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That was then but this is now (revisited)

Without doubt a prime candidate as the greatest agent of impetus in human civilisation is the invention of means of ‘recording’ first language (in the form of writing) and then – as regards performing arts – the use of devices capable of recording sound and movement ‘in the moment’. [...]

April 6, 2019 // 0 Comments

Wagner and somnabulance

Yesterday in our opera class my neighbour fell asleep as we listened to Richard Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde. I immediately thought of the judge censured for falling asleep at court. Of course there is a world of difference between sleeping on duty and sleeping in a class. In both cases though it [...]

February 14, 2019 // 0 Comments

Richard Wagner

Yesterday and for the next three weeks we are studying the life and works of Richard Wagner in our opera class. As our tutor correctly opined no one divides people more than Wagner. The class was asked to give its views, some admired his operatic prowess, others were intimidated by it. I said I was [...]

January 24, 2019 // 0 Comments

Back to term, part two

I too went back to the same learning centre as Alice for an opera course. Of all the musical arts I came to opera the latest. I was put off by its rich corporate image – an opera bore is the worst bore of all – and there seemed little ground between those that are passionate and those [...]

January 18, 2019 // 0 Comments

History as bunk (or maybe not)

It inevitably comes with the territory that dramatic depictions of historical figures and events have a tenuous relationship with the actualité. On several levels there is nothing particularly bizarre in that statement if you think about it. Let’s begin with the fact that virtually all dramatic [...]

January 4, 2019 // 0 Comments

Biopics – the complexities of a difficult art form

Today I take the risk of venturing into territory upon which I am no expert – movies, and a particular genre at that – without any justification for doing so other than, like any observer travelling upon the time-honoured proverbial (legal) Clapham omnibus, I am entitled to hold opinions and [...]

October 24, 2018 // 0 Comments

La Traviata/Glyndebourne

Glyndebourne on tour is a less expensive version of the summer festival where the opera is put on the conveyor belt for the eventual production in the festival. There is quite a bit of fine tuning to be done to this La Traviata. The story based on Alexandre Dumas’ Lady of the Camelias is powerful [...]

October 16, 2018 // 0 Comments

Madame Butterfly /Glyndebourne

I had seen this Madame Butterfly 2 years ago in gestation as part of the autumn repertory and last night Puccini’s masterpiece made a powerful impression as the story is as magnificent as the music despite some tinkering by director Annilese Mackinnon. I imagine most readers know the story [...]

July 9, 2018 // 0 Comments

Der Rosenkavalier /Glyndebourne

Daffers recenty reviewed her Orient Express trip in terms of an experience and I would apply the same description to Glyndebourne. It’s expensive, it’s well run, to have a picnic by the lake on a summer’s day is wondrous, but I don’t know if it’s for the real Opera buff. Added to this the [...]

June 3, 2018 // 0 Comments

Gender equality revisited

At the risk of becoming the Rust’s ‘gender equality’ correspondent I return today to this subject. I’m minded to do so for two reasons. Firstly, earlier this week we were treated to the news that actress Sierra Boggess – someone whose existence I was previously unware of – has withdrawn [...]

April 27, 2018 // 0 Comments

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