Sunday, May 17, 2009

Opera talk (1)

Last night, Clare and I went to hear the Welsh National Opera's performance of Tchaikovsky's work 'The Queen of Spades' - three deaths in three acts. In essence it's a Russian moral fable about the futility and dangers of indulging the passions, money and gambling being the targets on this occasion. I wasn't expecting to enjoy it, but the music and the singing were superb.

Before the main Eucharist this morning, Bethan (10) was telling me enthusiastically about her involvement with WNO as a crowd singer and actor in Puccini's 'La Boème'. As it happens we have tickets. Clare and I are taking Auntie Daphne. It's impossible not to be thrilled by the way WNO and the Millennium Centre involve children and adults in all sorts of activities in and around their principle mission of putting on Opera. When we arrived last night the area outside the Centre was filled with tents erected in preparation for the Urdd Eisteddfod this week.

Urdd, for non Welsh readers, is a Welsh language youth organisation with a superb record in nurturing all sorts of performance skills and creative activities in the Welsh language cultural scene. It has its home base in the Millennium Centre these days. That's what Opera in Wales is on a par with Rugby, when it comes to pride and lifting the spirits.

Actually, I think Opera is more successful in this endeavour more often. Long may it be so!

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