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Electra at the Old Vic

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 20, 2014  ·  Opera & Theatre

Excessive travel, even by my standards over the last two months have resulted in a neglect both of mountain walking and cultural events.  The former I hope to correct with some intensive sessions in the Brecon Beacons and Snowdonia over the next six weeks; I have a new ice axe to play with so the latter maybe a better focus than the former but that involves longer drives.   I really need to try and get another couple of sections of the Welsh Coast Path done but the days are too short for long distance work, so better the abruptness...

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Morality tale or musical jest?

By Dave Snowden  ·  August 5, 2014  ·  Opera & Theatre

My last full day in Australia before flying back to the UK tomorrow and it was pretty packed.  The seminar Simon and I had run the previous week generated a lot of interest and I had follow through meetings before repeating the social sector event from Brisbane.  For the evening I planned to go to the opera house in Sydney to see Don Giovanni, one of two Mozart Operas I am prepared to make an effort to go to.  I agree with Kierkegaard that it is Mozart's greatest opera and that opera is the greatest form of art, but I profoundly...

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Pitiful and pitiless audiences

By Dave Snowden  ·  July 5, 2014  ·  Opera & Theatre

This evening I went to the opening night of Donizetti's Maria Stuarda at the Royal Opera House,  It's a powerful example of the Bel Canto style and the confrontation between Joyce Didonato as Maria and Carmen Giannattasio as Elisabetta at the end of Act II was everything I hoped for.  In rehearsals for the first production in Naples the lines Impure daughter of Boleyn, do you speak of dishonour?  Obscene, unworthy prostitute, let my blush fall on you.  Profaned is the English throne, vile bastard by your foot were delivered with...

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There but not yet back again

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 22, 2013  ·  Opera & Theatre

A family trip to part of two of what can only be described as a reimagining of Tolkien's Hobbit.  To be clear up front I enjoyed it, but then I had set my expectations in a very different way from Lord of the Rings.  There Jackson had promised to tell the story in film and in general he did a good job.  No film can be a faithful reproduction of a book, but it needs to be faithul to the overall narrative.  The only point which still irritates me is the way he messed up the character of Faramir in Part II.  Instead of allowing Frodo...

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The redeemer redeemed

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 18, 2013  ·  Opera & Theatre

Driving out of London and home last night was a tedious business and it was after midnight before we made it.  I abandoned any idea of unpacking as I had an 0719 train back to London.  Maybe I should have stayed up that night, but then with a day trip to Amsterdam and the need to get Huw home with his bags I opted for the four hours sleep option!  It was a busy day of meetings with new and old friends and a visit to the Rohan shop in Covent Garden to get a new winter coat.  Brilliant design as ever, the insulated jacket I had...

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