Opera 5 opened a run of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville at the Factory Theatre last night. It’s arguably the most conventional thing Opera 5 have done. It’s a (very) mainstream piece. There was no accompanying themed food or drink (a glass of Rotsina?). There was no audience participation. There weren’t even Aria Umezawa’s characteristically minimalist touches. What there was a carefully constructed Barber for reduced forces directed by new Artistic Director Jessica Derventzis and conducted by Evan Mitchell.
Needing something suitable to celebrate Britten’s 100th birthday I decided to go and see the National Ballet’s new show Innovation which premiered last night and included a piece set to the Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes. A Pergolesi Stabat Mater with Emma Kirkby and Daniel Taylor was a considerable additional attraction. I’m not a dance expert so take any comments on that subject that follow as the impressions of a complete non-expert.