf Steiner Hall for the National Opera Studio's Russian event. This was notable for much - and above all another opportunity to see the remarkable Polly Leech whose ability to inhabit everything she does, and take us prisoner, is very special. I may be wrong but I feel sure that there are great things ahead.
This evening I am at the Royal Opera House for From the House of the Dead......