Things got heated at the Met's Don Carlo last night when the first act campfire burned a little too enthusiastically, sending smoke drifting across the orchestra pit. "This was my first time seeing this production" emailed reader John "and I didn't realise anything was wrong until a stagehand came on to put it out with a fire extinguisher and everyone started laughing."
Everyone except Ramon Vargas and Barbara Frittoli, that is, who carried on singing as if nothing was happening. Or almost. Ramon Vargas, reports John, could barely keep a straight face. And who could blame him?
"Marina felt that she had to withdraw from Robert le diable due
to a medical condition and on the advice of her doctor. She wanted to
make the decision swiftly in order to accommodate the difficult task of
finding a replacement as early as possible.
However, after further consultations and examinations, she has
been advised that it will be possible for her to continue with the
rehearsals and performances of Robert le diable after all without any risk, and that any necessary treatment can carry on meanwhile or be postponed."
Don't Speak of Love was recorded by Dusty Springfield in 1968, but not released until it appeared on the 1998 rarities compilation Something Special. The writers credited are Simon Napier-Bell, Vicki Wickham - and Richard Wagner.
Damon Albarn performed a song from his new 'opera' Dr Dee on the Andrew Marr show earlier today - watch here.
The folksy noodling is perfectly inoffensive - but I'm sure I won't be the last to wonder what it's doing at the English National Opera instead of Shepherd's Bush Empire. And whether a pop millionaire should be getting a chunk of ENO's ACE grant to basically make more pop.
Now we know why Placido Domingo had to give up his Washington Opera post. He'll be busy, er, advising world soccer governing body FIFA.
FIFA boss Sepp Blatter wants the baritenor to sit on a "council of wisdom" alongside Henry Kissinger and Johan Cruyff and advise FIFA on cleaning up its act after the recent bribery scandals. Blatter said, "He is happy, he is proud that he is part (of it)."
Hmmm. Are you surprised Lang Lang's been keeping this particular corner of his promotional endorsement activities low profile?
The real mystery though is why, presented with the puntastic opportunity of a lifetime, advertisers LangLangham Hotels plumped instead for the less predictable shortsighted-butterfly-raping-a-bow-tie shot.