Skip to main content

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 Director Fiona 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!


Popular posts from this blog

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…

Emma Dent Coad - putting the record straight

Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad has again used OHP as a tool in her battles against RBKC. This piece once again quotes figures that are manifestly untrue.

The first time she quoted these figures was in her 'After Grenfell' paper on poverty. A great deal of misinformation has been circulated regarding OHP's costs over the years and the amount of money the council spent. Inflating, misreporting and dramatising the cost of supporting public arts only adds to the sense of outrage, increasing the climate of fear around local authority support for culture. When these arguments appear, little reference is made to expenditure on other services the council provides. We are an easy target.

Emma Dent-Coad's "After Grenfell" paper tied OHP to the disaster and quoted a FOI report from RBKC that purportedly revealed the council had spent "£30 million over 15 years" on the…

The Oxbridge divide

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;

To be frank, I am not entirely sure where to start with this discussion because those progressing the arguments against elite universities appear to misunderst…