<< -- 2 -- Bill Newman IMPULSE AND SPACE
Mounting a series of opera performances depends on monies available,
with choice of singers based on everyone's abilities. In The Saint
particularly, the impact on stage is governed by the length and breath of
orchestral sound from the pit. 'That is why Menotti is very concerned
about tempi and balance. He and I are very good friends and we get on with
each other extremely well. If he falls out with a conductor, he has a hard
time. Luckily that hasn't happened!'
But the music doesn't deserve its neglect, especially in England.
'No! Although there is good and bad music by every composer. I will
tell you a story about The Consul. When we had recorded it, a Director
from one of our London Opera Companies asked me for a copy, as it was a
piece he liked very much. I was working there at the time, and after the
production had finished I was invited to go and discuss our next project.
There was the CD case open on his desk, and he told me that he couldn't
stop playing it. He loved it! Of course I couldn't perform it here.
Why not? You know, there is a terrible snobbery about Menotti's music
'And living in Scotland, it is a great shame that the Edinburgh
Festival cannot honour him in his 90th year. He wears his heart on his sleeve,
and we find that quite hard to accept.
I mentioned Birtwistle, Tavener and MacMillan. 'I think that things
have opened up. If you say you like Tavener, you can also like Birtwistle
without being sneered at as would happen ten years ago.'
Copyright © 10 January 2002
Bill Newman, Edgware, Middlesex, UK
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