• 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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“Age of Empires” at the met Museum

The Met Museum has mounted an exhibition of Qin and Han dynasties artifacts from 32 sources in China. It includes a few of the famous ‘Terracotta Army’ figures which Dorothy and I  admired in situ so many years ago. Viewing this (very comprehensive) exhibit, I was struck by the range of  expressions the ancient artisans  were able to portray in their human sculptures–many were quite hilarious. One would never believe  that the Han dynasty people of two thousand years ago would have a sense of humour? In contrast, their animal sculptures were mainly fierce and scary. Here are few pictures (taken without flash, of course) to illustrate the point:          Enlarge to full screen for the best detail.

Han dancer strutting her seduction routine . . . the severe and reproachful countenance was reserved for those men who did not appreciate her art.

 

Full frontal nudity was common 2,000 years ago and was taken quite seriously .  Headgear of some kind was, however, mandatory.

 

A mass of happy Han faces. Only the bull seems to be unamused.

 

This Han gentleman looks quite severe– perhaps his hat is not fitting as well as he had hoped? . . .

 

. . . . on the other hand, this air-borne enchantress with her offering bowl looks quite content with her lot.

 

Two Han comedians doing their sign-off routine.

 

Row of manikins . . .

 

Row of horses . . . .

 

. . . . . all equally content  .. . .

 

. . . as is this one . . . .

 

. . . this one is fierce and fiery though . . .

 

. . . perhaps because he is being set upon by this awesome lion ?

 

Unsuspecting herd of cows–unaware of its impending fate!

 

After an exhausting day in the galleries, nothing can beat a leisurely lunch in the museum’s café overlooking Cleopatra’s Needle in Central Park!

 

END OF POST

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2 Responses

  1. I still haven’t gotten over you and Dave seeing the terracotta soldiers on exhibit in Montreal. I was so envious.

    • Amy. Thank you for reminding me. Dave and I were not just fishermen!–No. We crowded in as many adventures as we could in our trips to, and from Cochrane. Love, Ben

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