Sunday, 18 January 2015

Musical offerings

Live transmissions of plays, concerts and opera have come into vogue fairly recently.  The multiplex Cineworld cinema in Birmingham shows performances from the Metropolitan Opera in New York, yesterday The Merry Widow by Lehar.
I found this absorbing and entertaining, the piece suited a Saturday evening with the chance for a drink afterwards.
While it isn't the same as being in the main auditorium, you actually are part of an extended audience in the cinema.  Mostly retired to go by appearances, and regulars at these shows too, going by the myriad sandwich boxes which appeared in the interval (also a way to save money on the usually overpriced food at cinemas).
A few attempts at applause to join in with the New York Met audience, this is the one thing that doesn't quite work in the cinema, but you can sense the involvement all the same, not least at the couple of (very brief) points when the satellite transmission failed to a Mexican wave of sighs from the crowd!  
£15 isn't cheap for a cinema ticket, but next to $200 for the Met itself it is, as they say, a bargain.  £12.50 concessions.
Well worth it.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Film tip - Kontiki

Thor Heyerdahl and friends' balsa wood voyage across the Pacific to prove that early Polynesians were settlers from Peru and not Asia. Real human drama of individual charisma against institutions and individuals in confined and dangerous circumstances, struggling to cope and persuaded (just) by the charisma of their leader.  In the end, team work wins out as everyone pulls together to end the voyage successfully.
Fascinating, absorbing, action thriller and traditional drama in one.
Saw this at the MAC in Birmingham, their page here for details.

New Year

Rather lost any plot with this blog over the last half of last year, maybe with my father-in-law dying, sadly, after a long life and a traumatic few weeks ending that life, maybe with business of a newish job and lots of training work to do in a new term, which seems to result in doing less writing outside of work, but then maybe just inertia, getting stuck or disillusioned.
So here's a good standby, some photos: 

Fields near Cannon Hill Park.

Lights on the River Rhine.  

Local robin, singing through Winter.