“A is happy”
Charles Court Opera is back at the King’s Head Theatre. As a fan of their pioneering productions I was delighted to hear the news. I recall seeing Charles Court Opera’s remarkable and memorable interpretations of Gilbert and Sullivan’s (G & S) musical concoctions: Patience in 2014, Trial By Jury and The Zoo in 2015. Now they grace the bright pub’s stage again with another G & S opera – that ran at the Savoy Theatre for 672 performances and became the second longest musical theatrical work up until 1885. That work is none other than The Mikado – a hilarious satire of British institutions seen through the glasses of a Japanophile, which Gilbert became after attending an exhibition on Japanese artifacts in Knightsbridge.
If you read my last post Reflecting on 2017, then you’ll know I saw the following in 2017 — 19 operas, 26 theatre shows, eight classical music concerts and seven dance shows. In a similar way, I sat down and figured out how many films I saw at the cinema last year and, to my surprise, the number was impressive, by comparison. It’s forty-nine, yes, 49! Essentially, I saw a film at least once a week, which is brilliant, but you’re probably wondering how is that possible, right?
The average price for a cinema ticket is £15, in London anyway. I’m guessing you’re thinking I spent £735 on film tickets… wrong! As much as I love theatre, opera, entertainment and culture, on the whole, a £15 cinema ticket (not two,) is a hefty price. On top of making the time to see films, after a hard day’s work (not forgetting that some cinemas show films past some people’s bedtime), I depend on a cinema card for my Hollywood and CGI fix, without having to break the bank. That card was, and presently is, the Limitless card from Odeon Cinemas.
Now, before you decide to close this page, please don’t assume this is a promotional post for Odeon. I wasn’t paid to write about them (although Odeon should pay me). I would humbly like to address — the fact — that I paid £19.99 a month to see all the films I wanted. That includes the sky high £23 tickets sold at the Odeon Cinemas in the West End. It’s wonderful, honestly. I know Cineworld cinemas have a similar scheme, but Odeon has more venues closer to me, which is why I went with them. If you want to be a film buff, this is possibly the quickest way to become one. So, how about a limitless card for theatre?
There are those who can enjoy La Traviata and La bohème multiple times in a year, but I’m one of those operagoers that can see Così fan tutte again and again. Why? Admittedly Don Giovanni, another of Mozart’s tremendous works, is one of my favourite operas and a lot of that has to do with the highly memorable and addictive music, as well as the hilarious narrative that caused a bit of a stir when it was first shown in 1790 at the Burgtheater in Vienna.
Considering it was written and performed in the late 1700s, some may argue that Mozart’s Così was ahead of its time, depicting would-be fiancées falling for new lovers on the same day their fiancés had been called away to war. It would be fair to say that today, where so-called freedom of speech and supposed gender equality exists, current directors wouldn’t be fazed about the way that women are depicted in this opera.
Così fan tutte translated from Italian means both ‘School for lovers’ or ‘women are like that’. It would be unfair to suppose that ‘women are like that’ and, of course, Mozart or his librettist Da Ponte didn’t compose the opera to voice such opinion but some sources suggest that the young composer was writing against the backdrop of the French Revolution, in the final years of the Enlightenment era where rational and liberal thoughts were motivating creative minds, leading to vast new artistic innovations, including this one.
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