Sunday, 6 October 2013
A visit to a concert AND an opera!!
We had a visit to Hyde Park (full of runners doing the half-marathon today!) before going to Wigmore Hall to listen to the the Prazak Quartet.
Starting with Haydn' String Quartet in Bsharp Op. 72, No 1 performed beautifully their second piece was Beethoven's String Quartet in F Op 59 No. 1 'Razumovsky' - which was beautiful. Just a shame that an alarm started going off in the final movement... the quartet stopped playing until it was silenced - claiming it was 'such a beautiful movement'.
Prior to this, a lady in a row ahead of us took out a tissue and started cleaning the wooden panneled wall next to her!! And a gentlemen sitting next to me, fell asleep and snored!!!
And how right they were - it was played brilliantly!! Thank you.
After a spot of lunch and a stroll in the October sunshine (it was a beautiful day) we headed for the Coliseum for the ENO's production of Fidelio.
Now this is an opera that I didn't know much about but had listened to some of the music. The story I'd researched before going.
Well.... it was an 'interesting' production.
I really liked the music - the singers were wonderful. The principal characters being Stuart Skelton, Emma Bell, James Creswell and Sarah Tynan were great.
It was sung in English - which wasn't a problem. BUT - the staging (by Calixto Bieito was (IMHO) very weird. (by clicking the link, you may judge for yourself) A series of geometric transparent shapes most of which were lit with tube lighting that flashed, sometimes even with the beat of the music.
The opening scene depicting the prisoners in their prison all took place within this structure. The characters moved slowly and gradually emerged. This opening scene lasted for, in my opinion, too long and I found it quite depressing. It could be argued that this indicated the staging was successful.
BUT, having said this, I really enjoyed the singing and characterisation.
The Heath Quartet had a part to play during the second act - at which time they were lowered, playing, from the ceiling in three separate cages. It seemed odd to have a quartet in the middle of the production but, needless to say, they played extremely well and movingly. I don't think the cages added anything except, perhaps, a distraction from some very talented musicians.
Having said all that about the staging, I really enjoyed Fidelio in spite of my criticisms and the finale was particularly rousing.
Here's to the next one ..... :)
(Pictures will follow tomorrow)