Monday, May 18, 2009

Opera talk (2)

Paul Hocking and I had a meeting this afternoon with Paula Whittingham of HANR to firm up some of the details of the planned induction course of Street Carers. We hope the initial pilot training evening will take place on 9th July. It's taking an age to put together, simply because of the difficulties of co-ordinating the timetable sof those involved. It should have taken place by now.

Afterwards, I met up with my cousin Lindsay, down in Cardiff to visit his mother, my auntie Joyce now in a care home in Cyncoed. We sat upstairs in one of the market's snack bars and chatted until closing time. We talk mor eoften of the phone than we have met since his father died a couple of years ago. Whenever he comes to town, he's busy with mum, or I'm busy with work. I wonder if it will be any different when I retire? Or will there really be more quality time for people?

'La Boème' was beautifully produced and sung, and Bethan in stage costume was easy to identify by her willowy movement - she is also tall for her age. She really looked at home, and enjoying the experience. She's performing with WNO in Brum next week.

'La Boème' is a real tear jerker, for its tragic plot and emotional music. Doubly so for me, as my mother and sisters used to perform its great arias at home when I was a child sixty years ago in Ystrad Mynach. When I was too young to stay up, I used to sneak out of bed and sit on the stairs if it was warm enough, in order to hear them singing better.

Sitting there listening to 'Si, Mi Chiamano Mimi' in the Millennium Centre auditorium, beyond soloist and orchestra, my memory echoed with the sound of mum's piano, and contralto voices singing in English 'They call me Mimi', transposed for lower voices. It was more than making our own entertainment. It was also an education in its own right, for which I am immensely grateful and also very proud.

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