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Showing posts from January, 2017

Written On Skin at the Royal Opera

This was the first revival of George Benjamin's Written On Skin. As with contemporary operas, familiarity goes a long way in appreciating the work. In this revival, I found Christopher Purves's The Protector powerful and moving. Barbara Hannigan, who sang Agnès, was superb. The pure and slightly eerie tone of Iestyn Davies as The Boy completed the perfect cast.

Experience Hong Kong in 2 days

You are on business or stopping over on your way to Japan / Australia / New Zealand / Mainland China / Europe. You have one or two days in Hong Kong. What to do? Here is a short itinerary for those who want to get a feel for this exciting city.

Day 1:
Morning - Take the Peak Tram on Garden Road to Victoria Peak where you will find high rise apartment blocks along Mid-Level on your way up. Enjoy the view of the Victoria Harbour and the picturesque south side of Hong Kong Island (take the well sign-posted circular walk if you have the time). To get back to the city centre, take the Peak Tram back to Garden Road, or if you are particularly energetic, walk down Old Peak Road (shoes with good grip advised), past Canossa Hospital,  onto Albany Road, then turn right onto Upper Albert Road where you will see Government House (where British Governors lived), then onto Garden Road via St John's Cathedral and eventually Queen's Road Central.
Lunch - Have a dim-sum lunch at City Hall Maxim…

Der Rosenkavalier at the Royal Opera

I was super excited to see Der Rosenkavalier at Royal Opera with Renée Fleming in one of her finest roles as Marschallin. And it didn't disappoint. The super energetic Andris Nelsons plough into the opening bars with such intense energy so to make the post coital scene at the opening so tender. Alice Coote's interpretation of Octavian had that adolescent quality that somehow worked (though at times it bordered on tomboy-ish). Matthew Rose was a gigantic Ochs on stage - his less sophisticated Viennese German (as intended by von Hofmannsthal) sometimes got lost as the tempo quickened. Sophie Bevan, as Sophie (!) was on fine form and sang with a beautiful innocent sheen.

Andris Nelsons lured the entire audience into the climax of the opera - you could hear a pin drop - when Fleming started ‘Hab mir’s gelobt’ - the pacing, the effortlessness, the meaning and the beauty of her voice. The others joined in with intense intertwining and soaring lines - oh my it was to die for!

The pr…