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More of this please

English National Opera sacks singers during interval
Critics condemn handling of redundancies as ‘cruel, wicked and thoughtless’ after performers notified halfway through show

Us Dickensians will not be happy until the entire economy is run on these harsh lines. More!

32 thoughts on “More of this please”

  1. Luvvies can make a crisis out of anything. Perhaps they could express a preference for when they get the P45. Not before lunch and only on days without a ‘y’ in them.

  2. “The sackings took place during an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale, pictured, which depicts a dystopian society …”

    Brilliant! I hope the managers planned it that way…

    It could only have been better halfway through some shite by Brecht.

  3. @SV “It could only have been better halfway through some shite by Brecht.”

    Ladies and gentlemen, owing to interval sackings, the second half is the Penny Halfpenny Opera.

  4. Regrettable timing but it was really only a confirmation of what was already known and agreed.
    ENO is moving to Manchester; unfortunately the audience has decided to remain in London.

  5. If they didn’t keep churning out woke crap like adaptations of the fecking Handmaids Tale there would more bums on seats and fewer redundancies.

  6. I stopped going to ENO in 2005 after witnessing a dreadful production of Handels Jephtha. It was the final straw.

    My Monkey Quotient hovers around zero for them.

    The Colisuem will make a great Wetherspoins or Yates Wine Bar

  7. The sackings took place during an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale

    Blessed be the fruit, lol.

  8. Dennis, Music Critic To The Gods

    Something tells me that ENO’s management might not be comprised of the crème de la crème.

  9. Dennis, Gold Medalist In Unnecessary Snark

    The sackings took place during an adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale.

    Which tells us that the audience was comprised of the Gender Studies majors at the nearest university…

    And nobody else.

  10. If they are going to do cartoons like The Handmaid’s Tale, why can’t they do an adaptation of Bugs Bunny’s Rabbit of Seville?

    I guarantee it would pull in a larger audience.

  11. Geoffrey
    “I bet the second half of the show was shite.”

    My guess is they were going to wait until the end, but the first half was so bad they couldn’t bear it any longer.

  12. John,

    I wouldn’t bet on that. Most people who like opera like it in the original language. And they’ve always struggled to get the best singers because the likes of Callas weren’t going to relearn Tosca in English just for a small number of performances. You learn it in Italian and perform it around the world. The ENO really has not been a success in a very long time.

  13. Dennis, A Wabbit Hunter

    If they are going to do cartoons like The Handmaid’s Tale, why can’t they do an adaptation of Bugs Bunny’s Rabbit of Seville?

    My guess would be lack of talent.

  14. WB

    That is slightly unfair. There are a lot of excellent British singers and often even top class foreign singers struggle with English pronuncistion or their own accents, which one does not notice when they sing in Italian.

    Modern translations, which the ENO use, tend to be pretty ropey. It is a bit like modern Bibles, the language jars and the jokes fall flat.

    My problem with it was that their productions were simply crap and I almost always came out vowing ‘never again’ until I finally did stop going.

    ps What’s Opera Doc has that great duet

    Fudd: Oh Bwunnhilde you’re so wovewy

    Bugs: I know I just caynt halp it

  15. BTW

    I’d like to praise English Touring Opera. They do slightly cut but straight up decent productions in original language. They have basic sets and almost totally British casts. I always come out enjoying their shows, because I haven’t been forced to watch some half arsed psychodrama.

  16. I got made redundant by KPMG when they had a big round of staff lay-offs. Back in 2003 or 2004.
    It was explained that we would be informed by work email on a particular Monday morning.
    So everyone had to go into work on that Monday, fire up their computer and see if they had an email from HR waiting for them. If they did, it was explained that it was “understandable” if we wanted to go home for the rest of the day.

  17. When you’re tired of opera it’s time to relax and enjoy a little piano recital – Rhapsody Rabbit. Though the Cat Concerto remains a favourite here.

  18. Fred Quimby

    Hanna and Barbera did the work though. Chuck Jones was a great animation director, but my opinion of his work is jaded by his Tom and Jerries not being a patch on the H+B ones.

  19. Otto,

    It’s always that thing with any translation, that you can’t literally translate it, you have to get the sense of it, keep the poetry of it, the sound of the words.

    I know the lead violinist for ETO. Her Dad is a friend of mine. But I couldn’t get to see them when they were playing Bath.

    To me, opera is a legacy art form. Amplification made it unnecessary, so the best songwriters moved into musicals around the 1940s. The works before then are great, but I can’t think of anything I’ve liked since.

  20. To me, opera is a legacy art form. Amplification made it unnecessary, so the best songwriters moved into musicals around the 1940s. The works before then are great, but I can’t think of anything I’ve liked since.

    And film music, of course. Korngold could never get re established in Vienna after the war, because he was seen as some Hollywood hack.

    One of the problems is that there is nowhere really for modern music to go, apart from becoming more abstract and inaccessible. John Adams writes decent operas but I really struggle to think of a post war opera that I would go to see, let alone name.

    I went to a talk cum concert last year with a reputable composer who does both film and serious music. I don’t know if it was just a bad choice, but his piano pieces were utterly third rate, pale and poor imitations of Weill and Eisler. He also played some of his synth works and I kept on thinking “I bet Depeche Mode could do this better.”

    Honourable exception is an Italian chap called Luca Francesconi who wrote an hilarious one 20 years ago called Buffa Opera Heard it on the wireless it has never been committed to CDas far as I know. I think it is on YouTube.

  21. To me, opera is a legacy art form. Amplification made it unnecessary,
    And “classical” music. The sole reason for the orchestra was amplification. A trio can’t play to & be heard by a house of several hundred people. And one given the orchestra, composers composed for it. It was simply an economy of scale solution.

  22. A trio can’t play to & be heard by a house of several hundred people.
    The Wigmore Hall (cap 552) begs to differ.

    H&B ruined T&J by introducing dialogue.

  23. The Wigmore Hall (cap 552) begs to differ
    Yeah but you have a different sort of audience. No doubt they don’t talk over the performers.” Classical” music & opera were originally written as entertainment. They weren’t taken as seriously as they are now. It was theatre.

  24. Chamber pieces like trios ir quattetd were exactly as advertised. They were for playing at home or Louix XIV to listen to while doing the Telegraph crossword.

    Orchestral pieces were written for big halls or outside performances. Even in the early 18th Cent there were open(ish, they were usually subscription) music only concerts in theatres and halls.
    Haydn is the best example. His boss, Count Esterhazy built acoustically stupendous halls at his palaces in Eisenstadt and Fertod to showcase Haydn’s operas and symphonies.

    ps I think the Wigmore is one of the best halls that I have come across.

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