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Showing posts from December, 2006

Carmen at the Royal Opera

It was over a decade ago when I last saw Carmen at the Royal Opera - so I went to the first night of this new production of Carmen with much anticipation - Pappano conducting, Zambello directing with Anna Caterina Antonacci singing the title role, Jonas Kaufmann as Don José and Ildebrando D’Arcangelo as Escamillo.

It was a great production. A modern set and period costume by Tanya McCallin. There were loads of children on stage, a real donkey and Escamillo arrived on horse back (a real horse). The singing was also great - with much gusto and judicious acting. One could not help but be mesmerised by the whole experience. 

Theo Randall, London

Theo Randall (ex chef at the River Cafe) recently opened his restaurant at the newly refurbished Inter Continental Hotel at Hyde Park Corner (about time too). The restaurant has a Milanese chic with well spaced tables and Frette table linen.

The food? The simple dishes are done well - spinash with olives, pan
fried squid. Avoid the complicated ones - my Panna Cotta was a weird
grappa flavoured wobbly blob (which resembled a silicone breast
implant, though I have been told they don't wobble) with
not-sweet-enough Chestnut paste.

What was enjoyable? Spacious environment. Not hurried service and genuinely good natured staff. Good simple dishes.
What was not enjoyable? The more complicated dishes - Italian food is about simple dishes made with superb ingredients - it's astonishing how many English chefs try to jazz up La Cucina Italiana ... with weird concoction and tastes.