Thursday, 11 March 2010


It would seem that the lavish new dressing rooms that we have designed for 2010 are not a moment too soon in their creation. Previously, our stars have shown commendable patience when confronted by cabins joined by leaky walkways.  And neither have they enjoyed much privacy - a school of thought (one that has the smack of truth to it) determines that the communal nature of the OHP backstage area is an integral part of our success. However, the burgeoning roster of starry singers gathering for the Richard Bonynge Gala will be delighted to find they have arrived, by comparison, in the Algonquin. Enough separate rooms now exist, lavishly appointed, and with doors sturdy enough to post small name plates. In the world of the temporary theatre we rank in the upper echelons technically. From the accommodation point of view, there wasn't an echelon low enough to warrant the use of the word. Such advances matter.

James and I are turning to confront Wagner.  He sits at home listening to Dutchman ("Its bloody overture is longer than the whole of L'amico Fritz") and I can almost hear his brain whirring from here. I have no fear that we'll make the right call on this one; we took ten years to decide the time was right for L'amore. No doubt it will make the board when - and only when - we have the nerve, the resources and the right planets have aligned. I cannot deny that it is an exciting prospect though. Wagner is a part of our journey to this point, if only in spirit. So, I suppose, is Debussy who makes his debut in June. Come to think of it, Beethoven's Fidelio carried with it a frisson of fear and that too returns in the summer in the form of a revival of our splendid 2003 production so maybe we worry too much. Hubris, however, is forever haunting us; it knows us because we know it right back. Many things that make us successful 'impresarios' can be self defeating burdens but blessed be their unmistakeable weight, ensuring we remain fully aware of them.

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