It’s Christmas so it must be Die Fledermaus. Oh no it isn’t, it’s The MerryWidow. Which of course is just as good and probably better.
But this Merry Widow (I’ve done a few others) is a classy affair which has already been admired this season. Which strangely for me makes it a mixture of pleasure and dauntedness to be re-mounting it for Christmas.
I’ve always been in awe of masterpieces – conducting The Marriage of Figaro or The Magic Flute or La Traviata you really feel the responsibility of presenting perfect pieces to the public – and The Merry Widow is a masterpiece. And now that we’re all reputedly doing it well it’s up to us to do it even better.
The success of “light” entertainment depends on theatrical and musical sleight of hand -the better we are at hiding the joins the more enjoyable the result.
It’s a really expert cast of performers; but unless everything dovetails together properly and every moment is properly timed you feel you’re letting the piece down.
And what a piece.
Poignancy and exuberance in equal doses, every number a memorable one, and visual treats at every turn. We are fortunate to be the bringers of optimism to the audience. May you all have a ball.
The Merry Widow opens in the Leeds Grand Theatre on 18 December at 7.30pm
Wyn Davies, conductor.
Sat 18 December 7.30pm
Sun 19 December 3pm
Tue 21 December 7.30mpm
Wed 22 December 2pm