Wednesday, 17 March 2010

A Night at the Opera

Last evening we enjoyed an evening of opera at the Hippodrome in Birmingham. We were kindly given tickets to go and enjoy the Welsh National Opera (WNO) production of Abduction from the Seraglio with music by Mozart.

The music was most enjoyable, but the production lacked a spark to ignite in me an emotion like awe, admiration or wonder. I admired the professionalism, and the quality of the set, but somehow it lacked something. The WNO certainly packed the accompanying programme with references to their other productions and activities, so they are clearly a lively company.

The production was set on the Orient Express in 1920 or '21 and the set constrained the piece. There was no room to move up or down, or forwards or backwards. All movement was left or right. The singers took an Act to get warmed up. The first Act was a bit flat (not in the musical sense, though my musical ability is such that I probably could not tell if the were!), but the second and third Acts were much livelier.

I came away having enjoyed the entertainment, but thinking that opera is a very inefficient way of telling a story. Perhaps I've watched the DVDs of the Bourne trilogy too often.

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