Fresh from the rather disappointing performance at the rather special Bayreuth Festspielhaus, it was back into Proms season and a run of tremendous performances in the dismal Royal Albert Hall… it would seem that the Albert Hall has a message for Bayreuth: you can have a special and well-designed theatre, but it ain’t much use if what you put on isn’t up to scratch. It goes without saying that all of these performances would have been that much more special in a better acoustic, but they still achieved rare levels of intensity in Kensington’s cavernous barn. (more…)
This week, as if to lighten the January gloom, I had the chance to experience two sharp doses of modernism. Both were performances of the very highest quality, and in different ways they both left their mark.
Firstly, back on Sunday evening I managed to score two tickets to The Waste Land at Wilton’s Music Hall. The production has quite a pedigree, having toured the world and having marked the reopening of Wilton’s Music Hall back in 1996 when the venue was starting out on the road to recovery and was in a more parlous state even than it is now. For these purposes, however, the venue is perfect, and the air of decayed splendour seems to suit the stifled atmosphere of the poem.