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  1. Hackney Empire cancels opera

    And I hope that they will never show the film Coming to America again where Eddie Murphy 'whites up' as an old Jewish guy in the barber shop. Personally I thought it was very funny, as did my Jewish NY friends, but hey ho, we are all old enough to still have a sense of humour...
  2. Hackney Empire cancels opera

    And it always seems to work in one direction only. The dancer who posted the footage should have said to the complainant: "Fine. In that case, no black dancer in the RB or ENB should ever be allowed to dance to Tchaikovsky or any other white composer." Can you imagine the outrage? People are just getting more and more ridiculous. I would have told that moron where to go, and left the footage up there. Art is art, and as I said above, colour, race, religion.....who cares, as long as people give their best? Re. the opera, I am assuming now that no-one except Japanese singers will ever be able to do The Mikado again, and only Japanese singers will be able to sing Cio-Cio San? What a silly, silly place our world has become.
  3. Hackney Empire cancels opera

    In this crazy day and age it almost always someone else taking offence on an ethnic minority's behalf, which I find patronising and paternalistic. I have a Muslim friend who was really upset when certain councils and other places decided to stop sending Christmas cards or even referring to Christmas because they didn't want to cause offence. No-one bothered to ask her or other Muslims if they were indeed offended. She said "I love getting Christmas cards, it makes me feel included in this country's culture. After all, it is a Christian country so why shouldn't you send Christmas cards?" This was a few years ago when all this ridiculousness started; you could never refer to this country as Christian anymore!! I wonder what the Hackney Empire would have thought if The National Theatre had recently pulled the plug on Amadeus because Salieri was being played by a black South African actor? I am Italian; did this offend me? NO it did not. As long as he is good in the part, who cares? And are there any protests because a black actress is playing one of Lear's daughters at the National? I don't think so. And does this also mean that no-one in China, Japan or anywhere else in Asia should perform Shakespeare just because the characters aren't Asian? Would European people living in China say they were offended? I doubt it. God, I am so glad I am on the old end of life's spectrum......I just can't bear what is happening to this world. Artistic suffocation, loss of democracy, loss of freedom of speech and expression.....when I was young I never thought this would happen in the West, but hey ho...
  4. I am seeing Vespers next week and will make sure I bring the tone right down by yelping 'woooohoooo' at the end. And I'm half Italian!!
  5. Also very pleased to see Alessandra Ferri coming back to reprise her role as Marguerite. You just can't keep a great woman down!
  6. For me, happy is an understatement!! I am thrilled!
  7. I guess it is also easier to give the roles to dancers who have done it before, what with the Swan Lake circumstances.....maybe too much for 'newbies' to learn two full-length narrative ballets in not much time. I am, of course, being positive here and assuming that Naghdi/Ball will be doing it!! There are a couple of 'newbies' in Manon, but I suppose it's easier just to teach it to one or two than to several. And maybe they have covered the roles even if they haven't danced them? Thinking of Reece and Akane here; not sure if they have performed the roles before?
  8. I would have loved to have seen Naghdi/Ball on the list as well. Ah well, I hope that their omission is because they will be preparing for Swan Lake..... But some interesting casting; can't wait for Bonelli/Morera, Hayward/Watson and Osipova/Hallberg! Lamb/Muntagirov were fab last time so fingers crossed it works as well again this time.
  9. 'Major' BBC series on opera this autumn

    He had actually just encored 'E Lucevan Le Stelle' from Tosca. Apparently Gheorghiu was so annoyed about it that she had to make her own diva statement, so just didn't turn up. I also like Kaufmann, but can understand why others don't. However, the 'old fashioned Italians' and Jussi Bjorling are still my favourite tenors. The Lucy Worsley programme was good for people who are new to opera, or who don't know too much about it. I find her a very lucid presenter, and the programme was fine as an introduction to opera, but she is one of those people who annoys me: She is incapable of doing a documentary without going into the dressing up box like a five year-old; She wears a little bobbie pin in her hair; She wears white tights; She kept mis-pronouncing Monteverdi......gggrrrr!! OTOH, I am reading her book "Jane Austen At Home" and it is very well written and researched and I'm enjoying it immensely.
  10. I circumvent the problem by going "woooooo" ! 😂
  11. And Laura, still in character during the curtain calls, cross because she didn't get a bouquet! As Jillykins said, she sure deserved one! Agree with the comments above; it was a brilliant matinee and a wonderful example of ensemble dancing. The entire cast was on great form and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
  12. Yes, I was also a JA way back in the day!
  13. It's certainly news to me! I wonder if Zen will do it?
  14. I did a really good interview with Belinda a few years ago for ballet.co.uk. Sadly that site is now defunct, and I can't find it anywhere else. If I ever do, I will post it up again. I was at her farewell performance and needless to say it was very understated as she was completely swamped by the farewells to Darcey. Apologies to Darcey fans, but I always rated Belinda as a much better dancer and actress.