Monday, 10 December 2007

The Rest Is Noise... the title of a new book on 20th-century music. Written by a very smart, very readable music journo called Alex Ross, it contains among its excellent, sharply observed essays an incisive examination of Peter Grimes. (There's an extract on this blog here.)

Ross is an American (the music critic for the New Yorker magazine; I don't know what the English equivalent would be) but has clearly visited Aldeburgh and understood its atmosphere, and that of the Britten clique. And if he hasn't, then he's got a far better storyteller's imagination than John Darwin.

It's not yet available in the UK, but there is at least one copy here, because I ordered it through the Barbican. When I've finished with it I strongly recommend that you get it out, or pester me for it. Or, if not, just wait for the programme notes I write for our production, because I'll probably steal all his choicest phrases and sharpest observations.

As for our rehearsal last Thursday, well, there's good news and bad news again. The good news is that we've actually covered all the chorus note-bashing, not just once but twice. That's twice more than we'd achieved at this stage last year with Carmen.

You don't want to know the bad news.

Anyway, next Thursday is principals... full-time jobs permitting. Nan keeps telling me the key to 'singing' Boles is actually to shout it most of the time, and look angry. Last Saturday I was at Southampton, seeing Hull City get hammered 4-0. As the Italians know, there's often a link between football and opera.

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