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Rigoletto/ Glyndebourne on Tour

Rule One of the New York Stock Exchange: “Know your client. ” It’s something the director of Rigoletto Christiane Lutz might have taken on board. The audience at Glyndebourne is elderly. I saw few there last night under 65. They expect a traditional Rigoletto but this is not what they [...]

October 15, 2019 // 0 Comments

The World on Fire

We are now into the third episode. Thank goodness the weakest element of the narrative, Paris has been dropped. The plot is heading forward on all fronts. The brother of Lois the singer has joined the navy and is chasing down on HMS Exeter the pocket battleship the Graf Spee into the River Plate. [...]

October 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

Headlong/Michael Frayn

Michael Frayn’s novel Headlong operates on 2 levels. The first is a fiction in which Martin, a philosopher married to Kate an art historian, chances upon a painting of his neighbour in the country which he strongly believes to be a missing Brueghel. It is worth millions and he starts a [...]

October 13, 2019 // 0 Comments

World on Fire/ Episode 2

With one major reservation I am hooked on this series, morphing from shall-I-watch-it to what-will-happen next? There are four plot lines in Warsaw, Berlin England and Paris and my major reservation is that Warsaw’s is much the most gripping and the Paris one rather pedestrian. The Warsaw section [...]

October 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

The PC advance continues …

Just as the human condition defines our view of the world, so does our stage of life. It’s not so much a case of “Stop the world I want to get off!” but the fact that – as we reach the cusp of adulthood – our backgrounds and circumstances determine our [...]

October 9, 2019 // 0 Comments

The Great Vermeer forger

Following my article today I thought readers might be interested in this article on the Telegraph website about a forger of Vermeer with a rackety life and dubious allegiances – Vermeer [...]

October 8, 2019 // 0 Comments

Tim’s Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer, the Dutch Baroque painter (1638-75) was always admired for his photo-like lucidity. In this documentary Texan inventor Tim Jenison advances the theory that to achieve such a photo-like realism Vermeer must have used the technique of painting from an optic in a dark room (camera [...]

October 8, 2019 // 0 Comments

Ginger Baker – RIP

Going back to the Dark Ages when I was a teenager I have to be honest and admit the brilliance and joys of the supergroup Cream – rightly lauded as a seminal influence upon rock musicianship and heavy metal music – rather passed me by. Perhaps in those days I was a bit of a wimp. While [...]

October 7, 2019 // 0 Comments

Mendelssohn’s Elijah/Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Last night at the Royal Festival Hall I attended a performance of Elijah, first performed in 1846 in Birmingham Town Hall. Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) was something of a young prodigy and also popular in Great Britain. This oratorio employs soloists, a choir, orchestra and organist so you get as [...]

October 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

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