The BBC Proms

So I’ve been wanting to go to a BBC Prom for ages, just never known what I want to go to. I don’t know my classical music that well so I don’t know what pieces I’d like and what I won’t (I know the names of a lot of composers, but if you said to me ‘Oh I like the 5th Symphony of this person’ I’d have no idea what your on about.   But this year flicking through I saw that Wagnar – The Master Singers of Nuremburg. Now I’ve never seen an opera, but I have heard of Wagnar, and I know of the 5-6 hour Rings Cycle epic.  We had a bit of trepidation about how long this was going to be as it would start at 4pm, finish at 10.15. With a 25min and a 1 hour interval.

A friend of ours also warned us that if you don’t go to the right opera when you go to your first one, it can really put you off, and she said she hoped this didn’t because she thinks opera is fantastic.

I’m glad to say that The Mastersingers of Nuremberg was the right one to start with.

I have to confess opera wasn’t what I expected, I’m not quite sure what I expected but this wasn’t it, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  I think that often when you catch glimpses of opera on the tv or in films then often you see large women with Viking helmets singing, or just very heavy music and angry singing. C mentions to me that this is probably because they’ll usually use The Rings Cycle or The Marriage of Figaro. There also wasn’t as many musical interludes as I thought there’d be, but maybe that’s just how this opera went.

I don’t know what happens with opera normally, but because this was the proms we got the full lyrics for the opera, the German on one side and English on the other. Which on the one hand meant we couldn’t lose ourselves in the music, but on the other hand we could follow the opera, which was very funny. C was in stitches at some points.

I also love how a lute got put into an opera, if only for a brief period of time!

Anyway I did really enjoy this opera, even though it wasn’t the full version with costumes and stage (there’s no room at the Royal Albert Hall). Would def consider going to another opera. Although if I don’t get the words I wonder how much I’d enjoy it. We did kind of feel it would have been slightly easier to watch on TV with the subtitles. Although then you don’t get the atmosphere.

I need to look up some new Proms now.

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