Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Head-scratching Moment: Opera vs. Musical

I'm not usually a big fan of first night performances, and the first night of the opera Faust by the ENO at the Coliseum was no exception. Surrounded by the great and the good, all of whom don't know me so there's no small talk and getting pushed out of the way on the red carpet by Paps, as they try to get a picture of Someone Famous. Everyone is on their best behaviour, the wine at the party is awful and no canapes were forthcoming after a half an hour wait.

The performance itself, however, although good - I stayed awake throughout, which was more than could be said for David Mellor - left me confused. It was a bit too Musical Theatre for me.

Don't get me wrong - I love Musicals. I saw Legally Blonde recently and thought it was splendid, so here is the confusion - at what point does an opera become another musical? Both have singing, both have dancing - the only difference I can see is the type of music, and the way that music is sung. I don't understand what other components come together to constitute an opera as opposed to a musical. I came out of the theatre thinking more about what on earth it was about this particular production that made it so different to other operas I had seen. Not better or worse - just different. This production blurred the lines somewhat.

I don't want to review the show, but to anyone who has seen it - or will see it when it transfers to New York, whenever that is - contact me and let me know what they think.

Maybe, it's just me...

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