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Portrait of Debbie Lamprell - read out at the Grenfell Inquiry

1.My name is Miriam Lamprell.  I am 79 years of age and I lost my only child, Debbie, in the fire at Grenfell Tower. I have asked Mike Volpe to read this because it is impossibly hard for me to stand up and read this out, but I am here. And I will be coming to the Inquiry, as difficult as it will be to find out what happened to Debbie.2.I had Debbie in the maternity hospital in Walthamstow in 1971 and brought her home to the flat in Hinds Park where I still live. Debbie and her father, my husband, Reg, lived there together right through her childhood and she stayed with us all through her early adulthood when she took her first jobs, until Debbie moved out when she was 31. We were an incredibly close and happy family. We loved Debbie and Debbie was devoted to us.  We were blessed with Debbie in a way that is very special.3.Because Debbie was an only child we encouraged her to have her friends round to play as much as possible. She wasn't a pushy person even then but …
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Isabeau - off the beaten path (just)

Among the major producing companies, very few beyond Opera Holland Park explore the repertoire of the late 19th or early 20th century and it is a period from which some quite astonishing music emerged. Anoraks will no doubt be able to produce a list of companies and productions who do dabble, but that won’t change the reality that we are just about the most regular producers of such ‘enjoyable tosh’ (as one esteemed critic calls them) possibly in Europe.  Since OHP was born in 1996 we have produced operas by Mascagni, Cilea, Giordano, Ponchielli, Montemezzi, Zandonai, Leoncavallo, Wolf-Ferrari, Menotti and Catalani.
The common thread that joins most of these composers is that they were all part of a movement known as the giovane scuola (young school) and then in time, as the modern world took over, they came to represent what Allan Mallach called the Autumn of Italian opera; the last great flowering of Italian operatic invention and one that was looking northwards towards Wagner and …

Panic! Culture and the working class

A new report on the working class relationship with culture has been doing the rounds recently.
Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries (which you can find here ( comes at the issue from the point of view of the working class and their opportunities to find careers in the cultural sector. I usually concern myself most with the audience aspects of this debate but this report does touch on matters that relate to that, too. The general issue was also recently making waves with respect to entrants into Oxbridge and with Owen Jones's huge Twitter spat about the class of those in the media. 
The Panic! report takes data from various sources and draws conclusions from it. Some of the conclusions are based on what appear to me to be oddly skewed impressions and some of the report sounds like an argument looking for a validation, rather t…