Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Strictly for Masochists

What does David Sawer and Armando Iannucci’s new opera Skin Deep have in common with Korngold’s Die Tote Stadt at Covent Garden? Well, it seems both are good productions of lousy works. Curiously, though, we are being encouraged by the critics to go out of our way to see them, and not for the quality of the productions, but for the novelty value of the music. Charlotte Higgins, writing in her Guardian blog, broadly supports Andrew Clements’ opinions in his two-star review of Skin Deep then signs off by encouraging us to see the work on the grounds that it is ‘never boring’. Similarly, both Hugo Shirley and his (perhaps slightly more esteemed) colleague Norman Lebrecht, reviewing the opening night of Die Tote Stadt, basically say it’s a dud then encourage us to go along. Speaking for myself, I’m inclined to give them both a miss.

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