Yesterday I went to the opera; well strictly speaking I was taken to the opera. ‘Die Meistersinger’, my first taste of Wagner. It is five hours long. But they kindly give you a long interval in which to have a picnic. The weather wasn’t kind, I sat there in my coat, but being English we weren’t going to let a bit of a breeze put us off. Or blow the glasses over. So what is the final ‘P’ – people watching. And there were many to watch and few made it into my trusty notebook for later use.
I first coined the term P.O.P. for an evening of Prose Opera Poetry, held at a café to promote a group of local writers that I belonged to at the time. A couple of us tried to read stories amidst the hubbub of the café clientele. My friend Terry Ronald who has recently had his first novel published ‘Becoming Nancy’ read and I read a Susan Tate story ‘Carol Service’ which will be appearing on The Casket of Fictional Delights in December. To help bring in an audience one of the writers persuaded a friend of hers to come along and sing. As a bit of a joke I had put down opera on the publicity, I didn’t realise she was a trained singer and in a small café her powerful voice and classical repertoire was by far the most popular act that evening. The poets didn’t get a look in.