Thursday, 11 February 2010
Faites vos jeux
I'll wager my precious Prokofiev collection that The Gambler at the Royal Opera, opening tonight, can't fail to be a surefire hit. My esteemed colleague Anthony Phillips, who was at the final rehearsal, wrote that he hadn't enjoyed himself so much at the theatre in years. Even the difficult-to-set-up first act apparently flew by. And my own punters at the City Lit were well and truly hooked by the third of our five classes.
There are intelligent previews here: in an interview with an unusually forthcoming Richard Jones on classicalsource and in a Guardian article by Tom Service which, uniquely, gets all its facts right and captures a real flavour. I can't wait.
In the meantime, a reminder that you can catch my Building a Library on the complete Romeo and Juliet this Saturday morning (CD Review, Radio 3, 9.30am, and thereafter on the iplayer for a week). Of course trying to cover the 52 numbers in 45 minutes was always going to be a headache; and sadly my anticipated self-editing was realised - two piquant examples of the second mandolin dance and another excerpt had to be shorn.
Yet what a pleasure to be working with a Radio 3 producer, Kevin Bee, who really knows his stuff and can crack a joke or two to keep it all buoyant. Had he needed to take editorial decisions of his own over what we recorded, I'd have been in safe hands. So let's hear it for these hard-worked producers. Some of them think, and write the scripts, for certain presenters, who then take all the credit.