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Ondine: 13/05/2005

From: Another
Category: Music
Date: 16 May 2005


A trip to Ondine at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden on a Friday evening is a classic experience. Champagne and smoked salmon sandwiches, soft fabrics on delicately scented skin, the clip of stilettos and the sight of long, elegant bare legs stretching upwards forever. It's a girlie affair. Not for the clumsy.

On the other hand the Royal Opera House is not the exclusive thing it is perceived as being, and frankly it could do with a few more casual attendees. Regular tickets can be bought for 15, and Travelex is currently sponsoring a season so that you can get tickets for 10 on Monday evenings. For one of the best opera houses in the world, that's not bad, and in the Royal Opera House you get a good view from everywhere.

Ondine is the love story between a water sprite and a land-borne Prince which, of course, ends in tragedy. It was a beautiful performance and some moments, admittedly, were breath-taking. Certain classic tricks reminded me of a trip as a young child to see Peter Pan - at a moment of great romantic tragedy, our hero, Prince Palemon suffers in the foreground while Ondine appears to float 7 feet high behind a veil of silk towards the back of the stage. But I was never quite transported into the delicious, watery world that I'd hoped, from my memory of reading the Water Babies when little, to sense. No doubt, others were.

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