Friday, June 17, 2011

Boston, NY, Figaro and PNAS

To Boston on Thurs for meetings with our Harvard collaborators and others. Spent weekend with Elder Daughter and her family - MJ getting cuter and cuter - and also managed two runs along the Charles. Then to NY for highly productive working session and more meetings.  Back Weds am and went that evening to the Classical Opera Company's concert performance of Figaro.  We'd gone because Rosy Joshua was singing Susanna but she'd emailed us the previous week saying she'd had to pull out.

Figaro was sung by Matthew Rose, the wonderful Baritone who we'd seen as Leporello in Glyndebourne. From his opening Cinque it was clear we were in for a real treat. He's a tremendous singer, tall and imposing and with a real gift for acting which in some ways is streched more in a concert performance where you have to show so much with so little.  The stand-in Susanna did a fine job, though of course she wasn't Rosy. Mark Stone was an excellent Count, Clara Mouriz a winning Cherubino, and Katherine Watson a really sweet Barberina. The first bridesmaid was Anastasia Bevan who indeed turns out to be the sister Daisy and Mary.

As the performance continued the excellent got better and better. A great advantage of a concert performance is the lack of a Producer, Director and Designer.  This avoids the now almost-obligatory "concept" so that we get Figaro set in a space station/garbage depot/office block or whatever and allows the singers to decide for themselves how they will act it.  With notable exceptions (such as Peter Hall) opera directors tend to over-direct the singers.

Afterwards we met Matthew Rose and Katherine Watson and were able to congatulate them. Look out for Mathew at the ENO (Taggart), the ROH (Masetto) and the Met (Colline in Nov) and also Missa Solemnis with Colin Davis and the LSO (Proms Sept 4, NY Oct 21).  And as we were drinking at the reception I heard that our PNAS paper has been formally accepted. What a week!

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