From the Royal Opera Chorus in Japan – Day 18
Well, the curtain is finally down on Manon, and although it’s been a long hot slog for the chorus, it was an emotional evening. With production rehearsals beginning in May, it feels like the longest run in history! It was sad to bid farewell to the principals and dancers who were flying back to London this morning. All except Anna Nitrebko who is singing the final La traviata tomorrow evening! We also heard the news that Tom Allen is unwell and that Williiam Shimell is en route direct to Covent Garden to sing Don Alfonso in Così fan tutte. We wish Tom all the very best for a speedy recovery.
Today is a day off for the chorus and orchestra, but spare a thought for the crew and technical teams working hard doing the Manon ‘get out’ and setting up La traviata for tomorrow! They are certainly the unsung heroes of the tour. Many of us will use the day sightseeing, finishing our shopping, or maybe starting to pack!? A party including the Pappanos is going to the Sumo championships – a superb event according to those who went last week, and rumour has it that the Company Manager is escaping to Kyoto, far from any cast-change dramas! For those of us sight seeing and planning to take in a museum and garden or two, it seems that these attractions close on Mondays or Tuesdays (such as today) which follow a Monday Bank Holiday! As our previous two days off were Mondays, the odds have been stacked against us! The weather remains stunning, with temperatures into the 30s, so unconfirmed reports of frosts back in the UK are sending shockwaves through the ranks. We have all had a fantastic time, but it will be great to get home and see families and huge bowls of salad again!
Just one La traviata to go…
- John Bernays