The Round Up | 10 04 2018

It's only been a few weeks, but I'm glad I'm keeping notes of just what I have seen.  I'm currently hurtling along on a train towards Manchester - with non-committal internet. It says it loves me, then it disappears for minutes at a time. For a relationship that only needs to last two hours, I'm finding it a little unreliable.

I'm listening to the remastered album by Johann Johannsson, which has just been rereleased in the wake of his tragic and all-too-soon passing. Listen here. I’ve been listening on shuffle play on Spotify, but I’ll have to listen to it as a complete album – I feel stylistically I’m missing the story of the piece.

I saw From the House of the Dead at the ROH just a couple of weeks ago where I'd bought last minute tickets in the standing balcony area. Musically, it's outstanding, and a work that I think represents the best of Janacek’s orchestral colours. You can hear his legacy to the developments in the later 20th century. It was a stark staging that didn’t reach me from my audience perspective (restricted viewing), but quite a bit of the action wasn’t front and centre anyway… which is one of my major gripes with ‘grand opera’ – not directing for the nosebleed section.

At the Barbican I worked on a collaborative contemporary show featuring the London Contemporary Orchestra, which is a group I’m going to watch closely from now on. They were lean, nimble and you’ve probably heard a lot of their work before – without even realising. They often sell out (which I’ve noticed has happened with their next concert that I really wanted to go to…) See more here

I paid £15 to attend The Bridge Theatre last week and experience (for want of a better word) the new production of Julius Caesar. It was bombastic, and overwhelming, but exactly the kind of theatre I think the theatre world needs right now. How are you supposed to entice people from their homes, to pay money they could to go to the cinema, to put down their phones, if you aren’t delivering them something so compelling, they are forced to engage? I absolutely loved it, and was truly mesmerised by Ben Whishaw (who I’d previously expected to just be a Hollywood heartthrob) but who was compelling for every moment he was on stage. 

Not much else I'm reading at the moment (shocking!) but there was this great piece on learning to love opera. As most of us do.