December Reflections 8: gold

Gilt-heavy mosaic wall decoration featuring classical figures playing musical instruments

I’ve been to the opera this evening (this photo shows the ceiling of the lobby at the London Coliseum). It was the fourth time this year, which might be a record. I’d only just begin to cotton on to the fact that English National Opera exists, and is very cheap, and I was already in London on many days of the week, when coronavirus hit. I got to Carmen in February 2020, and then there was no more opera.

Until this May, when we went to see A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a converted tram depot in Frankfurt. It wouldn’t be entirely true to say that we planned our entire Rhine trip around this, but it certainly made a handy peg to hang it off. I wanted to see my cousins in the children’s chorus and my aunt in the orchestra. Tony does not really go in for opera but was sold on the promise of a countertenor.

We both had a fantastic time. I’d always thought of Britten as being difficult, and while it’s true that his music is often a real pig to sing, it’s actually very listenable. (And it was a great production, and very funny.) When I saw that the ENO was doing Gloriana (one night only!) I booked a ticket very fast indeed. More on that this weekend. And then I thought it really was time I saw Tosca. And then I took one of my brothers to see The Yeomen of the Guard for his birthday.

I already have one ticket booked for next year. I am not sure that I am going to match this year, but you never know. It all depends on how efficient I am. And, I fear, the whims of the Arts Council.

1 thought on “December Reflections 8: gold”

  1. In *slight* clarification, I was sold on hearing a countertenor role that a friend had told me some years ago that I should hear or ideally sing – this was the first time I’ve heard that role in context.
    And yes, it does demonstrate the fallacy of “if it was difficult to write [or sing], it should be difficult to read [or listen to]”.


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