Wednesday, November 01, 2006


Due to a total brain shambles relating to dates I thought I was going to a chamber music concert today and the opera tomorrow. Then found that the chamber music concert had been on yesterday, while I was 'sinking'. So off to the Opera tonight for AIDA. Expected a typically old-fashioned show with lavish sets and costumes.

But in fact the sets were very stark, minimalist, representing big slabs of stone at the front, side and rear, and the singers also had fairly plain costumes (though all these Egyptian priestly scenes make me think of the 'Magic Flute'). Not bad singing, generally, apart from one high note which was rather squeezed out. Unusually, the acting started during the overture. Unfortunately the acting was as stiff as the walls at the side of the stage, but perhaps in a priestly environment you cannot expect much jiving about. THAT TUNE, that everyone knows, was in the second act, after which I was not the only foreigner to leave....It seemed they played the tune on normal trumpets rather than on those very long, extended things that are usually used. The choir, despite its size, also sounded a bit subdued. The performance was about 60 to 70% sold, which was good. Audience as always chatting, texting, walking in and out. A foreigner beside me tutted a few times (but he had missed the first act - I wonder if he had just come to hear THAT TUNE?)