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Showing posts from September, 2009
It must be the first time that I had to miss the first act of an opera. A long meeting meant I couldn't make it to the first act of this new production of Tristan und Isolde at the Royal Opera last night. 

The second act got off to a promising start: Nina Stemme proved to be a promising Isolde with stage presence and a voice to match. Unfortunately she sang opposite a somewhat erratic Ben Heppner. While the love duet was well matched, Heppner became increasingly wayward with his chromatic passages in the lower register - there were, to my ears at least, some excruciating moments. Luckily, Pappano and the Royal Opera House Orchestra kept it all going with intensity and line - thus alleviating the pain of poor tonal quality from Heppner.

As a late replacement, John Tomlinson gave a strong performance of King Marke. The Liebestod at the end was memorable as Stemme rose to the challenge and her voice came soaring above the think orchestration. As it was the first night, the audience wa…

A surprisingly nice lunch at Tate Modern

At very short notice, I booked a table at the Tate Modern restaurant (Level 7) for lunch with a friend from Amsterdam. I was given a river view table. The Crab tarte was delicious and the Beouf Bourguignon with celeriac mash was lush and tasty. The bill came to £20 per head which was a bargain!