I'm going to start eating those Sussex hats: The Guardian has only given 3 stars (out of 5) to 'Betrothal in a Monastery'. The objection is that the work itself isn't political enough. This opera commits the cardinal sin of being FUN. Come to think of it, with the Guardian one could perhaps predict this attitude.
The Times offers pretty much the same view, only without the politics. 'To what end? Entertainment, obviously...'
Entertainment in the opera house? How utterly, utterly dreadful! What a horrendous thought! You take an afternoon off work, spend all that money on a ticket and hiring your tux, pay for champagne & dinner & the ruinous programme, and then the company has the affrontery to ENTERTAIN you?! In Russian? Oy vay!!!
I predict deep suffering amongst the critics at tonight's Prom, where Juan Diego Florez is singing bel canto arias and Latin American songs that might just be enjoyable.
UPDATE 26 July 9am: The Daily Telegraph joins the killjoys. I suppose most of my colleagues would rather force us all to listen to 4 hours of Birtwistle. No wonder classical music is said to be dying...
UPDATE 26 July, 1.30pm Hooray for The Independent: Edward Seckerson got the point and catches the spirit.
UPDATE 31 July, 2.15pm: Hugh Canning of The Sunday Times must have been in a very, very bad mood. Perhaps a combination of the ridiculously high summer temperatures we've been having and an overdose of Russian?