Roméo et Juliette (Gounod) - Royal Opera House, 27 October 2010
Gentlemen of the chorus - if you're forced to don clinging tights, at least demand an Acosta-sized dance belt to sweeten the deal.
Nicolas Joël's 1994 production of Roméo et Juliette is medieval Verona as a French and Saunders sketch. It's been revived only once since - as a Gheorghiu/Alagna vehicle - but with no megastars to demand its resuscitation this time round, one has to wonder why the Royal Opera House dug it up. Devoid of psychological insight or dramatic impetus, it serves the opera poorly. Gounod's music does its best to sweep you up in the young lovers' disastrous passion; Joël simply has you sniggering at the number of knobbly knees and saggy y-fronts on display.