Promised End rehearsals begin

Friday 3 September 2010

Photograph by Guy Hoare, from earlier Promised End rehearsals at Dartington Hall in January

One week into music calls for Promised End, and 2 weeks into rehearsals for The Duenna all very good so far.

It’s good fun to be in the same building. I keep thinking I will work through lunch, but there are too many interesting people about for that.

Upstairs, we are finding out what Promised End is, and how it relates and does not relate to King Lear: the words are all from the play, but there are not so many, and they are in a different order. Yesterday was very exciting, as we went through the blinding-of-Gloucester scene for the first time. Those two sisters are fierce!

Also finding that in this opera Cordelia and Edmund seem to be two opposite sides of the same, hard coin. They have terrific music, too.

After rehearsal I have been thinking about and writing a submission to the DCMS about funding. There is in circulation some pretty breathtaking innocence about philanthropy, not much of it mindful about why people give, and what sort of exchange corporate sponsorship is. I feel excited about another push in that direction, and about the foundation of regional ETO syndicates – and I think we have just the new team to do it – but I have no thought that it can replace subsidy for the arts in Britain. Hey ho, I’ve written enough about that this week.

Next week it will start to needle that The Duenna is sold out in London, and Promised End close – a great thing, really, but always a squeeze when regular supporters cannot get in. Lots of tickets on tour, I am saying, and a joy to get out of London!

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