Friday, 6 April 2007

Here we go

Good Friday. GOOD FRIDAY!
It really does worry me how quickly time flies by these days. I am about to embark on my 18th season at Holland Park and it is still growing and developing. Perhaps that is why the time is barging past me so rapidly - something about when you are having fun?
Discussions about 2008 and 2009 are occurring frequently now. One such with conductor of L'amore dei Tre Re, Peter Robinson, involved a sharp intake of breath at the mention of La Gioconda which we produce in July next year. A sharp intake of breath from Peter is the equivalent of a raging tirade from me about the idiocy of the congestion charge. Even then, people pay far greater heed to Peter's teeth sucking than they do my hair-pulling. When I rant, you might believe the matter is important; if Peter Robinson draws sharp breath, look to the sky for a meteor or listen for the four minute warning. He can also do it when he is smiling but only a fool would be diverted by that. This is a man of steely nerve and purpose who once wrote a six part woodwind representation of an organ passage in Luisa Miller when a storm had disabled the real thing. He had less than half an hour to do it and nobody noticed the difference. His warning (for that is what it was) relates to the size of the piece. I suppose, to put it into a context, the opera represents our equivalent of the Ring Cycle. In the verismo stable, Gioconda holds the title of biggest animal. Where Fedora is an engaging show pony, Gioconda is the galloping shire. And of course, we can't wait.

The box office opens on Tuesday once the wholly inconvenient Easter break shuffles off. Phones and internet are ready and waiting. I believe the technicians are having special drill sessions over the Easter weekend to ensure it all goes smoothly. A repeat of last year's early debacle will illicit one of those hair-pulling rants from me. Although I doubt peter Robinson would waste a breath on it.

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