The ambiguous review in Helsingin Sanomat calling the new Don Carlos at the FNO "a weird horror carnival" had apparently led to a half-empty house at yesterday's performance. For the first time in my experience there was no service in the upstairs foyer on an opera night.

That review, as all the others I read, focused on the somewhat Gothic costumes by
Heidi Wikar. I tried to adopt a positive attitude, but couldn't get beyond the thought that some people might be able to see the costumes and staging as beautiful. Who knows, maybe I might have - when I was 13. In the end I gave up on the juvenile tackiness of the costumes and silver skulls, and tried to concentrate on the music, which was good, especially the 3rd act. But the "visuals" were truly distracting.

On the tram on my way home I heard a man telling that a friend of his who was "into Norwegian metal" said he was considering going to the opera again after a long time.

Probably not the best version to see as one's first Don Carlos. I longed for 1970s minimalism.