Thursday, 23 October 2008

Image problem


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'.

12 comments:

albert said...

David, who is Amerjaquino and what script would he have written, if you please?

Mrs. John C

david said...

And how are you, Mrs JC? Are you enjoying anything here?

Poor Jaquino let slip following a remark about a BAFTA that he works on the scripts for the sketch series featuring the two actors from my current addiction, Peep Show. He's an actor too, apparently. I like his ciecapersonality but am very fed up with the senseless Britbashing (even though I don't suppose the conductor currently cited will set the world alight).

albert said...

Thanks, David. I'm gone from Parterre but maybe I'll see you here now and again.

Mrs. JC

david said...

Well, that would be a shame. As usual, I'm on the cusp of giving up too - bashing the head against the brick wall of mindless Brithatred.

As you know, you were one of the reasons for staying - thanks for doing PR on Bax and putting the record straight about certain divagossip.

The choice we have to make is between chat with a few enlightened souls and staying out of the playground when the bullies strike again.

Anyway, do post your wisdom here, please.

albert said...

Well, David your pal Peter looks imposing -- I'm trying to think of whether I've seen him, or someone similarly named and am mixing them up. The one I saw did not have an memorable bass voice, though he was reasonable enough.

I smiled in reading about your calling your editor at ENO, for I wrote tons for the Met and the concert halls around NY in the 80's and 90's, and also wrote for and lectured at Bard -- in reference to an earlier post of yours.

I have decided to punch and delete James Jorden, a vicious creep (aka La Cieca). So I will never go back there. But I will check out your writing here -- and how funny to read at the 'other place' last week that Eddie Elgar (who apparently rebuked Adrian Boult for his use of the banned word 'bloody') liked the boys and called Barker "poor Granville"!!!! -- but you have to hand to poor Granville that his output was enormous and I envy him, he also liked H Brain who I've never got a grasp of but who seems like an interesting and if I'm correct tragic figure.

david said...

When you say 'looks', you do realise that's not him in the picture? I don't have a pic of him on the blog. But 'sounds' - indeed. Allowing for a bit of personal bias, as I said on Parterre, I do think he's the best - and certainly the most beautifully sung - Ochs of recent years. Vienna has accepted him as such. Also, as the funniest man on earth, his Bottom is much to be admired.

Well, I'm finally gone from Parterre too. There was a wave of hysteria when I praised aspects of the ENO Pagliacci, which ended up with one poor soul insistently screaming that I was 'provincial'. As La Cieca is supposed to redact such bile and didn't, I quickly realised that this tied in with his own agenda against the 'fucking Brits'.

I never knew there was such hatred for the employment of British singers in the States.

Such a shame, anyway, as there are learned folk there I enjoyed conversing with - apart from you, the chief voices of reason seemed to be Cocky Kurwenal, Thackeray Gnomey, armerjaquino and Regina delle Fate.

Well, I hope they too may pop up here from time to time.

Keep in touch,

David

albert said...

David I think you should ask the people you like to post here and maybe we can get a mini-parterre going, less Met/American centric and more interesting.

Jorden is a nasty creature and oddly his agendas never change -- the anti British bias, carried to an extreme and not really sincere (he's not in the business so he isn't someone who was bested by a Brit or had a client who was) and the anti-Fleming fury. The last goes back to the first days of the horrid rag he has now uploaded. It's senseless, she refused to be interviewed by him and his attacks on her not only escalated but became obscene (he was also thrown out of the Met by Volpe's orders and kept out -- thus the crazy praise for the opera/serious music hating philistine Peter Gelb who wrecked Sony and who was shoved on the board by that idiot Beverly Sills.

I have had my problems on that blog as you know, but I really began to reconsider when some assholes posted about Fleming's failed marriage -- a tragedy in her life that I know all about. I don't have trouble with those who don't like her singing or who think she's been hyped but the speculations about her as a person are inappropriate, insulting and very far from the mark.

david said...

Well, I'm not going to suggest that - the freaks and bullies would come here too. I did depart with the Parsifalian 'You know where you can find me again', so those that want to will do so.

It's also a bit of a fiddle to access via message - a lot of people don't like signing up to google accounts. But since I like the layout, I'm sticking with it.

Arrivederci...

david said...

I think (though I may be wrong) it's begun already (see above). So I'm both extending the invitation to contribute and going for moderation, too.

jonathanburton said...

Hello David! Just discovered your blog by accident (Googling for a pin-up of Anne Schwanewilms *blush*) which was a very pleasant surprise.

I had a similiar moan, actually about abuse of Greek letters, on my own blog a while ago:

http://jonathanburton.wordpress.com/2008/01/27/endymion-at-blackheath/

- or if that's not legible,
http://tinyurl.com/5nzdt5

Reading Russian is hard enough work already...

all best -- Jonathan

david said...

Good to hear from you, Jonathan - I'll look at your blog when I can access it (can't click on a link here, unfortunately).

Well, we all adore the lovely Schwanewilms in our various ways. I think I may just have missed her in a Missa Solemnis - after Jiri's BBCSO performance, I couldn't imagine it being bettered, so once had to be enough this autumn.

I see you're down (if it is you in that confusion of JBs) for a PPT before great Vladimir's Tristan Act 2. I wouldn't miss that for the world. Having a whale of a time being involved with this 'Revealing Tchaikovsky' fest - are you coming to any of this batch?

david said...

Oh, I just did click on your name, and enjoyed your pithy Promsspiels. We agree about Deneve's wonderful La Mer (and, sadly, about that Rach 2 - what was he up to? Saw him at the Jurowski concert last night. But I've never bought his Rachline anyway).