Saturday, June 06, 2009

Royal Opera House 17, Polar Bear 2

No, not a football score, but a contrast as to the number of rehearsals being undertaken for performances by Royal Opera House Orchestra for the new production of Berg's Lulu and by Polar Bear for their new recording.
Seb gave his band the music on Sunday, they played the Vortex on Monday and Tuesday and into the studio for a new album on Wednesday and Thursday.
Of course, it shows the difference in resources available between opera and jazz, but also shows the resources that are thought to be required between the two. Is the orchestra at Covent Garden really that poor to need so many rehearsals? I always thought that UK orchestras were renowned for their speed of learning of the most complex scores. Hence their use for so many recordings.
Seb not only feels, I am sure, that this is enough to retain the freshness of the music but also that he doesn't need more. (The studio in which they have recorded is also excellent value, with Sonny, the engineer, the man behind the Portico Quartet's first album and also recent work by Paula Rae Gibson.) But, hell, the Opera House clearly "needs" the money.....
I am knocked out by the speed with which jazz musicians learn parts and then deliver energy at their gigs. Something from which the administrators at the Opera House can learn?

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