Clare In The Cheap Seats

Follow Me Around The World Of Art

Canadian Opera Company – Dialogues des Carmélites

It is time to revive this Blog.  Now that I have a job I can start visiting the Arts once again.

On Saturday 25 May I went to the Four Seasons Centre for The Performing Arts to watch the final performance of Dialogues des Carmélites .

I bought my tickets via T.O.Tix Whilst they were Level 5 and one row from the very back they were fine, in no way too high up.  My only complaint was the safety bar that ran along the seats in front.  As the seating sloped downwards towards the middle of the row, the bar was in my sight-line.  Thankfully there were empty seats nearby so I moved 3-4 seats along and the bar was out of the way.

The opera itself was very good, very few props but lots of people.  The story was simple, nuns during the French Revolution being forced to abandon their faith, they stand true to their beliefs and are killed for it.  The final scene, as they fall, one by one, to the sound of the guillotines blade was very chilling.

So for the cost of $25 I had a very satisfying first trip to the Opera.

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Preston Proms – Jose Carreras & Katherine Jenkins

The evening started with a queue, a long queue that snaked its way between Avenham & Miller Park.  Nevertheless the time past quickly and soon enough we were heading into the fenced off area to find our spot.  The majority of people had brought folding chairs and blankets with them, a few even brought tables.  There was plenty of space and we managed to get right to the front, around 6ft from the stage barrier.  We were situated just to the left of the crowd, near the speakers.

After getting ourselves settled it was time to visit the Portaloo.  I must admit, there were plenty of them and they seemed clean enough.  I knew that a few others from where I work was going to be in the crowd and almost straight away I spotted (and heard) one group.  They in turn pointed out the rest to me.

The concert was due to start at 19.00 and they were, unusually, on time.  I am not going to talk in detail about the songs that were sang as we did not buy a programme, though I do know Katherine started with Halleluiah and also sang “Time To Say Goodbye”.  All I really can say it that each and every piece of music played was a delight to hear.  The power of Jose & Katherine’s voices to the perfect music from the Manchester Camerata Orchestra, all was a priviledge to witness live.

Time seemed to fly and before we knew it the fireworks were exploding above the stage.  I have taken away with me three new artists to explore, Carreras, Jenkins and Manchester Camerata Chamber Orchestra.  I very much doubt I will ever witness Jose live again but the 2 hours I saw on Friday night was plenty.  Maybe one day I will see Katherine again and I will be sure to keep an eye out for any Tour Dates.  As for the Orchestra, I am going to have a look at their schedule right now.

For my full set of photographs please view my Flickr Account


Apologies & Catch-up

Sorry, sorry, sorry.

I have been so busy recently travelling around watching tennis that my “art & film” hobbies have taken a bit of a back seat.

Fear not though, I have been watching films via Lovefilm and booked myself a few little trips (see my next post).

A selection of films I have watched:

Dr Strangelove – Sellers at his best
The Long Goodbye – Monica & Ross’ Dad gives a great performance
The Seventh Seal – Not easy to describe
Last Tango In Paris – Very interesting use of butter
The Sorrow & The Pity – Real documentary of wartime France
Flatliners – Would you?
The Mummy (1932) – This is what happens when you don’t do as you are told!
The Crimson Rivers – Good film
Life Is Beautiful – A film of Fatherly love to the limit
Annie Hall – A must-see
Platoon – Hard hitting film
The Apartment – How to get on the right side of the boss
The Odd Couple – How not to share an apartment
Metropolis – A film ahead of its time
Deliverance – Fantastic film that you must watch
Kiki’s Delivery Service – A heart warming film for all ages
Jean De Florette & Manon Des Sources – Greed always has a price
Houseboat – What a great way to live
Cape Fear – Bloody hell Gergory, just shoot him already!
Raging Bull – De Niro as a prize fighter
12 Angry Men – Wonderful film
The 400 Blows – Sometimes all they need is a little attention
Fistful Of Dollars – Hello Mr Man With No Name
Copycat – How easy is it to copy a killer
Witness For The Prosecution – Great film with a twist
The Son’s Room – Very moving film
Repo Man – Very 80’s
Au Revoir Les Enfants – Another very moving film
A Few Dollars More – Clint is back for more action
Days Of Wine & Roses – Epic tale of excess
Dogville – Very strange set
Pom Poko – Don’t mess with the racoons
Beyond A Reasonable Doubt – Keep copies of everything

I have also made a few trips to theatre etc.

I went to London in April and paid a visit to The Royal Opera House where I watched 3 short ballets (Polyphonia / Sweet Violets / Carbon Life) I enjoyed the first, the second was pretty decent too, the third was forgetable as well as painful on my eardrums.

Back home in Preston I went to the local Odeon to watch Rigoletto relayed live from the ROH. Excellent opera with great performances from all involved.

I subscribe to a service called SeeFilmFirst and every now and then I receive free offers to concerts or shows. I was offered a ticket to the Opera House in Manchester to watch a Musical called Vampirette. I had nothing better to do on the Saturday afternoon so I went along. What a riot! Great music and songs as well as story (based on the Addams family) They had the whole audience up dancing at the end.

Brass Festival at Bridgewater Hall was a whole day long event I attended. Whilst it was good I had seen a few of the bands before but at least it helped me decide who I like.

La Fille mai Gardee was another show watched at the cinema. This was a very colourful affair with a funny storyline. How they never got tangles up during the Maypole dance I’ll never know.

Jools Holland came to Preston in May so I dragged my partner along for a night of live music. Jools and the band did not disappoint playing their jazzy music that had people dancing in their seats.

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