About Me

Llantwit Major, Wales, United Kingdom
I am mother, librarian, avid reader, sf fan, writer (unpubished), singer(amateur), animal lover, needlewoman.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

London Day out and horse show

This is Nic on her horse Five-A-Side at his first show. He won the best turned out class at the local riding club show, and behaved very well. I was commissioned to come and take pictures of her and him, and other horses as well, which was fine. I took my tripod which I got given but have not used until today and it was brilliant! However in the glorious spring we are having, today was cold and wet so I only stayed out for an hour for the first class. he is looking good though.
We went to London yesterday to see a concert version of a new opera my Dutch composer Michel van der Aa. However we had lots of time to spare so we went for a wander. The concert was in the Barbican, so we were in the City. This is a stray leftover Tudor building in the midst of the monstrous 60s tower cubes near St Bartholomew's Abbey.
However you can see that architectural vandelism is not confined to the present day. The Tudor builders had no qualms about plonking their building on top of the gothic gate to St Barts Abbey, chopping the top of the arch off completely
This is the Abbey church taken from the little park beside it, with absolutely lovely wisteria on the fence nearby. We didn't get in because someone came and shut the door just as we approached.

We then thought we would go to St Pauls as B has never been in it, but they closed that as we got there too. So we went to the City of London Museum which was open. The history of London finishes at 1666 until June because they are redoing some of the galleries, but we only got to the end of the middle ages before we had to go.

We had gone up to hear the opera which was being done in a semi staged production. It is interesting because he has used film and opera, fact and fiction, live and taped music all together. He was inspired by the Japanese film 'Afterlife' which poses the question 'if you had to select one memory from all your life, to be the only memory for the afterlife, which would you chose?'

He had fiction with the singers on the stage who were in a limbo where they had time to select their memory, which was then filmed and which they took with them when they moved on. He had real people filmed talking about their real choices. I really enjoyed it, and thought the concept was intriguing, but not fully successful as an opera. The spoken factual memories were so strong they were the single most powerful element in the whole production, and those will be the memories which I will take away with me. The vocal lines from the singers were sometimes lovely, but were not particularly operatic, and the music from the orchestra was supportive but had no real life of its own, so it seemed to be more theatre music than opera.

Sadly none of the relatives we were hoping to stay with were there, so we had to drive all the way back home after the performance which was tiring. So today we have had a lazy day!


oreneta said...

The weather should improve anyway, I hear reports that it is FREEZING in Canada and my Mom brought it over with her.

Helen said...

They can keep it! It has been warmer today.