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04 July 2013 @ 04:22 pm
The non-piratical bit first. Does chanting “I am not getting a cold, I am not getting a cold” either:

(a) Promote mind over matter and ensure it doesn’t happen?
(b) Make it appear, like Bloody Mary?

I went to see the D’Oyly Carte/Scottish Opera Pirates of Penzance last night, having picked up a leaflet at lunchtime to see that Steven Page* was playing the Pirate King and thus moved from undecided to decided. The reviews had suggested it was a bit solid at times, and I definitely felt the initial tempos needed to be picked up a bit, but it perked up pretty swiftly. I’ve never actually seen Pirates before, though I’ve sung it. Mabel struck me as something of a proto-Madeleine Bassett, and the biggest laugh of the night came with “Because with all their faults, we love our House of Peers”.** Certainly the pirates’ notorious kindness to orphans puts them some rungs up the ladder of decency compared to the present lot.

I recently heard a recording of the Merry Widow overture on Classic FM that made it sound quite G&S-ish. Hearing G&S played by professionals was a reminder as to how far even the G&S-ish bits of Lehar are above G&S.

*Not the one formerly of Barenaked Ladies. This one was a definitive Sweeney Todd with Opera North when I was at university.

** I see a Brideshead Revisited crossover in which “Marquis’ Son Unused to Wine” Sebastian Flyte, instead of being got off by his family is convicted, sent down from Oxford, flees London and falls in with some pirates. He ends up a much happier man.