Thursday, February 15, 2007


In November 2006, I directed a double bill of operas at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. The double-bill consisted of THE LONG CHRISTMAS DINNER by Paul Hindemith and THE DINNER ENGAGEMENT by Lennox Berkeley.

Here's the review from The Spectator Magazine:

"The Guildhall School of Music and Drama was as enterprising and professional as it almost always is in its latest production. Its shows are often for connoisseurs, and should be advertised more widely. The reasonably bright idea on this occasion was to have two brief operas centring round dinner (the only two? Brief ones, I mean).
To my surprise, Hindemith's The Long Christmas Dinner was much the more absorbing of the two. William Kerley's direction was brilliant in its economy, every gesture making a point. We watched while several generations of a family displayed various facets of American history over a period of almost a century. With Thornton Wilder as the author/librettist, structurally it was bound to be effective. An angel, alternately wearing white and black wings, brought in babies or escorted members of the family to their grave. A cast of 12 had no weak link, and the restrained orchestral accompaniment, under the sure guidance of Alex Ingram, tactfully amplified the drama's basic points. This is late Hindemith at his best, and deserves to take its place in the repertory of 'little greats'. "

To read Hilary Finch's review of the production from The Times follow this link:

  • The Times review of Guildhall Double bill 2006

  • STOP PRESS - February 15th 2007 - I have just heard that my Guildhall School of Music and Drama production of this Berkeley/Hindemith double bill has been nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award.

    The awards ceremony takes place in May at the Dorchester Hotel in London, hosted by Radio 3's Sean Rafferty - but we won't know whether we've made the short-list until mid-April.... WATCH THIS SPACE!

    For further information about the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards, please follow this link:

  • The Royal Philharmonic Society Awards 2007

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