Monday, 4 April 2011

Odd times

Crisp, bright mornings are a good way to start the week. They also help blow away the cobwebs of a late night, incurred as a result of a very nice charity event that OHP contributed to last night. The evening's entertainment was punctuated by a fall by a guest that required the attendance of the London Ambulance Service.  Thankfully she appears to be more or less fine. I think she had been momentarily dazzled by the diamant√© strip running through Sean Ruane's bow tie. He prefers to think she merely swooned at his "una furtive lagrima" but I fear I heard her muttering "I was waiting for it to spin" as she was gently lifted onto the gurney.The accident didn't, however, spoil a very nice evening for all there and we wish the charity luck.

Today the seating structure arrives and by this time next week we will have the major bones of the theatre. It is April and we are a heartbeat away from the season.

It is a very strange time in the arts world. Last week's Arts Council cull saw some very unexpected winners and losers. If I could only tell you of the weirdness of my conversations with them  - we had applied for some funding for the Inspire Project. We shall carry on with that project regardless of course, but it was odd to think that it fulfilled all five of their aims yet still fell short. More odd still is the mystery of what happened to a major document we submitted but never reached the assessor...I am not too bothered. However, getting back to the strangeness of the times, it is undoubtedly a rare moment in the fiscal life of British Arts but I have to say I have rarely had so much interest from sponsors and donors.  That might just be part of the natural development of a company whose work is getting so much attention and praise (ahem) but I think there is more to it.  It might not materialise into everything it promises but the signs are very hopeful in this regard at least.

On that same note, it was good to see Opera Northern Ireland getting a good review for their Tosca and nice to see Giselle Allen come out of it so well. Thirteen years ago when she was still quite green she fearlessly took on Mascagni's "Iris" for us. It is a tough time to launch a new opera company and one can only hope the people in that part of the world support them. The idea of a Tosca in different locations is not a new one but it appears to have worked well ...risky too!  Our Tosca of 2008 was set in the late sixties when Europe was in danger of meltdown....James and I need to discuss reviving it!

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