I have been spending the day working at my desk and playing spotify in the background. For those few souls who don’t know about spotify it is a music streamer that you can find on the web. Now the thing that I have been wondering is how can I help my poor benighted family to enjoy opera. I find it difficult to understand how you can’t be carried away by something like Puccini’s Tosca.
Two of the best days I have had this year were firstly going to a first class conference at Holy Trinity Brompton addressed by Rowan Williams, Jurgen Moltmann and Miroslav Wolf. Instead of staying for worship led by Tim Hughes in the evening I went to listen to Tosca at the Coliseum – as near to perfection as you can get. The second was being taken to see Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart at Glyndebourne – amazing friends who took us, wonderful food and stupendous music – just a great combination
Anyway, I had this brainwave. Start them off on something lighter. Why not try them out with Gilbert and Sullivan. I have only ever been to see two of them. The Mikado which I saw as a teenager in great version called the Black Mikado – played by an all black cast – I still remember their rendition of “three little maids from school are we” which with their vocal range and style was unforgettable. The second has less happy memories – HMS Pinafore. I was playing the French Horn and was opening the second act after the interval and split the opening note – oh the shame of it.
So I have been listening to Iolanthe and the Mikado and the Pirates of Penzance. Fabulous. Not Puccini or Verdi or Mozart. But fabulous. What joys my daughters have ahead of them!
The following is a clip from the Coliseum production of Tosca that I saw earlier this year. Enjoy!
PS Standard operatic rules apply especially to Tosca – they all die!
PPS Here is a clip from Glyndebourne’s (earlier) production of Cosi Fan Tutte.