Reeling slightly after seeing an item on the 10pm BBC news about ENO's new production of 'On The Town'. Apparently it is newsworthy that a national opera company is putting on a marvellous piece of music theatre by a 20th-century genius who happened to use clever lyrics, jazzy rhythms and lots of dancing. The thing is, 'On the Town', shock horror, is officially classified as A MUSICAL! And an OPERA company is doing it! And, horror of ultimate horrors, the tickets are selling well! Oh my Gaaaaahd, we're all going to die......not.
I mean, really. This is great stuff. Why on earth shouldn't an opera company do it? That way we can hear the music played as well as it ought to be, singing that is above the average school production (which was the miserable level of what I heard when I went to see 'West Side Story' in a major London venue a few years ago) and enjoy a wonderfully refurbished opera house without having to nod off while someone tootles through some bel canto twiddling, and without wanting to commit rapid hari kiri after subjecting oneself to Berg. I know what I'd rather see. And hey, I'm supposed to be educated and well-informed about opera. Some famous composer (whose name I can't remember at this time of evening) once said that there are only two kinds of music, good and bad. Implication, ditch the stupid classifications that cater only for the ubersnobs. I say, bring on the Bernstein!