I am in Berlin today and tomorrow, primarily for the Neue Stimmen Winners’ concert this evening, but also for meetings about Neue Stimmen 2017 including the itinerary that I will be undertaking for the preliminary selections. This will take me to Asia, South Africa and Latin America as usual, as well as the usual variety of European cities and two in western Asia (technically) in Turkey and Georgia, two beautiful countries with wonderful partners there and really excellent singers.
We make some adjustments each year, adding the odd city and leaving some out so as to ring the changes. 26 cities is as much as we can manage I think - up to now, since 1999, I have undertaken the majority of them. I hope to keep it up but can not go on for ever!
I was at a preview yesterday evening at the excellent Hampstead Theatre of Howard Brenton’s new play, Lawrence after Arabia. A preview is by definition a work in progress. Lawrence is a difficult subject with Peter O’Toole and Ralph Fiennes irritating shadows for any actor undertaking the role! We are also treated to Bernard Shaw, Prince Faisel and Allenby. I hope it does well - the press night is on Thursday.
Now for a nice 30 hours in Berlin!