Tuesday, 24 November 2009
The Tsarina's Slippers/ROH
Apparently Tchaikovsky's opera The Tsarina's Slippers enjoys the same iconic status in Russia as his ballet The Nutcracker does every where else in the world. Strangely though this Xmas tale by Gogal is only now receiving its debut at the Royal Opera House. It's a jolly little story about a blacksmith who rides on a devil's back to St. Petersburg to find the perfect slippers for his beloved back home. Tchaikovsky's score is sweet enough but probably lacks the punch of a Nutcracker, at least on first hearing. But, it's every bit as camp; I've never seen such colourful sets. And there's a good deal of ballet running throughout - it's no wonder the BBC has decided to broadcast it on Christmas Day.