I hated it – Wigmore Hall and The Times

I am more than just mildly annoyed. Annoyed not because someone “hated it.” I’m annoyed because instead of a review, The Times decided to publish a pretentious hate-piece designed to insult musicians and audience alike. It worked.

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The curtain closed, the plot unended

A few days have passed since events around Tamar Iveri, a Georgian opera singer, have escalated. I followed the matter with interest; in parts because I like a good show as much as anyone, but mainly because of the dynamics it revealed. It made people speak out who usually keep silent. At first glance, the event has shown a huge support for LGBTQ rights, nonetheless, I’m hesitant to shout “Victory!” My issue is not Mrs. Iveri, an opera singer I didn’t know before the events came to my attention; my problem are the people whose mind she speaks. I think they are far from being a dwindling minority. 

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My issues with gay movies, or why mezzos are better than the rest

I found this quote the other day, and I would like to pick up on it:

As someone who identifies as gay, I remember growing up and going to the bookstore and going to the gay and lesbian section and thinking to myself, “This is it. This is what we have. This one shelf. That’s it.” And, you know, we have some short stories, and we have some history, and stuff like that, but you know, like, the fiction all centered around being gay. Like, it was defined by that. And so, I think what I hear a lot from the fans, and I share their sentiment, is, here is something where being gay is just one aspect of a much larger world that we live in. And that world is beautiful, and terrifying, and insane, and funny, and it just fits in there, and for me, being a gay artist, working on a show like this, like, I like gay stuff, gay stuff is cool, but I mean, you know, so many times I see independent films and and independent books and they’re writing the “Oh, this is gay fiction.” Well, what does that mean? Like, does that mean you have to be gay to read it? Do you have to be gay to write it? Like what? I don’t understand…Like, just one aspect of Cecil is his sexuality. And, on top of that, in this crazy world of Night Vale, his sexuality and his relationship with another man is the least weird thing to happen on a daily basis. And it really makes me feel so good to think back on where I was when I was like fifteen, sixteen and thinking “Yes, this is it.” Like, we’re making it. We’re pushing boundaries out, and saying, “This isn’t a gay podcast. We’re not gonna check your card at the door.” I love that. Cecil Baldwin

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Every nighte and alle – Ian Bostridge in Ansbach

ansbach screenshot

Solisten: Ian Bostridge, Tenor; Stefan Dohr, Horn
Johann Sebastian Bach: “Ich habe genug”, Kantate, BWV 82; Johann Sebastian Bach/George Benjamin: “Die Kunst der Fuge”, Kanon; Benjamin Britten: Prelude and Fugue, op. 29; Serenade, op. 31
08 August 2013, St. Johannis, Ansbacher Bachwoche

The programme was something that just couldn’t be missed. Bostridge, Bach, and Britten? I couldn’t withstand this combination which caused me to organize a little trip to Ansbach.  (For most outside Germany, distances here seem ridiculous, but still, even a little trip is quite a fuss at times.)

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“When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall”

John William Waterhouse, Sleep And His Half-Brother Death source: Wikicommons

Taking art songs as a basis, one must derive that cradling a baby is putting adults in a close to morbid state of mind. Schubert’s Wiegenlied, Britten’s cradle songs, folk-songs … they all seem to have a rather bitter edge to it. Only “Twinkle twinkle little star” shines a faint light into the chosen assortment of mishaps, catastrophes, and sudden death that is present in cradle songs.

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