Astounding – at least in this clip:
I did not mean that heading in some jokey or generic way. And I hate travel books with titles like that. I meant specifically Mozart in specifically Kinshasa.
But I love it when Elgar is taken out of his “context” – to Ramallah, for example, where he belongs. When European music is taken out of Europe, or English music is taken into Europe. I watched a televised concert when staying in the Grand Hyatt in Hong Kong in 1989 where Chinese players in the PRC were performing Britten’s Frank Bridge Variations. This would not be surprising now, but it was then, and it was wonderful to hear these great European winds blowing through China for a moment.
I loved being with ultracool Japanese who were picking up Vaughan Williams’s sixth symphony, conducted by Adrian Boult, from a pile in a shop in Roppongi, no longer there, called WAVE, one Sunday morning in 1991.
But where there is a personal European initiative with opera houses? Alexander McCall Smith’s opera initiative in Botswana? If I had any interest in Smith, I might know more. Christoph Schlingensief’s opera initiative in Burkina Faso? I did not have to google that: I was recently reading about him. Is that more than an exploitative and egotistical fantasy? Isn’t this just a kind of high tourism for a German director?