I saw Kantor’s extraordinary and original creations at London’s Riverside Studios during the 1980s. His fusion of Catholic and Jewish history, evocations of war, agony, dreams and terror, remain seared in my brain.
When first performed in 1851, Rigoletto was explosive because of its implied criticism of a corrupt king. In pursuit of a comparable political edge, director James Macdonald transfers Verdi’s tragedy from Renaissance Mantua to a fictitious 1960s White House.
One of the main reasons to stay in London in the summer is the Proms. I admit that I am in love with the Royal Albert Hall. There is something about sitting in this circular, wedding cake structure that has an effect on the psyche.
A show that leaves the line “Are you fucking kidding me?” ringing in your ears and delivers a series of morals that include “don’t pressure other people into sex because it doesn’t work” and “don’t judge people by appearances, unless they’re really hot” could cause offence.
What do you do when life gives you lemons? Make lemonade is the wrong answer, says Elf Lyons, who is the product – and that’s not too economic a term – of father Gerard Lyons, former economic advisor to Boris Johnson, artist mother Annette Lyons and the Philippe Gaulier clown school on the outskirts of Paris.
The evening opened with Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto in A Major K622. This is Mozart’s last finished orchestral work. Composed in 1789, it is one of the most exquisite of Mozart’s creations. Annelien Van Wauwe’s interpretation was curiously intimate and delicate.
To most Britons, P.G. Wodehouse is known as the creator of quaint, comic novels starring the blundering upper class twit Bertie Wooster and his astute valet Jeeves. He also contributed lyrics and stories to a wealth of musicals and his step great grandson, the opera singer Hal Cazalet, who as a child slept in a room beneath the Wodehouse archive, tells us he only got to know P.G. Wodehouse’s prose through the song lyrics.
Four women and five men from Aberdeen University’s A Cappella Society Aberpella tell us they thought they were being terribly witty in choosing the title “50 Tones of Grey” as a reference to the shades of the sky and stone of their university city.