Having been to Covent Garden a lot recently, I can't help but be struck by the variety of music you get in the space of a few hundred metres. In order, from Monday's visit to Fidelio:
- The saxophonist in the busking patch at Leicester Square tube playing a mean version of Django Reinhardt's Minor Swing. Guilt at not having any change to give him.
- Guitar player on the piazza doing Oasis numbers to a large and appreciative crowd. Decent enough but not overly memorable.
- The Mongolian bloke who is always there outside the Royal Opera House playing one of a variety of bizarre single-stringed instruments. It's OK the first time, but I confess that there's only so many times I can hear a heavily amplified, vibrato-laden pentatonic scale without grimacing.
- Opera or ballet scores wafting outwards from the revolving door into the opera house. Pleasant enough, but through a PA system that gives me the distinct feel of being in the lobby of a posh hotel.
- The delights of Sir Mark Elder conducting Fidelio, with awesome singing from Kurt Rydl and Elizabeth Watts. See the review - enough said!
You can't say we don't get variety in these parts...