I must be honest and admit that the first act of tonight’s ballet of Romeo and Juliet by The New Opera Theatre Company was a little hard to follow, despite me knowing some of Shakespeare’s work already. But when Mercurio came on I instantly recognised and appreciated his power and poise. Despite an early exit – he was the first of the many ‘deaths’ – I could appreciate his superior skills. And he smiled intensely all the while he was performing his hard physical art form.
We had a 20 minute interval and then the performance resumed. Suddenly a harpsichord solo broke out and being so different I honestly thought someone hadn’t turned off their mobile! However, it was in fact Tanya, my benefactor, who was playing. And it was exquisite! Some of the orchestra we’re visible in the pit from where I sat but not the piano forte, her instrument (I learnt later that she was actually on an electronic keyboard).
When the second act finished in a huge fanfare I mistakenly interpreted the curtain call of ballet dancers, via the gap in the closed curtains, to be the end. Even at the time I’d thought that the curtain call via a tiny gap in the curtains was strange. When we were all vacating the theatre again I soon realised that this was in fact a second interval.
By the third and final act I was relishing the whole look and feel. The wonderful music composed by a famous Russian composer. And delightfully the poetry in motion that graced the stage.
Afterwards I met Tanya and her husband Dmitri, at the staff exit round the side. Tanya was fresh form her piano. Dmitri is a tenor soloist and opera singer. They’d both met in art/music school together.
Tanya offered to accompany me to buy my onward east bound tickets. We managed to get seats to Nizhny Novgorod and then a day later on to Perm. The fast train to Nizhny Novgorod wasn’t going on the Friday. So it’s the sleeping dorm trains for me.
Still to see inside the Moscow Kremlin (which is closed on Thursdays). And another Banya wouldn’t go astray.