Final curtain

by Keith Clarke

The Royal College of Music always keeps its music staff busy, but it looks like the lawyers might be earning their keep on its latest offering. Lisbon Contemporary Music Ensemble is visiting with the world premiere of a new one-act opera “based on the real-life events surrounding Dominique Strauss-Khan.”

A press release outlines the plot: “A middle-aged businessman arrives at a hotel run by a concierge who promises to provide him with anything he could possibly desire. Fearing the best years of his life are over – despite a loving wife at home – he finds himself haunted by ghosts of desire and jealousy. Accepting the concierge’s offer, a young maid soon arrives at his suite. However, she later claims she was savagely attacked, while he protests his innocence.”

With fresh allegations swirling around the former International Monetary Fund chief, he will probably be too busy to turn up in South Kensington to judge the artistic merits of the piece.


If you were going to try and get inner-city teenagers interested in classical music, would you start with a three-hour piece about the crucifixion by a long-dead German? That is the brave plan of Suzi Digby, aka Lady Eatwell, who has launched an enterprising scheme – Vocal Futures – to sign up some 1,500 young ambassadors worldwide and build an online community to spread the word about classical music via Facebook and Twitter. The whole thing kicks off with three performances of the St Matthew Passion in a London bunker designed for testing concrete, launching a project which then goes on to Los Angeles, Cologne, Shanghai and Johannesburg. Read all about it at


This completes my tour of duty on the MusicalAmerica blogspot, which I hope has given some kind of idea of the musical world as seen from a London perspective. I shall still be popping up at the sharp end of the site for as long as the editor puts up with me, but from the blogosphere it’s cheerio. As the BBC presenter John Ebdon used to say, “If you have been, thanks for listening.”

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