Vic Hoyland

Letter from Ken Smith

Ken Smith, 2010

Leicester and East Midlands Friends of Welsh National Opera
Chair: Ken Smith, M.Ed.

Sunday 21st March

Dear Director,

Please pass on my thanks and congratulations to everyone involved in the wonderful, astonishing concert on Friday evening.

I have been listening to Stockhausen's music since the 6os., including `Gruppen' a number of times, but 'Carré' is a rare event indeed and I applaud your ambition in attempting it as well as the achievement of the performance. Standing in the middle was an aural treat (although two ears just aren't enough!).

The second, choral part of the evening was ravishingly beautiful and, once again, performed with complete conviction.

The Berio performance was extraordinarily powerful musically and as a theatrical presentation. I last saw it staged in the 70s. at Covent Garden when the talents of Nureyev and others were squandered on silly antics, including hauling huge mirrors around the stage! Yours was a much more appropriate solution, and the final image of the narrator being wheeled off in a cage will stay with me for a long time, I suspect. (I do have a regret about the piece itself, that Berio didn't sanction the long narration being delivered in the language of the audience. However, it is Dante and so perhaps sur-titles would be the answer?)

It worried me that I so nearly missed your event, only chancing upon a brief mention in The Sunday Times. Please pass my details to your mailing list as I am keen to know what you will be doing next.

Once again, thank you all for a very special event.

Yours sincerely,

Ken Smith