Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Of Opera and Ann

I was at the Royal Opera House on Friday for to see "La Fille Du Regiment". The lady in front was complaining that she had neck ache being in one of the cheaper seats and having to look to her left throughout the performance. Try standing throughout in the gallery I thought. She complained too about the lack of ushers and that she had to keep going to shut a door that was causing a draft that was compounding her neck ache or at least compounding her ability to complain.
She moaned as well about the performance of Ann Widdicombe the former Tory MP and Strictly dancer who, she said, can't act either. Now there she had a point. Widdicombe played the Duchess of Crackentorp - happily a non singing role. But it was wooden and featured corny references to Cornish pasties, Strictly and the London Olympics which seem to cost the opera a lot of credibility with little return in the way of laughs.
Strangely, however, I found myself on the side of Widdicombe. As Sibelius once said "They never made a statute out of a critic" and give me a woman who gives something a go even where failure is likely anytime over one with neck ache and a fistful of complaints.

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