One of the great things about leaving the summer season (and I love summer the most) is that going into Autumn feels a bit like going back to school. And although this means less outdoor playtime it also represents the start of all the exciting extra-curricular activities, and London more than anywhere the place to be. New plays, new ballet season, new fashion, new courses, so many things to do!
So like a kid with new shoes, I always approach the fall with a lot of excitement about what will shape my evenings for the following 5 months, trying to make the most of my entertainment budget.
I was most surprised and pleased then when there was an earlier commence than planned for all those activities. On the one hand the visit from Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is something I could not let pass (again!). So I decided to turn it into a surprise evening for the BF, who really likes ballet, especially the classic ones with lots of tutus. He’s in for a great surprise!
On the other hand, I was extremely lucky to be invited to see Don Pasquale at the Royal Opera House. Since I enjoyed so much L’Elisir d’amore last winter, this was also a must-go no brainer.
And so off I went to meet a fellow Spaniard and opera lover to watch a performance of which I knew little about. While on occasions this is a great way of allowing yourself to experience the libretto as its original audience would have, I am normally more on the ‘go to Wikipedia to see what I can expect’ camp.
The opera itself was directed by Jonathan Miller who seems to be directing everything in London lately to the point of exhaustion. His take on ‘Cosi fan tutte’ earlier this year at the ROH was quite interesting, although I prefer more elaborate sets. In this instance we were not disappointed as the cute as a button doll house set was as much a highlight as the artists themselves. The plot of Don Pasquale is fairly silly and a bit dated, definitely more relevant back mid 19th century, seeming just the excuse to write some fun moments for the audience to giggle and secondary to the music. While Act I was a bit slow and no as catchy, as soon as they character of Norina got on stage things perked up and we thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the story. One word of caution though, when the performers are deep inside the doll house the acoustics are pretty awful with the orchestra drowning voices all round.
All in all, I was happy we both enjoyed the performance and to be able to share our stories about living in London.
With more to come this week, I really cannot for my first ration of men in tights!!