Tuesday, May 17, 2005


Two challenges faced over the last few days. Friday night was opera night. Now, three years or so ago you wouldn't find me very near an opera house. It's still not my favourite art form, but there are compromises you have to make.

Berg's "Lulu" (I read over the weekend that he died before he finished the opera) is not the easiest piece. The story is fairly straightforward. Being opera, there's death and love involved. Lulu is a woman with loose morals. That being the case, there's plenty of sex. Thankfully, the audience is spared the details.

No, it's not the story that "challenges". It's the freeform structure and discordant music that makes this a bit of an effort for the novice. I don't usually have any problem with 20th century "classical" music. "Lulu", however, tested my resolve. Clocking in at 3 hours+ after a busy week didn't help either.

In contrast, Alison Moyet is about as mainstream as you can get. She's veering towards MOR/AOR. Indeed, there was quite a mixture in the audience with a definite slant towards the gay community.

I'm told that Basildon's own Moyet - a mid level star in the eighties with Yazoo (a duo with ex-Depeche Mode keyboard player Vince Clarke, now part of Erasure) - suffered terribly from stage fright. Difficult to imagine this as she was smooth in front of the mike and chatty between numbers.

Moyet has a powerful voice and really can belt it out. Her choice of material from Elvis Costello to 60s oddball "Windmills in Your Mind" fits her well. Like Berg, it's not quite my cuppa tea. Yet, I surprised myself by enjoying most of the concert.

:: Posted by pete @ 20:27