Thursday, 23 October 2008
What's wrong with this? Apart, of course, from the fact that the featured Tsar looks nothing like my friend Peter, who's rehearsing the role at English National Opera probably even as I write (the image might serve if you bear in mind that Boris was supposed to be a Tartar and the 'son of a hangman', but I reckon you need the crown of Monomakh in there to clarify). What troubles me is the horrid and now ubiquitous use of cyrillic lettering to try and make the logo look good. But it doesn't. To me it reads as 'Boris Godtsiov' (usually the abuse is to the Russian 'ya', made to serve as a kind of backward 'r'). I immediately e-mailed my editor at ENO, Philip Reed, for whom I've just written the general article for the programme, and pleaded with him not to let it pass on the cover. And he replied saying that the sound I was hearing was that of him putting his foot down already.
Well, I suppose that, having stamped my own pedantic feet, I should do the otherwise doughty company some service by saying that Musorgsky's Boris Godunov runs at ENO's home, the London Coliseum, on selected dates from 10 November to 1 December. Since Tim Albery's directing, I expect it to be a bit sharper than their last staging, even though that was one of Francesca Zambello's better efforts. And of course this is a big step for Divobass Rose, who in the recently-voiced words of a younger bass, goes 'from strength to strength'.