Yesterday midday I felt depressed. A foot infection has meant a course of antibiotics. That in turn has caused a stomach upset. Plus lousy weather.
But we watched a DVD – The Mikado, a production from the Sydney Opera House. Such joyful music. It was made in 1988 – I twigged that by the in-jokes about Hawke and Peacock before I saw the credits. Magnificent staging, costuming, and use of props. Such richness is hard to describe – three little maids from school acted like girls from St Trinians. There were comic hall variations. Umbrellas were used to great effect. Boxing stances were part of the action. Add in lovely lyrics – ‘a wandering minstrel I’, ‘briad the raven hair’ ‘tit-willow’. It was a heady brew, a spirit-lifting occasion – 19th century comic opera, 20th century production, presented by 21st century technology. I felt cheerful at the end of it. The show had come to me.
The 2018 Book Council Lecture
2 days ago