Wednesday 29 March 2023

Music at the Opera House


I love a lot of different kinds of music, but I will admit classical doesn't do much for me - or I guess technically I don't know what to do with it. So I will go to a concert if it's short and not too expensive. Generally, I think the SSO knows this, that they need to appeal to non Classical people to get new audiences in (to grow and continue) so once a year or so they do what I like to call Classical for dummies. It usually has Rhapsody in Blue (the crowd pleasing banger) and then fun other pieces to make it accessible to the Classical newbie..

One year they did all Gershwin and encouraged the audience to dress up and had sort of '20's history and prohibition stories thrown in. It was fabulous.

This time they had a great new piece out of Brisbane (sorry, didn't get any names) along with the Gershwin classic.

I thoroughly enjoyed it. Though I did get in trouble for taking photos. In my defence, the guy made a bing long speech that to me sounded like you could take photos but not film or flash. My friend who was in the audience elsewhere agreed it was confusing (and she is a classical person and said since the concert hall reopenned they seem to make different rules each time and it's unclear). My husband would tell you I just wasn't listening.

Anyway, the reason I took photos was because I was quite mesmerised at how shiny the piano was. And was trying to capture at great reflection. So maybe that was a sign I'm not caught up in the music like I should be. I don't know. (I was up the front so phone could be at my chest and not block anyone's view.)

I did have a lovely night and really enjoyed the music but was glad when it ended (where as my husband was surpised at how short it was). And for me, a pre Show negroni at the Opera House is ALWAYS a winner....

Hilariously, I have a number of friends that assume I love classical music and they all keep asking me if I'm going to the Vivaldi next weekend. I have no idea where this idea comes from but I suspect it's from my once-a-year excursion to Classical for Dummies....

Do you go to different types of concerts to 'stretch' your musical taste?

Very tenuous link because I've alluded to Vivialdi's Four Seasons....(see what I did there? Boomtish)

Sunday 26 March 2023

The Magic of Handa's Opera on Sydney Harbour


If you are even in Sydney for March or parts of April, try to get tickets to the Opera on the Harbour. Even if you aren't a fan of Opera, it is always beautiful. I usually watch the weather and then try to get the cheap seats that week once I know it isn't going to rain. This year, for some reason I got tickets in the Black Friday sale. Great seats, but it did of course rain. We were lucky that it wasn't that heavy but I stupidly didn't bring my new rain coat I got for festivals...

The set was very pretty and it framed the Opera House and Harbour Bridge with floating red curtains that floated about in the wind and with fireworks lighting them all, it is a spectacular moment to be enjoying the beauty of this city.

The story of Madame Butterfly is so terrible. It's creepy and pretty much all the characters are awful. Thankfully it has very beautiful music. The subtitles went out for a large part of our performace and I did think losing the translation didn't hurt the experience. It wasn't just me that felt this, because some people booed the characters in the curtain call before then cheering the performer. The world is changing, my friends and I think that's a good thing, but it does date all these old stories....

Our first time at the Opera on the Harbour was La Boheme and the production had sumptuous parties, snow, a car on fire, a hot air balloon that floated away and of course, the fireworks. It was beautiful and magical and now unfortunately my standard for comparision. I long to be wowed like that again.

Funny thing with Madame Butterfly, I invarably leave, not with the opera in my head, but an earworm of Malcolm McLaren. And so, I'm playing his song as I write this, and I'll share it with you.

Last weeks for the Opera so see if you can grab some tickets. There's a rush offer on TodayTix or scout the website to see what you can get.

The season finishes April 23, so get in quickly before you miss out!  

Linking with #YourMoment #WordlessWednesday  #WWOAT  #SundayBest  And #RUbyTuesday #BlueMonday for the red curtians and bluescreen pic

Saturday 25 March 2023

Share Four Somethings - March

Something I'm Loving You may remember I flew down to see Grace Petrie in January for my xmas present as we were away for her gig 5 minutes from my house. While there, she announced she was returning and this gig was in a small venue also walking distance from my home. I rustled up 8 others to come with me, and as always she was fabulous. 
Palm Tree Music Festival was on and it was so good. The line up was all my favourites, two I hadn't seen before. I was high for about three days afterwards, and even now, weeks later, a smile creeps onto my face at the thought of it. It was so elating. 

