The run up to Christmas

Monday 21 December 2009

Friday before Christmas, and everyone is hurrying to get projects finished. I am deserting the team on the 23rd, and when I get back on the 3rd I will be going to Dartington to work on Alexander Goehr’s new opera Promised End with conductor Ryan Wigglesworth and some of the outstanding artists I have been lucky enough to put together. Sandy Goehr is coming back from Jerusalem a few days early to join us there, and it promises to be a period of rich investigation – and a chance to learn the piece before we start rehearsal next September!

In the office the marketing team are already under pressure to put the final touches to the Spring campaign. It’s a very long tour, with some new venues – Belfast and Norwich. Of course there have been some last minute withdrawals (I am now just looking to solve Peter Quince), and some other unwelcome exitements. By and large, though, it looks to be a very strong team.

Michael Barker Caven has just joined the team for the Autumn. He will direct the Sheridan opera – once so celebrated! – called The Duenna. I am just finding the last few artists, who can use text as well as they sing. I am definitely of the ‘singers who act’ camp, rather than the ‘actors who sing’. All that vocal unhealth makes me feel queezy – something like watching me run a 400 metres.

Getting interested again in all that unease in the Britten Midsummer Night’s Dream. Very strange, compelling piece. Although it is a revival, I think I will have to start my work from scratch. That’s what holidays are for, I guess.

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