Maestro Riccardo Frizza is an Italian conductor and a charming, pleasant human being. But don’t take my word for it, read the interview he gave me here or click on his photo and judge for yourself. Find out why he thinks “music is an exchange of effort and energy” and a lot, lot more. Enjoy!
There’s a light against the sky
like the flicker of a candle;
always shiny, always bright
though it’s more than I can handle.
Darkness descends from a height
shutting the stars and the flames
like a bold warrior knight
whose death no-one claims.
I stretch my hand, feel the cold
the powder-like pristine snow;
its beauty precious as gold
shimmering in the sun’s glow.
Where’s the grace?
Where’s the light?
The tender touch on my face
and the energy to fight?
The world is slowly dark
the heart numb and so sad –
no beauty, no happy spark
just the spectres of the dead.
Upon Brexit and the new US President Donald Trump
The London Symphony Orchestra Opening Concert for the 2016-17 Season
John Neumeier (b. 1942) is an award winning choreographer born in the United States but who has worked for most of his life in Germany and is the artistic director of the Hamburg Ballet.
Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) should need no introduction. As one of the greatest figures of Russian Literature many people will know his work by name even if they’ve never read it – just a few examples are Eugene Onegin, Ruslan and Ludmila and Mozart and Salieri, to name just a few.
So it was a great pleasure for me to review the blu-ray of the new ballet by Neumeier (one of my favourite choreographers), based on Eugene Onegin, a novel in verse by Pushkin (one of my favourite authors and poets).
The ballet is called Tatiana (the heroine in the novel) and is a cracker – beautiful, elegant with unusual gorgeous choreography and extraordinary performances. One to watch and enjoy time and time again – read my review here.
Opera inspires and so do beautiful buildings. Both come together in harmony and exquisite proportions at the Opera House in Dresden, Germany.
I was inspired to write the poem below after a performance of Rossini’s opera William Tell and the beauty of the Dresdner opera is a gorgeous tribute to the power of music.
I saw the fairies and felt the caves,
touched the woods
and crossed the waves,
swam through the rain,
glided the storm and surfed the pain
engraved in the music form.
I felt the call of the night
in clear arpeggios of fountains dried
and in the heat of the fight
I stumbled, I cried
I broke the crystalline light.
In peril, I hovered over luminous voices
but fearless I rode the ocean
and stared at my choices.
And then, just closing my eyes,
I saw the music
in flowers of motion,
rainbows and skies.
And the heavens opened
crushing my heart,
leaving the silence to tear me apart.
Poem by myself (Margarida Mota-Bull, nom de plume M G da Mota) / Photograph of the Dresdner Opera courtesy of Malcolm Bull
The ballet Le Corsaire with music by French composer Adolphe Adam (and a few others!) is based on a poem by British romantic poet Lord Byron. The poem is called “The Corsair” and deals with the story of a pirate, which is the meaning of the French word “corsaire”.
It is a sort of a crazy plot ballet, with virtuoso dancing moments and perhaps because of these two facts, it is not often performed. My latest DVD review is of a different version of Le Corsaire: less crazy, with a much simpler story, good dancing moments but alas, also with less virtuosity. If you would like to find out more, please click here or on the DVD cover photo below to read my review.
Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at this year’s Glyndbourne festival is a so-called traditional production, meaning a period piece, which some people may think too conventional or conservative. What is definitely true is that it is a stylish, charming production that perfectly matches Donizetti’s elegant music.
It was a delight in every sense of the word and just proved that period pieces are not boring. Read my review here or click on the photo below.
Donizetti’s Don Pasquale at Glyndebourne Festival 2013
Photos by Clive Barda, courtesy of Glyndebourne Press Office
Last Friday, 5th July, I went to the London Coliseum to review Programme 2 of the Boston Ballet in a rare London appearance. It was 30 years since they last came to London and one must wonder why. A group so good should be showing off all over the place!
Anyway, they came with two programmes and conquered, I think audience and critics alike. I had the privilege of attending the performance of the second programme.
Modern pieces; gorgeous dancers; sexy, sassy dancing and most of all, beautiful and electrifying movements! An exquisite ballet experience!
You can read my review here or click on the photo below.
Photo of Jiří Kylián’s Bella Figura by Gene Schiavone courtesy of press representative
[Dancers on photo: Altan Dugaraa, Sarah Wroth and Yury Yanowsky]