Friday, 8 April 2011


The first day of online booking was yesterday and I haven't had a perforated ulcer, punched anybody or even had to raise my voice. This is news because that first day is normally a catalogue of minor technical hitches or once in a while, major calamities. A nice orderly queue formed in our virtual waiting room (although I believe some had problems with that) and a few thousand tickets were politely sold. To be fair, I think the removal of the Inspire seats from online sale probably helped since a few thousand people would normally be bombarding the site at 10am. I understand that many are not hugely enamoured of our decision to do that but I think things will be a little fairer at least.

It has been a week of continued building. Many of the structures are up and the seating stand should be all finished and dressed by Wednesday.

I have now recovered from the martini fest I partook of with the great director of our brilliant Forza Martin Duncan. Which brings me to my latest irritation. We are all a little gruff in the office because having been nominated in five categories for the Royal Philharmonic Society awards (including one for the aforementioned Forza which was hailed as something of a miracle of it's type) we haven't made the shortlist of any. I ought to beware what I say here but suffice to say I think there is more than a strange whiff surrounding the whole process. I wonder if they are desperate to merely distinguish themselves from the Classical Brits? Still, in an attempt to elbow our way into the elite (we can't get 400k from the arts council for four performances of a new opera so we don't stand a chance in the education category) we are initiating a nose flute weekend in Castle Douglas. Albanian folk music will be the subject and a real ale from the area will be our sponsor.I think we will be a shoe-in. I'm not bitter, but the beer will be.

Back in the real world, we are very close to the start of rehearsals. So much wonderful music and drama is in store, delivered by some gloriously talented people to full houses every night. Who needs awards eh?

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