• Upcoming trips

    September 7 to 15 Tony and Jo will visit us from the UK

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem

    October 31st - 11 November Caribbean cruise to break up the winter.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    August 2  I lined up on the geriatrics bench to get tickets for Christine and me at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park last week. I set out early and reached the bench  before 9.30 in the morning thinking that I would be among the first–I did not want a repeat of the great disappointment of the previous week when the last ticket to be given out at noon went to the man immediately in front of Susan and myself! But I was wrong again; the bench was already two thirds full of aggressive oldies and I was once again on tenterhooks until the noon distribution. I was joined by Christine’s friend, Barbara, who , with her husband, were to make a foursome for the event. Both couples brought a bottle of wine to enhance the evening.

    And what an evening it was! Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Nights Dream” has never been done better in my view. Absolutely suited to the outdoor theatre. The set included a fairy forest with changing colored lights which added mystery to the actors who passed in and out of it. The cast included a nightclub singer. The costumes, not confined to one era, included a modern suit and gown.

    The mechanicals were a child’s delight. Part fairy tale, part pantomime the action was played at a spanking pace and was continuously amusing. What is more, Shakespeare’s words came across wonderfully well.

             

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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:

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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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