By and large this production of Gounod Faust was very good. The stage set transferred well from the Metropolitan Opera to the London Coliseum. As expected, Des McAnuff's direction was very good - the scene transitions, the spatial dynamics of the characters and the movements. Toby Spence was great as Faust. Iain Paterson was a strong Mephistopheles - with enough presence and bounce in the character. The oitment in all this was that the chorus kept falling behind and nearly fell apart in the well known Soldiers' Chorus. Edward Gardner was very clear with his beat - so it's really up to the choristers to watch the baton!
I was lucky to have gotten a ticket to see Bernard Haitink conduct the Vienna Philharmonic in Bruckner 7th Symphony. No doubt it is a work that Haitink knows well - he did it without score. The movements were broad, had shape, and above all nuanced rather than bombastic. His mildmannered gestures were in starck contract to Andris Nelsons's rendition of Bruckner 8 (earlier in the season). It was a real treat to see this maestro still deliveirng the musical umph at 90. A memorable concert that was.