I was in London today to see the Pearl Fishers by Bizet performed by English National Opera at the London Coliseum. I've found the operas there a bit hit and miss, mostly miss if I'm honest.
Firstly let me add the sets were dramatic and pretty good. The fishers swimming was amazing but I'm always a bit perplexed why they are insistent on modern settings, filing cabinets in Zurga's office, villagers reading papers.
Act 1 was a little slow but it contains one of the great operatic numbers The Pearl Fishers duet. Unfortunately George Van Bergen's Zurga and John Tessier's Nadir don't really convince in this it all feels a little underpowered.
Things picked up in act 2 and 3 getting much more dramatic, although we obviously we have to totally suspend belief in the libretto - you often have to in opera! Seriously Leila believes Nadir is innocent and its all her fault?? really??
The orchestra was loud as was the chorus. A bit of subtly lost?
Sophie Bevan as the priestess Leila was pretty good, easily the best vocal performance of the performance.
I did enjoy it but it was no more than average and I guess much of my disappointment was with an ordinary performance of the fabulous duet.
Before all that I went for a stroll along the south bank of the Thames.
Genius at work......
On the platform at Blackfriars station (that's the solar powered bridge)
At this point it started to rain so we headed into town and dived into a pret for a coffee. The heavens opened and so we enjoyed our comfy seats and had something to eat.
Oh and important holiday decisions for 2015 have been made :)