Too bad that on Dec. 7 Opera Chic will be stuck in Milan at la Scala, dawdging paparazzi & rawking some improbable demi-couture at la Prima (the Barenboim-Chéreau Tristan that has us already bored to tears one week before the actual performance); because the place where we'd much rather be is London, the Barbican to be more precise: Britten's Billy Budd will come to life under the mad baton skillz of Daniel Harding and with the voices of our main man Ian Bostridge, and Nathan Gunn, John Relyea, Jonathan Lemalu, Matthew Rose and Andrew Kennedy.
As Comandante Bostridge (by the way, if you don't have his Henze CD, that insanely fierce piece of work, you're automatically not one of the cool kids and OC will not invite you to her parties) himself has explained in an interview,
When I ask him how he sees the character of Vere, Bostridge responds 'I don't really.' But is he a sympathetic character, for instance? 'I think I just have to sing it and see. It's not the way I work, really; I don't subject the person I'm playing to psychoanalysis. I do it, then you take away from it what you want as a member of the audience. I think that's particularly pertinent to Britten, because it's the way he works. He makes everything very ambiguous – the music conflicts with the libretto and you're never quite sure where you are. It's very unsettling. I don't think it's really possible to sum up some of these characters in a straightforward way – which makes them rather real, in fact.'
Instead of savoring the beauty of Bostridge's phrasing and of Harding's ownage of the LSO, OC will be at la Scala trying to survive among the bad plastic surgery, the logorrheic politicians, the TV supercheesy celebrities, the cabana boys, the perennially agitated fashion designers in black t-shirts, the meatpacking industry magnates with bad combovers, and their generally ho-baggy escorts. Listening, to add insult to injury, to Reichmarschall Wagner.
Not to mention, our real problem for that night is, Louboutins or McQueens?