• Upcoming trips



    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem. Note : this trip has been cancelled altogether because of the damage caused by the hurricanes to the Caribbean islands.

    October 31st - 11 November. Caribbean cruise to break up the winter. Note: The itinerary has not yet been determined owing to the havoc wreaked by the hurricanes.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    October 8 Went to BAM, for the first time since Ethel died, to hear a wonderful modern opera composed and written by Matthew Aucoin called “Crossing”. It is based on Walt Whitman’s experience and the libretto is largely taken from his poetry.

    The story is multi-themed, as modern plays tend to be; the first is a harrowing anti war depiction of the suffering wounded seen through Whitman’s eyes when he volunteered as a nurse during the American civil war; the second is Slavery and its effect upon a run-away slave who fights on the Union side; the third is treachery portrayed by a guilt-laden deserter who spies for the South. And forth, inevitably these days, is the (entirely fictional) homosexual one.

    The powerful music fits the story perfectly and the voices of the lead singers and the chorus is magnificent; Rod Gilfry, bass-baritone, sings the part of Walt Whitman, Alexander Lewis plays John Wormley, the deserter, and Davone Tines, whose baritone reminded me, distinctly, of the sound of the legendary Paul Robeson.  Both Christine and I were extremely moved by the work. We newly discovered Walt Whitman’s poetry, too.

    October 20. Thanks to the invitation of our friend Francia, who is a member, we went to the Diller-Quaile School of Music to listen to a chamber concert given by the Diller-Quaile String Quartet. The program was comprised of Haydn and Debussy quartets; played magnificently by very experienced and talented musicians in an intimate. and perfectly designed, music space. Chatting with the musicians after the concert added to a first class evening.

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Alan Gilbert conducts, and Fireworks ensue!

On a beautiful summer’s evening, maestro Alan Gilbert conducted the first of the New York Philharmonic’s concerts in Central Park–It was a blanketed-out performance!

In introducing the program, the maestro substituted a subdued Samuel Barber piece for the advertised opening, ‘Overture to the Thieving Magpie’, in honor of the victims of the Orlando shooting. This was followed by Mozart’s ‘Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra’. The soloist was Antony McGill, clarinetist, who gave a truly masterly performance. And, after the intermission, Concertmaster Frank Huang, violinist, played the solo part of R. Strauss’s ‘Ein Heldenleben’ to a an highly motivated young audience.

Almost as soon as the maestro lowered his baton the fireworks burst forth behind us!.

Click on the pictures for the best detail

The temporary stage at the top of the 'Great Meadow'.

The temporary stage at the north end of the ‘Great Lawn’.

 

The hoards rest upon their blankets and feast before the music starts

The hoards rest upon their blankets and feast before the music starts

 

Blanket markers away! As soon as the last member of a party finds the right blanket among the seething mass, the markers (balloons) are released.

Blanket markers away! As soon as the last member of a party finds the right blanket among the seething mass, the markers (balloons) are released into the sky.

 

Alan Gilbert introduces the program.

Alan Gilbert introduces the program.

 

. . . .he conducts while Antony McGill prepares to join in . . . . .

. . . .he conducts while Antony McGill prepares to join in . . . . .

 

. . . here they are acknowledging the applause of the ecstatic audience.

. . . here they are acknowledging the applause of the ecstatic audience.

 

Dusk brings a fairyland backdrop to the Great Lawn . . . . .

Dusk brings a fairyland backdrop to the Great Lawn . . . . .

 

 . . . focused version. . .

. . . focused version. . .

 

. . . .psychedelic version . . .

. . . .psychedelic version . . .

 

The fireworks opened with an atomic explosion . . .

The fireworks opened with an atomic explosion . . .

 

. . . continued with a celestial candelabra . . . .

. . . continued with a celestial candelabra . . . .

 

 . . . . a star burst . . . .

. . . . a star burst . . . .

 . . . . a sunburst . . . .

. . . . a sunburst . . . .

 . . . and ended with an exploding chrysanthemum. All without the aid of a tripod!

. . . and ended with an exploding chrysanthemum. All without the aid of a tripod!

THE END

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