End of the world – What does it mean?

end of the world

In recent times there have been huge changes to the social climate and attitudes in Britain, even over the course of a generation or two. We now live in a world of instant  communication, sexual freedom, consumerism, environmentalism, multiculturalism, and the cult of celebrity. These developments certainly mean it is the end of the world … Continue reading End of the world – What does it mean?

Spiritual Substance and Material Reality

Spiritual substance, in particular, is hard for our material minds to grasp. We’re so used to thinking of everything solid as being material, and of everything non-material (thoughts, feelings, etc.) as being wispy and insubstantial. But dreams show us a world that is non-material, and yet solid when we’re in it. Dreams are more like … Continue reading Spiritual Substance and Material Reality

Fidelio: A Critic’s Disappointment.

Fidelio

Welsh National Opera Production

Hippodrome Theatre Birmingham 12/11/10

Future performances will be at Llandudno, Southampton, and Oxford.

At the outset I’ve got to say the other night’s performance of the opera Fidelio by Beethoven in Birmingham was a disappointment for me. This despite the inspirational nature of the music as a rousing, triumphant affirmation of the belief that the most important human qualities – love, courage and kindness – can exist in even the most inhuman of conditions. It is a story about a woman who disguises herself as a man working in a prison in order to save her husband who is languishing there through no fault of his own.

There were both tender intimate scenes and highly charged choruses. However, the emotional impact of the performance on me was lacking. The singing was first class and the soloists in particular deserve admiration given the great vocal skill and endurance demanded of them by the score. But to my mind the acting of the performers seemed wooden. What little movement on the stage seemed to happen in slow motion.