Sea Interludes and Sydney
Last night was my annual PLR outing ... using the money from library borrowings (thanks readers!) for a night-out at the opera. The English National Opera comes up trumps for me more than any other place; stars aren't jetted in to reprise their latest roles, you get true staged drama with a superb company in a relatively intimate setting. Peter Grimes was extraordinarily powerful. I can 'know' a piece on disc but even the orchestral sea interludes make more intense dramatic sense when linked to the stage. I had always thought that Peter Grimes was a poor innocent hounded by the 'Borough', the local populace, but this is real drama so in fact much more layered than that. The locals are justifiably alert for the safety of Grimes' apprentices, and Grimes is a loner who flashes out of control at times, driven by what others think of him. This is no case of good and bad. A scene in which the townsfolk are dancing gleeful at having been proved right, almost dancing on graves, chilled me.
We're off tonight, being flown in to Sydney. I'm to be reading as part of the Tales from the Afterlives event, part of the Luminous festival curated by Brian Eno. My partner James, more significantly, is also the star act next Sunday in mainstage discussion with Brian on the environment, and how culture might adapt to meet climate change.
I'm looking forward to scouting the city, and the Opera House, in my freetime. Since being invited there, I've realized the Opera House is central to a chapter in my ongoing novel. I do like that curious mergance of life and novel when creativity is bubbling the work into shape. So much surprises me by feeding from one into the other.