• Upcoming Trips

    Feb-March None booked as yet
  • theatre and Concerts

    February 26. Saw concert versions of two my favourite Puccini operas at the MSM: La Rondine (Act I) and Gianni Schicchi. Both made the very most of the small stage and were cleverly directed by Kenneth Merrill from the side of the auditorium. The young cast had an hilarious time putting on the show – and so did  we!

    March 2. Saw “Twelve Angry Women”, a play on the well-travelled jury deliberations theme, at the Producers Club. It is fast moving, ding-dong exchange of ideas with “whodunnit” detective analyses interspersed. Sadly, only one of the twelves actresses really could project; the others could not, for the most part, be heard clearly enough for our old ears to pick up the nuances of the dialogue, even in the  Club’ s intimate auditorium.

    March 3.  Carnegie Hall hosted Edith Monaco in a solo piano recital on Sunday evening. She played a nice, but not too exciting,  programme  ending with Moussorgsky’s “Pictures at an exhibition”. She seemed  totally concentrated on the accuracy of her playing and did not glance at, or turn the page of, the music in front of her.

    March 20. The MSM celebrated Pincus Zukerman’s 70th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his ‘Performance Program’. It was an extraordinary musical event: an awesome display of the incredible young talent that the Master and the MSM have nurtured.

    Of the solo violinists performing, the most exciting, for me, was  Jesus Reina who chose pieces by Paganini and played them in a manner reminiscent of Sarasate. But the highlight was Bach’s ‘Concerto for Two violins’; for the first movement, Mr. Zukerman led in his 12 year-old protégé, Nathan Gendler who played opposite the Master with the absolute confidence of an old hand who had begun his concerting at the age of six!

    For the second movement, Pincus Zukerman led in SoHyun Ko, a young lady of sixteen. She played her part with equal talent and confidence.

    The two youngsters played the third movement  by themselves (The Master staying off-stage while they wowed the sold-out audience!).

    The programme ended with Mr. Zukerman conducting the MSM Symphony Orchestra in Dvorak’s ‘Slavonic Dances’ and everybody (Orchestra and audience alike) singing him “Happy Birthday”!






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Turmoil on Thames (Part 2)

Continuing the “Thames’s banks” story, here are some more pictures of the rapidly changing skyline: Enlarge the pictures to full screen for essential detail:   

Upholding her 350 years, St. Paul’s Cathedral defiantly faces off against the upstarts!


A  Dome in Greenwich. The old Royal Observatory is now a museum.


A B&B on the river


Historical plaques at Greenwich . . .


New flats on the river . . .


One wing of the Royal Naval College with a glimpse of The Queen’s House in the background


Luxury flats to be . . . . .


Luxury flats that were (Note the wonderful chimney stacks and think of the pollution they used to emit!) . . . .


Greenwich — Royal Naval College . . .


. . . south wing showing obelisk


Sinking problem?


Crowding-in and battling for space


Some modern, some recycled


The monstrosity on the right is nicknamed “The cheese grater building” by Londoners — It should have been used on the architect first! The people walking over the footbridge are on their way to the ‘New Tate Gallery’ which is housed in an old power station complete with industrial chimney. It makes an ideal space for large exhibits.


All that remains of the old ‘Blackfriars’ railway bridge


Town Hall. now a theatre and shopping centre


Poor Westminster Palace a.k.a. Houses of Parliament. It is undergoing yet another round of renovation–Big Ben will be silent for , at least, a year!






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