So I would say I'm loving music and dancing & singing in a crowd.

Something I'm Reading I've just started Cloud Cuckoo Land. I will admit so far I don't entirely understand what is going on, but it's early days. Have you read it, and did you like it? I'm getting a lot of people tell me they love his other one but not this one.

Something I'm Learning Australia has Nazis. I can not get my head around this. I do not understand why anyone would have those kinds of beliefs, nor think about them that much they join an organised group. I don't understand people don't seem more horrified about this. I feel everyone's moved on and I'm stuck back in horror and incomprehensible nature of it. I feel I'm at times so out of step with people in this country. I don't get how they can just brush it off and move on. That probably says more about me, and I suspect it's not that great either.

Something I'm Eating: I ate puffer fish. Years ago I wrote this post about not ever eating it. However in Japan we were served it three ways. It didn't give the numbness so I suspect it wasn't the poisonous parts. Or over fermented or something. It was done in a creamy French sauce so was too rich for me but I ate the ball and cracker, but only half of the other dish....

And that ends my month. Some good, some bad and some in about you?

Linking with #ShareFourSomethings #HappyTuesday (because Grace Petrie and PalmTrees festival made me really happy!!) #MCoW#TheRandom #YourMoment

Wednesday 22 March 2023

What's on my bookshelf? - March

 A very slow reading month (again). 

In Japan I read Territory of Light because it's set in Japan, by a Japanese poet and novelist. It's a strange book. I enjoyed it but I can't really tell you what it's about (and that seems to be similar to a number of goodread reviews I read after). It's little stories of a woman in the first year of separation, living with a young child and on the verge of a breakdown (it seems to me). Kind of poetic, lots of different 'light' pervading each scene. I don't really know what to make of it at the end. I gave my copy to other travellers to chuck out when they were done.

I started Where the Grass is Green when in Bali as my holiday read. I'm srill reading it as I didn't take it to Japan. It's not something I would pick but it came in my book advent and it's entertaining enough. A good light read with likeable 'unlikeable' characters. By the Devil wears Prada author. So that kind of vibe.

Elizabeth is Missing. Someone in one of the book link ups recommended it, so thanks for that. I have to as, I enjoyed it, while it's usually not my thing. It's a mystery from the point of view of someone with advanced dementia. Now I have to say, if you are dealing with someone with dementia or recently lost someone, don't read it. If you are at peace with it and the pain has gone (and can't be triggered), it's quite entertaining as you'll recognise things that happen in the book or are said or the feelings of her daughter. I thought she did a great job in the first person voice and I thought that made it a really good take on a mystery novel. It's also a light read but very enjoyable (which seems weird to say about dementia).

The Quiet American. I listened to this on audible. I've read it before. I love the complexity of the narrator who is awful but you end up conflicted over at times. It's such a great book. Even though I knew what happens, I still had that sinking feeling as it happens, like horror in a slow motion car crash, waiting for impact. It's a grubby world and you as the reader feel a little grubby too. If you haven't read it, it's well worth a read or listen. 

I've not been reading much of late. Not sure why. Need to get back into it. What have you enjoyed this month?

My Random Musings

Golden light

We were on our weekend morning walk and the cloud and light were creating a mesmerizing scene. The tower was reflecting in the cloud and I was no doubt annying my friend by stopping to take photos but she's far to good natured to say!

Sunday 19 March 2023

Early Morning walk

On Sunday mornings I walk with a friend. We got up earlier to avoid the heat, and even at 6.30 it was 20 degrees.

I was stunned to see this fog pooling in the AFL oval.

I'm not even going to pretend to understand why this was happening (though more knowledgable people, feel free to add an explanation in the comments).

It did make for beautiful photos though.