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Gaddafi: A Living Myth

ENO at the Coliseum, London September 07, 2006

This meretricious political show (a musical without singing, pointedly not advertised as an opera) is closer to Evita than Nixon in China and though it impresses with its slick and expensive staging and production, its generalised "world music" score and tendentious, simplistic story line and script ("much of it is in rhyming couplets which sounds dangerously like doggerel at times" - MusicOMH) are banal and unworthy of its hosting under the auspices of English National Opera, which qualified it for the posting of its very mixed reviews on The Opera Critic (with a library of images).

Gadaffi brought a different audience (with their needed money) to the Coliseum and they seemed well satisfied.

From our point of view, as regular opera watchers, Warwick Thompson on Bloomberg.com says it all...

The apologia in Arts Guardian for the beleaguered ENO producing it is well worth reading.

P.S. A late review, Gaddafi - a living miss by Charlotte Higgins, is doubly important; for expressing our own views cogently, and for its publication on the Guardian website together with reader responses from the Guardian blog, exemplifying the new democracy of the internet, pioneered by the admirable Wikipedia: " - - opera is distinguished from other dramatic forms by the importance of song".

Peter Grahame Woolf