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The Open Weekend

It has been what you might call a compact weekend of openings at OHP.

On Saturday, framed by the weather in a way only the British will really understand, we opened the revival of Will Todd's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in the afternoon and Norma in the evening.  A heatwave is upon us but the dire warnings from the Met office were reassuringly and familiarly wrong and the day was a glorious one - so Alice stayed in her usual home on the Yucca Lawn.

In the evening a much grander affair in the form of Bellini's High Priestess wove its magic through the warm and heavy night air. I had a more  personal interest than usual in the show since my five year old daughter Fiora is in it; the party afterwards was quickly and almost entirely dedicated, at her insistence, to her and her friend Davina, also in the production as one of Norma's two children. Nobody in attendance had any choice in the matter and if you think stage-generated adrenalin in singers is a thing to behold, you haven't seen two five year olds who are also way past their bedtimes. We have particular reason, however, to be proud of them since during their first stint on stage, a ball that is meant to accompany them (and with which they play) was absent but they thought on their feet, happily improvising a mime of throwing it to one another.

Sunday was all about the Open Day at the theatre for which the weather again behaved. The place was full of people and again, the two most popular events were the Minute Maestro and the scratch chorus. For three hours young (some very young) and old alike got the chance to conduct the City of London Sinfonia and it is always a very heartwarming occasion. About fifty people also spent a couple of hours learning some operatic chorus music and got to sing it on stage with the orchestra at the end of the afternoon - and they did it brilliantly. 

I suppose we could do all this digitally - conduct the orchestra by Skype, perhaps? But over a thousand people came into the theatre and heard some opera so it was worth all the effort of Monique, Seth and others who after two openings and a day before a dress rehearsal managed to get it all together. Many thanks to them and also to the many volunteers who came in to help.

Adriana Lecouvreur's dress tonight is exciting. Like, really exciting.


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