Saw a curious old (1949) film last night, THE LAST DAYS OF DOLWYN, introducing a startlingly fresh-faced Richard Burton. It was corny and obvious, but there was something quite touchingly elegaic about it, in its sheer old-fashionedness....I've been coughing and wheezing like crazy, today, even with antihistamines. Nearly gave up on exercising, but stuck it out. I remarked to R Next Door, that I can't help rather liking the pig-ugly but jolly little Staffie, Lily. (She thinks they should all be put down, no exceptions!-) She replied 'Vell, you are like that. I like the lovely greyhound types because I am built like that. People always look like their dogs' Give me a feckin' break... I might be a Rottweiller or a Mastiff, but I don't think I'm quite as unsightly as a Staff.
The ENO rehearsal of DEATH IN VENICE was another good 'un. It's not top-rankin' Britten, IMO, (That would be PETER GRIMES an BILLY BUDD for me-) I always find the first act a bit of a plod. Deborah Warner's much-praised production really is excellent, though, and the sets and lighting have a good romantic yet sickly quality.The only other operatic Asenbach I've seen onstage was the wonderful Philip Langridge, but you really couldn't fault John Graham-Hall at all. Veh fine performance. Andrew Shore was also reliably good as the various rather menacing baritones, and Tim Mead sang beautifully as the Voice of Apollo. motodraconis and her work pal joined me in the box. Stranger Lady was in there again, but she's pleasant enough. Due to the inconvenient time of day, and the not super-popular show, there was plenty of room anyway. It's been a very good season for ENO, artistically, which makes it all the sadder that their financial straits are so dire. Snot fair.