Everything theatrical is illuminated in the light of the big burly marshmallowy genius of il maestro Simon Russell Beale, (who's by the way the greatest Hamlet Charles Spencer has ever seen on a stage).
Imagine Opera Chic's excitement this morning while reading all about "The Truth About Love - A romantic journey through Mozart's operas", at the world's coolest concrete box, aka The Barbican:
And speaking of raging hormones, Simon Russell Beale then proffered a letter from the young Mozart suggesting that infatuation and marriage were somewhat confused in his mind, prompting Papageno and Pamina to contemplate domestic bliss from their different perspectives in the delicious Act I duet from The Magic Flute. It was that sort of evening – poetry and song leading us in a gentle dance through the ramifications of a true love that never did run smooth. Mozart understood how fragile a thing it was and the richness of his response ensured that for the best part of 20 musical numbers he never once repeated himself.
Whoever put together this entertaining confection – and I am assuming it was Ian Page of the Classical Opera Company – made shrewd choices. The juxtapositions were deliciously apt. How touching to have Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 – "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day" – segue into Tamino's first glimpse of Pamina's portrait, "Dies Bildnis ist bezaubernd".
SRB (and WAM) ftw!