Image Duplicator is the kind of art exhibition I like: small, easy to understand and not many other people have heard about it. That and the fact that every exhibit hanging in the modest gallery at the back of Orbital Comics raises a knowing smile, and my inner-snob beams with self-satisfaction. Oh, and it’s free.
All these very reasons reflect the idea behind the exhibition too. Running in parallel with yet another Lichtenstein exhibition at Tate Modern, Image Duplicator takes the very thing which angers comic book artists (and other “commercial artists”) – Lichtenstein’s original appropriation of early comic artist ‘elders’ – and twists the knife. Artists have gone back to the original artworks and created their own with a copyright-related message woven in.
Rosenblatt Recitals are occupying a warm and fluffy space in my sensibilities as being a sign that I may possibly have discovered an obsession in waiting – opera and more specifically, vocal recitals.
I’ve been to opera before, obviously. I’ve also been to a Rosenblatt Recital before. I wrote rather glowingly about my previous visit. But as with everything, it is the second visit which counts the most. If the feeling is the same, then its probably more than mere fleeting infatuation. Maybe there’s something a little deeper.
Much has to do with the interior of Wigmore Hall. Grand and plush with an undoubted sense of ocassion, Wigmore Hall is a different kind of concert-going experience. Its intimacy risks becoming a much-preferred alternative to the relative grandeur of a symphony orchestra. I rather appreciate the narrow auditorium – the feeling that Wigmore Hall is wedged in between two other buildings threatening to squeeze it out of existence. Every member of the audience on the same level gives proceedings an egalitarian feel. That is fast-becoming a sought-after antidote.
Rosenblatt’s penultimate performer for this season was the utterly charming and unequivocally Italian Gianluca Terranova. Flown in on the day to replace the indisposed Ivan Magri who had to pull out on 21 May, the olive-skinned tenor was clearly excited to be visiting London for the first time, delivering a sometimes impenetrable but otherwise endearing pigeon English to maximum effect. The audience warmed to him. After a while, I found myself succumbing to the obvious on-stage charisma of this effortless raconteur.
Undoubtedly technically able and brimming with enthusiasm, there were moments in his topmost register when things felt a tiny bit constricted. Nerves? Tiredness? I’m not sure. The breaks off-stage, at first arresting in their break with convention, suggested an earlier flight might have have been in order.
Overall however, this was a good billing. Infectious enthusiasm mixed with well-pitched yearning. Later too, he also showed he could deliver: a seemingly anxious start to one aria in the second half did show he could his voice could expand. O sole mio and Nessun dorma inevitably went down a storm with the excitable audience, topping off what a refreshingly unpretentious affair.
There’s one more Rosenblatt Recital at Wigmore Hall this year.
Later this year in July, the first Branscombe Festival runs from Friday 26 to Sunday 28 July 2013.
Drake Music, the Royal College of Music, the Tri-Borough Music Hub & the BBC Symphony Orchestra joined together in a special inclusive and interactive ‘Open Orchestra’ concert earlier today featuring 80 pupils from special and primary schools at St Paul’s Church in West London.
Crying at work is an unusual thing I find. Set against the off-white desks and dispassionate grey carpeting of a standard-looking office, such outward displays of inner heartache are amplified might even be rather callously described as ‘newsworthy’.
Fortunately, I wasn’t in the office when I noticed the tears rolling down my cheek. I was in the relatively ‘safe’ environment of a large church in Hammersmith, West London sat directly behind a mayor and his wife and surrounded on nearly all sides by primary school children, their attention squarely on the BBC Symphony Orchestra and 80 other children who had taken up their position in the transept up ahead. With all of their eyes fixed on the sights up ahead, they wouldn’t have been aware of me snivelling when the orchestra started to play.
I hadn’t been prepared for the experience of seeing a multitude of special and primary school children performing a work they’d created. I had been spectacularly caught off guard.
Rehearsals are special things to attend, especially if you’re just observing things. They are in effect you’re own private concert.
Attending a chorus rehearsal with a microphone also gives you the permission to wander around and experience a glorious shifting sound-scape, one normally only the conductor or rehearsal pianist hears.
The London Gay Men’s Chorus next set of concerts are at Cadogan Hall in London on 24 and 25 May 2013. The theme – heroes – celebrates those individuals who are regarded by its members as their own individual heroes. It’s a touching idea and seemingly apt for a warm and friendly chorus which has recently celebrated 21 years in existence.
I attended one of the final rehearsals for the #LGMCHeroes concert and spoke to chairman John Carrion.