Last night’s opera was unfamiliar. I commend the Royal Opera House’s commissioning of new opera. They should do it more frequently. The life of Anna Nicole Smith was vaguely familiar to me, but made a suitably dramatic and tragic subject for an opera production. Unfortunately, though the libretto was fine, the music (composer: Mark-Anthony Turnage) was unimaginative, even tedious. The younger demographic of the audience is sufficient proof of the value of commissioning fresh, new operas. Opera is foremost about the music; at times Anna Nicole felt like an overwrought Lloyd-Webber production.
This afternoon, a visit to the National Gallery, not for the compelling Jan Gossaert that will have to wait until next week, but a rare opportunity to see a small selection of the work of the Ashcan school. The Big Dory by prominent Ashcan painter was the most striking work of the exhibition.