Bruno Pratico

Memories of the Barber

I’d better catch up quickly on Il Barbiere di Siviglia at Covent Garden the other day (er, week?).  I went on the Friday the 21st AND Monday 24th, which was the result of taking friends on the Monday and being seduced (later) by a stalls seat offer for the preceding Friday.

Row B of the stalls, relatively central, was an odd experience.  Acoustically not as revelatory as expected and, viewpoint-wise, alternately thrilling and neck-achingly inconvenient (especially for surtitles).  When the box-shaped set lifts at the end of Act 1 for the rolling coup-de-théatre, it was as though you were watching people perform opera on the roof of your house.  And the tickets were (I’m sorry to inform the marketing wonks at the ROH) through the ‘Danny Knows Best‘ initiative, that rather game but slightly clunky attempt to seduce reality-show junkies through the doors of the nation’s most venerable lyric theatre.   Ah, well this old Friend got a bit of a treat anyhow.  Claiming the free champagne in the Floral Hall was like day 1 of the Horrids’ sale, though…  You wouldn’t believe it, but the Amphi bar is a much more pleasant experience! (more…)