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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000621.txt from 2004/10

From: Bob Davenport <>
Subj: RE: [kl] Opera productions that should be damned - and counting
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2004 04:10:05 -0400

>You should have gone for one of the 10 Pound tickets, Mathew - a third the
>price of a football (sorry, soccer) match.
>Actually, I'd rather like to see this production. I was very struck
>listening to a radio review of it that your reaction wasn't universal,
>although I have certainly read many comments that matched yours. Some of th=
>productions I've enjoyed most have had many members of the audience
>complaining or walking out, so I often take it as a kind of contrary
>recommendation when someone so vehemently dislikes something. Stupid, I

Well, I paid about eight quid for a seat in the balcony, and thought that
was money wasted. I too left at the interval. I can see the point of
presenting Don Giovanni himself as something more sinister than the lovable
rogue that he's in danger of becoming in some productions, but if he and
everyone else in the cast is as totally unsympathetic as Calixto Beito's
witless production made them out to be then a lot of the interest of the
opera is lost. And it was about as genuinely shocking as a toddler
shouting 'Bum!'

=46or what little it's worth, since my teens my principal musical interest
has always been jazz, but in the early seventies a girlfriend all but
dragged me to see Rigoletto at Covent Garden - a Zeffirelli production I
think it was. Despite my ideological objection to what must have been a
bill for gambolling dwarfs that would have underwritten the UK's jazz scene
for months, and reviews that later suggested that it was a pretty poor cast
(except for Lucia Popp), I thought it was a knockout - and not just because
the orchestral writing in the meeting between Rigoletto and Sparafucile
always reminds me of Ellington. After that, at the peak of my operaphilia I
averaged about one performance a week. Mind you, if my first experience had
been the Tannha=FCser that I saw a few weeks after Rigoletto I might never
have gone to an opera again.


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