Category Opera

Double-header Saturday

Amanda came to London! Naturally we kicked things off properly with a theatrical double-header: First, a new production of Noel Coward’s Present Laughter at the Old Vic, a storied old theatre on the south side of the Thames. Andrew Scott (think Moriarty and Hot Priest) was in the lead and he was just wonderful. He’s […]

Weekend in the Northeast: Newcastle, Durham, Hadrian’s Wall

On Friday night I took a train from London to Newcastle, checked into a grand-but-faded Victorian hotel next to the train station, and after a few hours’ sleep, woke up to a rather damp weather forecast: Not to be daunted by a little rain, I pulled on my long underwear and all my sweaters and […]

Boxing Day at the opera house

The most iconic building in Australia is Sydney’s beautiful opera house. Jutting out into the harbour on a spit of land that had been used for centuries by aboriginal people for song and dance, the opera house is massive, unmissable, and mesmerising — and we had tickets for a guided tour first thing the day […]

Christmas Eve down under

Have I ever enjoyed the weather on Christmas Eve so much? I doubt it. Sunny and clear, in the high 70s and with a light breeze — it could not have been more perfect. I started the day with a visit to the Royal Botanic Garden. The lush expanse of green lawns and colourful flower […]

Paris!

I went to Paris last weekend. Why? Well, because I live in London and want to be able to say, “When I lived in London, I used to just pop over to Paris, like, all the time.” I had actually been in Luxembourg for meetings on Thursday and Friday, so rather than flying back to […]

Bastille Day!

First priority: breakfast! Second priority: Parade! We left early to find a spot to see the famous military parade that has been a tradition since the 19th century. The planes came first, zooming overhead… … then the silent marching troops… … followed by singing marching troops… … then troops in white hoodies and bakers caps […]

Light and dark

Two good things from today: Daffodils on my dresser, an exuberant reminder that spring is finally here . . . . . . and the Royal Opera’s production of Coraline, a new opera based on Neil Gaiman’s creepy novella about a little girl who learns to appreciate her boring, annoying parents after she’s nearly snatched […]

Semiramide

6:30pm is an inconvenient time for an opera to start.  One barely has time to get home from shopping, call one’s boyfriend, change into a suit and bow-tie, slurp a dinner of oatmeal, catch the bus downtown, snarf a second dinner of German sausage under the pillars of Covent Garden market (My Fair Lady!), and […]

Turandot

Major bucket-list item checked off today:  I finally saw Puccini’s Turandot.  Been on my list for years. It’s a pretty great opera, too.  It’s Puccini, so the melodies are gorgeous, but he was also trying to modernize Italian opera, so it has elements of the German tradition (massive orchestra with a story-telling function separate from the […]

Country house opera

So the English have this thing called “country house opera”, which involves traipsing out to an ancient English country house in tuxedos and evening gowns to see an opera and picnic in the formal gardens during the intermissions.  Seriously people, how is this the first time I’m hearing of this? I went with a group […]

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