Review – Opera Macabre – English National Opera


Last night my friend Irene arrived from the states and we took her straight off to ENO for the sold out last night “Opera Macabre,” a show that looked like a lot of fun but was hideously marred by the sort of music (singing, really) that makes me want to stick knitting needles in my ears. What is up with modern composers and their desire to not bother with any kind of melody? Why is Squeak squeek SQUAWK foomp even worth singing, much less again and again? Now, mind you, seeing people fairly well having sex on stage, a man in drag being whipped by his mistress then forced to service her, and listening to Mr Death brag about being well hung may have been a different approach to opera, but it did not compensate for the horrible music. The cool set, the giant body of a woman who frequently had projections on her white skin (ie of all of the bones in her body), rotated, and had parts come off (the nipples), DID nearly hit the “cool enough” mark, but it would have all been so much better if we’d been wearing earphones we could have tuned to the kind of music we actually enjoyed. Spectacle it was and fairly watchable, but …. I leapt for the exit at intermission (gratefully leading my four companions) and headed to the pub next door for a consoling glass of wine and the comforting arms of “Disco Inferno.” Then we chatted (Obama, Nobel prize, why?) until it was time to head back to Tooting.

Really, modern opera. Next time I’m listening to the score before I buy tickets.

(This review is for a performance that took place on Friday, October 9th. It is now over.)

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3 Responses to “Review – Opera Macabre – English National Opera”

  1. Polprav Says:

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

  2. Best London theater, 2009 « Life in the Cheap Seats – Webcowgirl’s London theatre reviews Says:

    […] of the year: modern opera, I really shouldn’t bother. Die Tote Stadt, Into the Little Hill, Grand Macabre; I really want to support new opera but unfortunately I think it’s almost entirely unmusical, […]

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