Richard Bratby

Knights at the opera

Plus: Anna Meredith’s new work for the First Night of the Proms scrolled through all the currently admissible tonal idioms

I’ve been trying to pinpoint the exact moment when it became impossible to take Mascagni’s Isabeau seriously. It wasn’t when the scenery jammed, leaving half the cast briefly trapped inside a revolving tower. These things happen, after all: you simply suppress thoughts of Spinal Tap and re-suspend disbelief. I don’t think it was the entry of a character called Ubaldo of Edinburgh either, though people were definitely starting to snigger.

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