La Bohème – Winters, Borichevsky, Rock – The Coliseum/ENO, 31st October 2015

I was – perhaps for the first time ever – offended by something I saw in an opera house.

I confess I admire Bohème. It has a touch of romance, tragedy and good music when well-played. This performance really had none of those elements.



The Mastersingers, English National Opera, The Coliseum, March 7th 2015

With a running time of five hours forty minutes, some would have judged this evening of The Mastersingers something of an endurance test. Far from it. The evening zipped past, Act III achieving something close to actually sublime and the evening as a whole bestowing enduring rewards. One felt greatly rewarded by the return on whichever “investment” one cared to use to analyse. In sum edification, entertainment (if one wishes to think of it that way) value for money (again, if one judges reward by value for money) and more simply and infinitely more rewarding: I was left with a surfeit of joy. This was opera which had done the job well.