Thoughts and opinions including the odd review of places.
My views are expressed here. They are nothing to do with Opera Holland Park.
Inappropriate comments will be removed, including my own.
"Noisy at the wrong times" new edition published in September 2015 on Two Roads
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Gin and a tonic for a cold
World Gin Day couldn't be allowed to pass without our full engagement and so several fine varieties were judged according to age old techniques on Saturday. I cannot quite recall them all. We are all rather too wedded to fine and delicious embellishments at OHP; James is always ready with a new cocktail or three and we are all looking forward to an evening of whisky tasting soon with our abiding principle being to ensure everybody takes a dram with their Britten.
Tonight is all about the Christine Collins Young Artists, several of whom are stepping into the performance of Il barbiere di Siviglia. It is an exciting evening for Associate Conductor Dane Lam, Associate DirectorFiona Williams , Chloë Treharne,Rosanne Havel, Tom Asher, René Bloice-Sanders and Ashley Mercer. They were all brilliant in the stage and orchestra rehearsal I saw recently and it will be lovely to see them performing for a full house tonight. It is an experience we should seek to give our young, talented singers more of in the UK.
My intended trip to Lords to see the final day of the test was curtailed by a heavy cold and as I write this I am laying in bed (a place one doesn't get much time to appreciate during the season). A wee dram at curtain up should help that as well as being a good way to toast our fantastic Young Artists - good luck to them all!
In the past couple of weeks the issue of privilege and the Oxbridge divide has been prominent on social media. The argument has essentially been that Oxbridge caters most to the privileged and monied, and further, excludes black students in particular. David Lammy extracted some data from Oxford which he believes shows Oxford is not doing well enough with respect to offering access to bright black and underprivileged students. I am not sure if he is suggesting Oxford is institutionally racist but the inference that Oxford actively excludes black and disadvantaged students is easy to draw from his comments on the matter. The statistics are quite complex and to me don't actually suggest Oxford is doing too badly, but this thread of tweets addresses the specifics very well;
The long awaited - and even longer overdue - documentary about the British band XTC felt to many of us who have considered them the best ever group to emerge from these shores, like a simultaneous roar of approval and a shocking great slap in the face, a sharp reminder of what we have lost now that they no longer record together. Apple Venus Vol.1 and Wasp Star (Apple Venus Vol. 2) were released in 1999 and 2000 respectively and together represented the almost perfect distillation of British popular music. I hesitate to just call it "pop" although there are almost unequalled examples of it on both these albums and right through the XTC canon. Andy Partridge's lavishly inventive songwriting, lyrical brilliance and at times almost extra-terrestrial knack for a breathtaking melody or crushingly beautiful harmony seemed to improve and grow throughout the band's 14 album career. It came to a mighty zenith on those final two records. Followers of XTC were often torn betwee…
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 …