Thursday, 24 May 2012
To the Coleseum this morning with Mr Pounce the barrister to see the dress rehearsal of the ENO production of Caligula.
Fantastic set, minimalist if you didn't count the 301 seats on the terrace facing the audience... But brilliant in that the action back stage happened up high and with equal importance (if you are up in the gods). An almost vertical stage in fact.
Mad music and mad libretto skittered around madness illustrated by multiple pinoccios, panda bears, dancing girls, gun toting yes men, the naked rendition of Caligulas dead sister, men in suits and bonkers, bonkers... well bonking or the product of bonkers bonking.
The music out of context would be impossible. Modern I suppose in that it wasn't waltzes and the like. You knew from the moment it started that no fat woman was going to be singing this one out.... It weren't going to be over until the dead woman sang and sang beautifully as Caligula strangled her.
Throughout the performance the ghost of the sister wanders naked around the place, Wagnarians would be disappointed; she is a slip of a lass. As far as naked wandering goes the girl has it all, she is a star, you could ditch the singers and the band completely and still have a show. In the second half she wandered naked whilst painted gold. Who said opera was boring... Loyd Webber could make a whole show out of the poor girl doomed to walk the stage of the Coliseum naked, night after night, without the offer of even a cardigan to keep the chill at bay.
Caligula died at the hands of a mob of hoodied thugs on the terraces after having dragged both Mr Pounce and myself through his madness.
It was interesting to note that, at the end, the non-singing, non talking, naked lass got the loudest applause...
I for one enjoyed the thing immensely.