Friday, 20 May 2011

ENO, A Midsummer Night's Dream: other reviews

The following have struck me as interesting in their various ways. Some, which I shall not bother to mention, seem depressingly similar to the angry booing from the stalls. I may update this... (Here, meanwhile, is a link to my review.)

Michael White (Telegraph)
Classical Iconoclast
Simon Thomas (
David Nice (The Arts Desk)
Barry Millington (Evening Standard)
Edward Seckerson (Independent)
Mark Ronan's Theatre Reviews
Peter Reed (Classical Source)
Mark Valencia (also Classical Source)
George's Musings
Fiona Maddocks (Observer)
Andrew Clark (Financial Times)


Doundou Tchil said...

Why do the media freak out on honosexuality ? Britten was a deeply secretive guaded person and well have been so whatever his orientation. The opera is not autobiographical as it comes from Shakespeare, after all. What is interesting is the way a sensitive, emotionally withdrawn man like BB sees the potential in the play to express themes he understood, like playing a part, the haves exploiting the have nots etc. Ironically it's the most jingoistic part of the press who understand Britten the least.

Mark Berry said...

I couldn't agree more. I am some way from being Britten's greatest fan, though there are some works I admire greatly, and he was clearly a remarkable musician. As usual devotees - one could say the same about those of Wagner and a host of others - do the object of their veneration no good whatsoever.

As for homosexuality, it is a salutary reminder that for most of Britten's lifetime, gay sex was illegal, and we are far from approaching any sort of legal equality even now. I hesitate to share the following link, but the comments beneath this report show the despicable bigotry that remains rife in our society, especially and sadly once one emerges from London and its orbit:

Henry Holland said...

I am some way from being Britten's greatest fan

I am! I think he's a profoundly great opera composer, full stop, for starters. I wouldn't trade Billy Budd or Death in Venice for every note written by the can beltoists. I lost my opera virginity with this opera and I'm glad of that.

I hope they film this production, I'd love to see it.

Mark Berry said...

Who knows? Perhaps it might even come to an American house, but I think it will be a must if released on DVD. Rather surprisingly, at least to me, it is listed as a co-production with the KS Stanislavsky and VI Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre. (I think I copied down the name correctly!) I'd be fasinated to hear how it goes down in Moscow...