Archive for September 6th, 2007

A Star is Dead

Last night I went to the opening night of the English Theatre’s production of Souvenir – a Fantasia on the Life of Florence Foster Jenkins. The lady sitting next to me laughed so much she nearly slipped off her seat. And I kept thinking how hard it must be to keep singing off-key when you can actually sing.

The Viennese audience is a difficult one to perform to where opera is concerned, spoilt rotten as they are with a huge selection of world-class singers appearing around town regularly. So I guess Neva Rae Powers’ rendition (very true to the original) was a welcome relief. I’ve been to the English Theatre many times, but this is the first time I’ve heard the audience pull out the stops and let rip some truly hearty guffaw’s from the start. The off-tune singing was also brilliantly exaggerated by the contrast of Scot Woolley’s excellent singing and playing.

And now I’ve run out of superlatives and succeeded in finding myself annoying.

At the reception afterwards I watched the elderly audience members’ professional attack on the proffered foodstuffs. They were grabbing the elegantly laid out little spoons filled with undefinable mouthfuls of edibles with the speed and dexterity worthy of starving extras waiting their turn on a film set. What technique! What agility!

And I had the honour of sharing a few toasts with Tatiana Preston. I’m going to say no more about her except – my god, woman! Get your biography published!

This morning we woke up to the sad news of Pavarotti’s death.


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