• 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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Bermuda aboard the NCL “Escape” — Historic St. George

Enlarge the pictures to full screen for essential detail.

Christine and I squeezed in a week’s cruise to Bermuda. We were both, just about recovered from the London trip jet-lag and needed an r and r break. By chance, the ship making the voyage was a new addition to the NCL fleet, the “Escape”. At 180,000 tons plus, the “Escape” is one of the super large class of vessels on which we would not normally sail; we hate the noisy, crowded facilities and the impossible activities, like: monstrous water slides, rope-climbing structures and bungie-jumping–none of which appeal to we mature passengers much, nor do they appeal, I imagine, to the increasing number of wheelchair and walker equipped travelers one encounters on these cruises now-a-days. We prefer the much more intimate “Gem” class.  However, we were offered a balcony stateroom for the same price as an outside view one and this gave us a chance to escape(?) the crowds when we wanted. And, the ship did have a piano bar serving 25 draught beers!

The “Escape” — a floating city of 6,000 souls . . .

 

Like all NCL ships, the hulls are decorated by contemporary artists. The Escape’s was designed by Guy Harvey, an artist my memory had denied completely until a passenger from another ship pointed out that I was wearing one of his designer shirts and that his logo was stitched on both back and front of it!

 

Dinner at the Captain’s table — pictures courtesy of Bobbie, dinner companion and now our friend . . . .

 

Photo op with the Captain and His Mate . . .

 

Bobbie with the officers. (picture taken with her tablet)

An unexpected plus from taking the “Escape” was, while docked in The Royal Dockyards, it ran a free ferry service to St. George. We took it together on the first day at port and I went again while Christine was at  Horseshoe beach the next day. The whole town of St. George is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is complete with a ducking stool and stocks. These reproductions get much more use than the originals; Tourists line up to take selfies in them!

St. George was settled in 1600 or thereabouts and became Bermuda’s first capital. Now it is a picture postcard town of pastel-colored buildings with startling white roofs. St. Peter’s church with its historic churchyard is a draw; the present structure stands on the site of the original wooden one which was erected by the first settlers in 1612.

Inside St. Peter’s a simple wooden enclosure has been added. It is named ‘The Queen’s Chappell’ and has the Royal Coat of Arms on the front. Queen Elizabeth II visited the place of worship a few years ago!

 

When I first visited Bermuda, 45 years ago, the roofs were all flat with walls built round them to capture the rain–the only source of water in the islands. Now, by law, they are all peaked with diagonal runnels to direct the rainwater into underground storage vats and painted white . . ..

 

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Somers dock

 

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This is the last picture of the St. George visit but I will complete the Bermuda story with “Festive Hamilton” in the next post.

THE END

 

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2 Responses

  1. Just remember the Brit Com line about “having to eat with the help”!

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