• 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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An afternoon at The Cloisters Museum and Martyn Green remembered

The trip to The Cloisters Museum at Fort Tryon Park is a daunting one and a half hour’s ride on the number 4 bus. It stops at every block on the way. It has been 35 years or more since I drove the children  from Westchester to visit the museum and I had no idea that the very northern part of Manhattan is so densely populated.

Incidentally, it was about 45 years ago that I was in the same area to see Martyn Green of D’Oyly Carte fame, the greatest Lord High Executioner of all time, give a performance at one of the University theatres.  By this time, he had lost his leg in a freak elevator accident, but, wearing a prosthetic, he gave a brave, and naturally subdued, rendering of the role which, in his Sadlers’ Wells performances, would have brought the house down. I had seen him take at least ten curtain calls!

Even more daunting, was  the steep flights of steps  leading up to the reception area from the lower entrance (where the bus drops you off). Fortunately, a very courteous guard showed me to a cobbled ramp which curved fairly gently upwards to the front entrance.  I really had not allowed myself enough time to give the medieval artworks their due so I took a few pictures and determined to return to the museum shortly to view them at greater length. I see that I should have paid more attention to captions of the artworks I photographed.

All is calm . . . . . .

Detail of the carved columns supporting the middle-age structure

Wonderful monument to the medieval architects and craftsmen!

Peaceful colonades of pinkish marble

Gothic Chapel

. . . . . some of the long-term occupiers . . . . . .

detail . . . .

Dramatic religious 3-d portraits . . . . . .

Oddly observed proportions by the ancient artist

Carved wood enclosure. I'm not sure what it's original purpose was.

Beautiful carved stone gateway

. . . detail of the relief panel next to the gateway.

Fireplace surrounded by wonderful medieval tapestries


Three stylish ladies of the era . . . . . . .

. . . . . . this one knows exactly what you are thinking, young man!

Alabaster group?

The largest Chapel

Design for a scary flick?

View of the George Washington bridge as you depart from the Cloister Terrace


2 Responses

  1. Wonderful pictures, Ben. Inspires me to make the trip myself although I think the A train or a switch to the IRT at 59th Street will get me there in less time. Good to see you and Ethel looking so well per Skype.

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