Friday, 7 June 2019

The Diary of One who Disappeared - Linbury

Leoš Janáček's The Diary of One who Disappeared is pretty much basic repertoire,  yet so intriguing that it invites thoughtful interpretation.  Ed Lyon's sung the part before, and he's good. What was "news" however was the staging. Nothing new about staging the piece - it's been done before and the Linbury is part of the Royal Opera House. Why do people still read the broadsheets ?  So it's a good idea to read a n analysis by someone who actually knows the work and its background enough to assess the performance.  Here is a link to Claire Seymour's review in Opera Today :
"....;.....At the close of van Hove’s realisation, the seated figure of Wim van der
Grijn reads and then burns his letters to Stösslova, dropping the flaming
pages into a waste-paper bin. His unfulfilled dreams now ashes, he climbs
into the small bed, presumably ready for death. But, The Diary
ends in defiance and hope, not despair. Originally the vocal climax came in
song 14, the height of Janíček’s desolation and hopelessness, “Oh what have
I lost!” But, Janáček’s revisions shifted the emotional peak to the final
song, which rises to a top C: “All that is left is for me to say goodbye
forever.” And, with a farewell to his father, mother and little sister,
“the apple of my eye”, Janíček departs: “Zefka is waiting for me with our
son in her arms!”

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