Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Royal Opera House

What a cultural weekend I've just had. Chris had booked us tickets to go Covent Garden to see Pelleas and Melisande, by Debussy, and conducted by Simon Rattle.

We had front row seats in the circle, so a better view we could not have had. The opera was, in the main, really good. I'm no connoisseur of the genre, but even I could appreciate the beautiful music and singing. I have to say that I found the staging a bit odd - all the slow motion walking and space suit costumes were supposed to be symbolic but it passed me by totally. The sets were beautiful - huge boxes that were rotated and opened up to reveal symbolic pieces of art, and sometimes even the singers themselves, suspended in imaginary towers, surrounded by 50 identical models of herself. Very weird.

As usual I couldn't keep my inquisitive brain from asking the most pressing of questions. During the final 4 minutes of the Opera, 6 girls walked on the stage (in slow motion naturally), stood with their backs to the audience, then walked off again.

I was consumed with questions. Who were these girls? Were they paid to walk in for 4 minutes every night at the end of the opera? Was this their full time job? Were they singers or models hired to look identical? were they wearing wigs? What did they do in the day time? Did they have to be there at the beginning of each performance and sit around til the end, or did they just roll off the sofa at 9.30, nip to covent garden for 10 minutes with the Sky Plus set to pause while they walked on and off the stage, then nip back home again to drink the cup of tea they had just brewed before they went out?

Sod boring old Pelleas and Melisande and their drawn out wailings - I need to know about the extras!

(In case you were interested, here is a synopsis of the plot.

Bearded man meets melisande in forest
Marries her and takes her home
she falls in love with Pelleas, the bearded man's brother.
Lots of soul searching.
Beardy finds out, kills Pelleas
Melisande goes mad in the head and dies.
the end)

The next day we met up with Pedja, our diving buddy, for lunch. It was really nice to catch up and plan more diving trips. Pedja is doing his best to persuade us to go here for a weekend. You thought I was mad? Well how mad is Pedja for wanting to go all the way to Belgium to dive in a swimming pool! It is a 33m deep pool, granted, but still! We fully intend to go at some point this summer.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nemo 33 is just about Dimitri's favourite place. It's actually very dull if you're not a diver after the first 3 minutes, but every time we've been to Brussels he has threatened to take us there. We can give you the lo-down - Eleanor

8:30 PM  

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