• Upcoming trips

    Feb 3 - Feb 13 Caribbean cruise May 1 to May 14 London vacation. (Hotels and details later). Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    December 7. Went to the Met to see the abridged version of “The Magic Flute”. We have seen this production before and still the charm of the great puppet characters keeps the children in awe and their parents happy with their parenting. An amusing interlude.

    December 9. Saw the Manhattan School of Music’s production of “Cendrillon” by Nicolo Isouard at the Florence Gould Hall. The MSM is having both its concert halls renovated and is using outside premises like the Alliance Francaise’s hall. The School and its talented young students put everything they have into this production; Scenery, lighting, costumes and acting was superb. As was the directing and conducting. Refreshing also, was that the cast was of the age to be convincing in their parts.

    December 10. The first of the “Peoples Symphony Concerts” this season (Their 118th year!). “The Variation String Trio” did the honours accompanied by guest pianist: Orion Weiss. Their programme included a new work by Nina Young (b.1984) Very interesting, but not, I think, a world-beater.

    December 31 Went to the Kaye theatre at Hunter College  to see the New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players’ production of “H.M.S. Pinafore”. Cast and orchestra captured the high spirits of the musical romp and the sets were surprisingly professional. Reminded me of the old Sadlers’ Wells days,

    January 2, 2018. Saw the Met’s “The Merry Widow”. During the first act, the acoustics left a lot to be desired and words were difficult to hear, even in English. But all went well in the second and third acts; the Russian style dancing was rousing and the sets were spectacular. There are usually only six ‘Grisettes’ (Can-can girls) on a regular stage, but the Met’s vast space seemed to be full of them; three, even, descending from the top of the proscenium arch! All with their frilly knickers a-shaking


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NY Day – Cardinal Egan and Bryn Terfel

The Church of St.Vincent Ferrer was the setting for “a Musical Celebration” presented by the Richard Tucker Foundation. From the pulpit, Cardinal Egan introduced a programme sung by members of the Metropolitan Opera headed by Bryn Terfel together with the church’s own choir. The singing was accompanied by pianist, Howard Watkins and the mighty church organ. (See widget).  Courtesy forbad picture-taking of the performers, but here is an impression of the magnificent setting with its back-drop of the Great East window:

The Great East Window

Cardinal Egan at the pulpit

Cardinal Egan with Richard Tucker's son, Barry

In the park last week, I saw this little lad practicing in one of the adult ball fields:

The agony of a short-distance pitcher!

Alfresco dining on third Avenue


Upper East Side. Third Avenue

Just another great view from my balcony:


8 Responses

  1. Love the view from your balcony!

  2. Valerie. It’s a great city, isn’t it!

  3. Did you catch the names of the two selections not listed on the program? One was a bel canto mezzo aria and the other a tenor/baritone duet. Was the latter from the Pearl Fisher?
    Thanks for the info.

    • yfish,hi!. My memory is very uncertain these days but the Terfel/Valenti duet was certainly from Bizet’s Pearl Fishers. The substituted aria I know very well but I cannot place it in its opera–I had the feeling that it was from Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte”, but I’m probably way off.

  4. Fire Man. Very many thanks. I spent a whole evening wracking my memory to no avail.

  5. Okay, since I seemed to have reached some people who attended the performance, what did you think about the acoustics and the success of the church as a locale for concerts? To me it seemed that each performer slid sharp when he/she reached for the full powered high notes. It is possible that with the echos they could not hear themselves. Or was it me and the fact that I was near the entrance door?

    • It took me a little while to collect my thoughts, but here they are: I went to the concert mainly because Terfel was singing and for the chance to see him at close range. I didn’t go with the expectation of great performances–these unrehearsed affairs rarely are–also, I do not have such a highly developed critical taste. I immersed myself in the magnificent surroundings and enjoyed Terfel’s voice and the evening in general.
      But you are right, there were some discordances–at least one of the performances was downright pedestrian almost to the point of boring. And it was a mistake for Mimi and Rodolfo to wander off as if they were going off stage–the nearer they got to the church wall the more their voices echoed and became distorted–ruining the effect of fading into the distance! As for the accoustics, these vast structures are ideal for the great organ. The last Richard Tucker Celebration I attended was in the Temple Emmanuel and I seem to remember that my immpressions were much the same.

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