Wednesday, 14 October 2009

What's the big Welsh dude singing about now?

Now the dust has settled and the Mariinsky have moved on and Bryn Terfel's taking up golf I thought a bit of introspection was needed after the weekend. I'm not usually one to get carried away with performances and after re-reading my posts there was one angle to the weekend that did irritate me just a bit.

Like most people I'll always have a listen to something before heading out to a concert, opera or gig. Usually it's just to get in the mood or to remind me of a plot detail. This past weekend the need was a touch more vital as for some reason there were no surtitles on offer.

I could understand it on the first evening with the first part of the concert, but not with the second part or for any of the other evenings. I'm not sure if there was any technical reason for this decision but to not have surtitles was a strange decision. Though I was comfortable where things were at plot-wise during the Wagner and the Tchaikovsky without a line by line commentary I still would have liked the choice of having that extra bit of detail to enjoy the drama of the moment. As for the Verdi I'd decided to enjoy the music and nothing else beforehand. I haven't got a clue how any firstimers would have felt.

I know that the WMC made synopsis sheets available on each evening, and even had the libretti for downloadable use on their website - but the last thing I'd want to have is someone flipping through sheets of paper next to me during a performance; sweet wrappers are bad enough. Perhaps next time they could see to having the words returned to Stage Above?

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