Yes, for the first time Le roi de Lahore, Massenet's somewhat Kitschy oriental exotic, of irresistible charm, has been heard in London, yesterday evening in a real fun concert performance by the fearless Chelsea Opera Group at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. And I would not have missed it for anything.
With the splendid Michael Spyres in the killer title role they could not go wrong. The rest of the cast requires considerable heft as well and we had heroic efforts from the excellent William Dazeley, young Jihoon Kim, splendid Joshua Bloom, an old colleague from Chicago days, as well as two of the best young women from the Royal Opera House Jette Parker programme, past and present, Justina Gringyte and Anush Hovhannisyan. And the whole enterprise was welded together by the Royal Opera's exceptional chorus master Renato Balsadonna, no mean feat and evidence of his considerable distinction as inspirational force.
This evening I am off to The Indian Queen at the English National Opera - another collectors item!