Saturday, 2 July 2011

Two Boys @ ENO

Two Boys is English National Opera's new offering, and I was lucky enough to have secured row C tickets for a Friday performance - in my opinion you really need to sit very close to the stage for theatre / opera to appreciate the performance fully! Unlike many operas where familiar classical tales are performed, Two Boys is a new production about the 'dark side' of the Internet, the changing attitudes and behaviour of the younger generation - well, of course these subjects are nothing new, but to cover these in opera is quite refreshing!

The 'dialogues' are all sung in simple, contemporary English - so good, considering many operas are sung in old English or other languages, and you need the subtitles to understand what's going on. Having said that, it IS quite funny to hear informal language being sung in operatic tone... :P Anyway, I also like how they have made good use of computerised screens - I have seen many performances with digitalised screens but sometimes it's a failure. The plot's also quite gripping - perhaps not like cinematic gripping, but there's suspense and it's really only towards the end that you realise what actually happened - quite good, actually, considering how a lot of times we can totally predict what's going to happen in the first 15 minutes of a film.

Doing contemporary opera is difficult, they're trying their best to bring in new elements but I wonder if traditional opera goers would be as happy as a young amateur like me. After all, it's the middle-aged who are more willing to spend the most on their tickets (and go regularly), so I wonder if this is actually a good direction for the survival of opera companies. Having said that, I admire their innovation! I hope they have more modern operas in future!

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