Reading through a number of Tweets reporting booing after the première of the new production of Britten’s Midsummer Night’s Dream by David Alden for the English National Opera. That made me feel annoyed, once more, how London’s opera audiences are too keen lately to boo. It’s a violent, unsophisticated reaction. Why do those people show up to the opening night anyway? Just to take part in a blood sport? It’s a truly sad reflection on an audience not rising to the heights of this sophisticated art form, a glib reflection of our society that is too keen to rise against a group of defendless artists after a hard two and a half hours on stage. It saddens me that those people do not just withhold their applause, silence is much more powerful and sends a much more deafening signal to the people in charge. It takes away the connotations of blood sport that mainly Italian opera houses made part of the scene.
I’m seeing the production on Saturday night and hope that those scenes will not be repeated. Hope people will be a bit more grown up about it and just give it a fair chance without lowering themselves to the levels of a football hooligan.