Having not been to the Coliseum for years, I ended up visiting twice in two months. It’s a beautiful building and, although it seats a lot of people, it doesn’t seem that big when you’re inside. This means that even if you’re further back, you still get a good view. It does feel like a proper theatre though, with lots of ornate décor, topped off with gilded charioteers on either side of the stage high above the auditorium.
I saw The Marriage of Figaro, and then the current revival of Chess. Both productions are excellent, although Chess is stunning. I saw the original London production, and had forgotten how good it is. This version merges live camera footage with the stage action, and it adds a new dimension to it. The cast are excellent. On the night we went there was cheering after every song and a standing ovation at the end.
A couple of nice touches: there’s an electronic display that provides subtitles for the operas. The one we saw was sung in English, but I’m guessing this is also used for translating productions that aren’t. Another thoughtful gesture is the provision of water at the bars during the intervals that you can help yourself to free of charge.
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