Sir Henry Wood founded the Proms back in 1895 and what a great idea it was seeing as this year celebrates the 124th Prom, which shall include an 8-week long schedule of first-class orchestras, musicians, artists and performances yet to be announced, this week [Thursday 19th April]. Many die-hard Prommers are waiting with bated breath to know who will be performing this summer. That said, and as promised by its founder, the BBC Proms was made for everyone, and not just classical music aficionados and expert Prommers who know their way around the Royal Albert Hall’s pit.
This month sees many operagoers heading over to Deutsche Oper Berlin for a Strauss extravaganza. Der Rosenkavalier, Die liebe der Danae, Elektra and Salome are a few of the operas scheduled in and I had the pleasure of seeing Evelyn Herlitzius as Elektra and Allison Oakes as Salome this weekend.
It was my first time at the oper haus and I learnt much about its individuality and uniqueness from its friendly staff, quality of productions and audiences. For a start, while I fretted over finding an English translation of the librettos for these operas, it really wasn’t needed. Deutsche Oper provides surtitles in both English and German – simultaneously! Not only does it make life easier for people like me who can’t speak or read German, it can be very appealing and encouraging for its international audience. The productions (having seen both Salome and Elektra on consecutive nights) were irrefutably modern and abstract, yet I’m aware that I’m limiting my judgement based on two productions only. And there’s no problems on the acoustics side either. Although it is large auditorium there was hardly any obnoxious echoes. Pretty solid sounds if you ask me.
Other things that added to my pleasurable experience at Deutsche Oper included the dress code which is practically nonexistent (not that I have a hard time deciding what to wear for the ROH OR ENO). Also, how easy it was to grab my jacket without having to worry about a stampede of fussy people, shoving and elbowing each other to get their belongings. In fact the cloakrooms are conveniently located at the entrance – it’s the first thing the staff attendant will bring your attention to. There’s also a decent bar on the first floor to grab a drink before the show. >>>
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