• Upcoming trips

    May 2 to May 14 London vacation. We will be staying in the President Hotel, 56 - 60 Guildford Street, Russell Square, London, WC1N 1DB. Telephone : 020 7388 4443. Hope to see you all then.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    February 20. At Christine’s prompting, and, offer to go to the box office for Family Circle tickets, we went to see the Met’s production of Parsifal–from 6.00 to 11.30! It is a modern production for the new generation of opera-goers (the ones that hoot and holler at slightest excuse to the detriment of all others’ listening concentration). Modern dress  clashes horribly with the ancient myth of the story line, and state-of-the art lighting and staging effects  enlighten and intrigue the semi gloom in which the action(?) of  all three acts take  place. I was pleasantly impressed with the singing cast and  thought that it compared favorably with the greats of my younger days.

    The new conductor was enthusiastically welcomed (The Levine era is now forgotten completely) but I thought the sound he produced from the orchestra did not quite evoke the agonizing pathos that I remembered.

    February 21.  Saw “Amy and the Orphans” at The Roundabout Theatre. It is a story of parents’  tussle with the agony of caring for a child with Down syndrome and the adult siblings’ efforts to atone for their parents’ weakness. Wonderfully convincing acting all round and written with great humour to counter the guilt dialalogue of the characters.

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NY Day – Disaster at Bam

Since we booked to see a performance of  “The Nightingale and Other Short Fables” at the BAM Opera House,  we had been anticipating, with much pleasure, a night of innovative theatre. Not least because many of the characters were to be portrayed by puppets in a water pool just like the wonderful water-puppets we had seen and marvelled at in Viet Nam a few years earlier. We could only afford the Gallery but, after all, our seats were in the third row, so, we were in for a treat?

           Not a chance! The water pool was built in front of the stage and the full opera orchestra was crowded at the back, necessitating that the action  be exclusively front-stage. This was bad enough for the Gallery-goers during the first half when the water pool was not being used but just the same there was an unseemly scramble after the curtain went up for unoccupied seats which might have given  a marginally better view between the bobbing heads and safety rails.  But, after the interval, when the water-puppet pool came into use, there  were only two ways of seeing any part of action; lean over the safety rail as the patrons in the first row were doing or, stand up! The latter not being and option, I spent a seething hour trying to get fleeting glimpses of performance for which I had paid $28. The music and singing were completely spoiled by the frustration resulting from the effort. 

I left the theatre thoroughly angry. If I had seen the House Manager on the way out his ears would still be ringing: the performance was designed and directed for the Orchestra and Mezzanine patrons and the Gallery-goers were merely sacrificial contribution-makers! But we had booked the BAM bus for the ride home and it was waiting.  

This morning I revisited my pictures of Viet Nam  and here are few of the famous Water-puppets  together with a shot of  Met Museum lobby (My favourite place for calming the nerves).

Water- puppets of Viet Nam - Photography welcome

These puppeteers stay behind the screen at the back or completely under the water

. . . . . . And now for a chang of pace. This is where I am going to relax this afternoon:

The great lobby of the Met Museum

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