June 2nd, 2014



Set out rather early, because traffic has been so bad, and it took like 40 minutes to get to Vauxhall! There was tape all around  the bus station and lots of cops. As usual, nobody knew what was going on,* and we sat there for a bit longer until the people on the top deck noticed that the bridge was shut, too, and demanded to be let off. There was nothing for it but to fecking walk to the Coliseum. Believe me,hordes of pissed-off commuters and baffled tourists do NOT respect the cripstick, and I was frequently jostled and nearly mown down. Oy vey. Still, I managed it in about 15-20 minutes, without needing to stop, and with only about a '3' pain level. (Thank you gods, surgery, and the Outdoor Gym-)
The show had started by the time I arrived, all verschwizt and frazzled,but I'd only missed a few minutes. All the latecomers had to stand at the back of the balcony until the interval, and I thought no problemo, until I realised the first act was 90 minutes long...Seriously, though the wow factor is strong in this one. Terry Gilliam had to deal with an incredibly complicated piece with a huge amount of crowd stuff and action, but he's reALLY (WITH ASSISTANT lEAh Hausman) pulled it off beautifully, and he ( with Araron Marsden and Rae Smith) has provided a gorgeous, busy environment (including giant heads, always a plus-) It's really a pleasure to watch.
I've never seen or heard this opera before, and found the music quite jolly, with plenty of lively choruses, etc. I agree with
motodraconis that the characters are all rather unsympathetic, though. Cellini is a self-centred braggart, who quite casually kills a (himself rather unpleasant) opponent, and gets off scot free. The cast worked hard, and it all looked and sounded great,if not very emotionally involving. It was good to see longtime ENO stalwart Willard White can still belt and boom with the best, in his cameo as the rather venal Pope. In the title role, burly tenor Michael Spyres bought the house down, deservedly. He's onstage nearly all the time, and it's difficult stuff, especially his big and beautiful second act aria, but he seemed to cruise through it all, sending the punters mental with admiration. Yes, this is definitely worth catching, if it hasn't sold out yet
Then it took me nearly an hour to get back home, with all the diversions,in the West End, sewer works near Clapham Common, etc, etc. If you live south of the river, my advice is don't go anywhere by bus for a few weeks, at least. Jeez Louise!
*Tragically, a cyclist had been killed nearby...but I don't see why Vauxhall Bridge needed to be closed.
I then had to schlep to the doctor's, involving more walking, and when I got there nobody knew anything about the form I needed to sign, so I had to sit there  half an hour or so (hadn't eaten since 7AM-) until the woman who did know, got back at 3:30.
I'd meant to exercise once I'd changed, but I just went plop.

This young man is  a knockout as Cellini.
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