Nabucco, Palace Theatre, Manchester

As the lights dimmed, and Verdi’s music swelled, my eyes filled with tears of anticipation, and melancholy joy at being back in a theatre, about to experience Ellen Kent’s new production of Nabucco.  A wonderful Christmas present, a wonderful evening.

What has opera to do with ceramics? Ceramics is predominantly a visual art, so I’d argue that any visual spectacular informs one’s visual vocabulary. And it certainly was spectacular. Fabulous costumes – thought of Cheryl when I saw the turquoise vestments of the Hebrew slaves, set against the complementary apricot-gold of the equally fabulous set. Great lighting too.


We didn’t get a double whammy. Shame!

I’ve seen that music and visual art can influence each other in Martin Creed’s work at the Harris exhibition and at his UCLan Media concert. And Jon Wood says that from the evidence of his interviews with artists, he thinks that art is a way of thinking.  Can a way of thinking be fed by any genre of ‘art’?  I think it can.  Certainly, psychology has provided strong evidence that our basic five senses are not as separate and distinct as they seem to be. Research carried out on people, previously blind, who have had their sight restored has established the link between sight and touch, and there is copious evidence to establish the link between listening to music music and an improvement in spatial reasoning:  Hence a night at the opera is excellent training for an aspiring ceramic sculptor.

Anyway, back to Nabucco. Nabucco renounces idolatry, acknowledges God, and accepts that Man is not above God.  Women – who all lament weakly – are put in their place. Slavery is abolished ……..  and all is well in the world of the 19th Century.

Merry Christmas!


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