Everybody enjoying the BBC's season of opera-related programmes? Good!
Pappano is especially good at enthusing his audience (is he the modern-day Bernstein?) and the programmes on Wagner and Danielle de Nisse have been very enjoyable, not to mention the wonderful "Figaro" the other night.
It might seem churlish to criticise such riches, but my only gripe is with the editing. It seems we're not capable of concentrating on more than 20 seconds of music without somebody commenting on it or illustrating it.
Opera isn't really an art form for people with short attention spans. How are people going to get a sense of the power of "Va pensiero" if they're not allowed to hear the whole thing? I realise that just playing a 5-minute piece of music all the way through breaks every rule of the modern television documentary, but surely somebody at the BBC has some courage to flout convention, and give the viewer some moments of stillness and respite from the frenetic pace of the editing? Two short bursts of Sutherland's Lucia "Mad Scene" don't tell anyone very much apart from the fact that she was a fabulous singer.
I'm not complaining on my own account - I know my opera pretty well, and I'm just enjoying the programmes... but is this the best way to "hook" newcomers?