Thursday, November 27, 2003

Last night was parts one to three of the XO and went off very well -- in the warm-up (tops and tails, Hah! how about let's sing all the choruses) one of the tenors (no names) came in a beat early at "Lassen uns den gehen gen Bethlehem" which was a bit scary, but all was OK in performance. Not a lot of audience, but warm nonetheless. SF asked me if I'd be interested in doing a gig for her sister F which involves carols and a nursing home. I surprised myself by agreeing -- it's on Friday 12 December and since I wasn't otherwise engaged I said yes. FF left a message last night saying that the group would be paid $200 which she said we can split, or all go out for dinner; I think the food is the go.

Tram home afterwards with NT and a violinist. We told her horror stories of MvP in the past. N's MK should be there tonight; I'm looking forward to catching up with him, it's been a while.

On to parts four to six.

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

I did write an entry for yesterday, but somehow the Blogger system must have chewed it up. Monday night was the Gloriana dress rehearsal -- it was OK, it's a long and hard sing. The Gorecki at the end leaves us all exhausted.

Last night I went to the second dress for the XO, which starts tonight. It went off well; we had a twenty-minute break which we used by going next door for coffee. The orchestra is sounding really good and the soloists were great as well. NT drove me home afterwards - he also had Sam and Will to take home which was very kind of him.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Yesterday spent all day rehearsing the XO -- none of the Gombert folk were there in the morning and only Susie F turned up for the afternoon shift as the rest were involved in the Canterbury Fellowship concert last night. Rehearsals went off quite well; the orchestra is sounding great, but because of MYO rehearsals we were short horns and a couple of oboes after lunch. Lunched with NT and SG at the Malthouse - not fabulous food, but substantial enough to keep me happy for the rest of the day.

As there was nothing much on TV (I certainly wasn't going to watch the thugby) I sat down and watched Act II of Götterdämmerung. After the nonsensical productions given to the earlier operas I was pleasantly surprise by the coherence of this act -- direction was intelligent and singing mostly wonderful (orchestra also v good). Just a pity that the rest of the cycle was not done by this team. It was perhaps unfortunate that Brünnhilde looked a little like Magda Szubansnki, costumes and sets not being one of the strong points.

Off to Mum's this morning -- her back and knees are playing up at the moment. Discussed selection of plays for 2004 MTC season; she said that Muriel won't be coming next year as she has a few other things (including a trip to Britain) on her plate.

Was just settling down for a nap when I got home when suddenly there came a rapping, as of someone gently tapping, tapping at my chamber door. No raven, but Lorraine who was just dropping in after visiting B&P. It was lovely to see her; she was impressed with the back garden, saying it had grown a lot since she'd seen it last (and it has).

Tonight off to B&P's for roast chicken. SS was there; I hadn't seen her for ages. B is looking better every time I see him -- tonight he was tucking into the chicken and even had a glass of the 2000 Morris' Durif I brought, but said it tasted odd to him. Pity.

B has started a blog which is linked to on the left.

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Have been rather slack about this blog -- well, perhaps it's because nothing very interesting ever happens to me. Because of misreading (or rather not reading) the roster I was forced to forgo dinner with P and B as I was working 3-11pm. JdL is sick this week so last night it was Jim and Michael, good company to have.

Had a message from AC -- he's left Aldeburgh and is now back in London and working for PK at the Wigmore (Head of artistic planning). He'll be in town from December 13 and we'll catch up then, Judy C's roster allowing.

Will try and get to see B tonight -- he had a visit from LP last night (details here) who was in Melbourne for meetings and ended up being stranded here.

Have committed to playing at A and M's concert (AC said if I play, she'll sing) - A asked me how much I charged. I answered that normally I don't and had no idea what to ask. We'll discuss further after I've picked AC's brain about how much she would expect to pay.

Sunday, November 16, 2003

It's been a busy week, with XO rehearsals and organising a new microfilm machine for work, so I haven't written. Saw Mum as usual today, then dropped in on DA and AH who got back from Italy last week (or was it the week before). Anyway, they had what sounds like a fabulous time in the Veneto; AH has taken loads and loads of video and now has to sit down and edit it all into a coherent whole.

Yesterday was a stinker - 39C! - luckily P and I, taking advantage of SS visiting B for the afternoon, were able to take ourselves off to see Intolerable cruelty. Lots of fun; I'm beginning to like Clooney more each time I see him. We went to Victoria Gardens and it's firmed my resolve to see the last LOTR film there -- comfortable seats and great sound.

No further news on B, except that he's slowly improving. I'll see him again on Tuesday night when I go around there for dinner.

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Went to work yesterday in the morning to do DBA and other stuff, then came home and collapsed. Didn't go to Gloriana rehearsal as, while I might have been some help to the basses in the Biebl (low Ds) I couldn't have added anything to the tenor line.

Work today still frantic, relieved by Monica's return, but exacerbated by the demise of the PC attached to the microfilm scanner. Really bad timing as DB was wanting to find more pages for SF and the 150th project. Add to that they're baying for more old reviews to re-run in A2. OT is fixing the PC - let's hope it all works when it's put back together again.

Off to P&B's tonight for dinner - P rang this afternoon to make sure I was still coming. He's had today off with a virus, probably the same thing I've got, so I figure B's already been exposed to it. B went back to Peter Mac today and was told he was progressing well - which is good news all round.

Sunday, November 09, 2003

Dinner with DG last night - he's having trouble running a mail-merge at his work and I went around after work on Friday, but couldn't fix it - then we went to hear Ensemble Gombert at Xavier Chapel (where else?) singing Bach and Brahms. Started with Komm, then Jesu, meine Freude. JOD had beefed up the soprano line with one extra on each side. I think it made the sound a little top-heavy; they could probably have got away with the usual line. Discovered at the break that three of the four altos were not well - JM was holding the line together. The Brahms were all wonderful. A great concert. (Recorded by the ABC, too.)

Didn't go to Mum's this morning as when I woke I had virtually no voice left. Spent most of the day in bed - am feeling a little better now; better not to have tomorrow off while we're so short on bodies.

Saturday, November 08, 2003

After Thursday's XO rehearsal noticed my throat was a bit scratchy, but just put it down to hard work (as if). Then on Friday I realised it was probably due to a virus. On that basis I reluctantly turned down P's invitation to dinner last night - I don't want to expose B to any unnecessary chances of infection.

Caught up with P this morning for shopping - then back here for lunch al fresco admiring my gorgeous garden. the Albertine rose will be out this week I think; most of the other roses are already going strong. To say nothing of the californian poppies, catmint and pink evening primrose. I can't think what it will all be like in mid-summer.

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Went to see BN after work -- cooked her a wonderful chicken and pumpkin risotto and we sat around yakking and watching Law & order, then MDA before I caught a cab home. She told me some very funny stories about the early days of student theatre at Melbourne Uni (involving David N, Gordon Kirby, Humphries, et al) including one about the origin of BH's obsession with gladioli. She really should get some of the yarns down on paper (or electronically, of course).

When I got home there was a short message from P to say that, as hoped, B came home yesterday (Wed). I will try and catch up tomorrow night as I have XO rehearsal tonight.

Also message from A-let to say she can't make tonight for a sing, but next week should be possible.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

Had a lovely dinner with P tonight - B is much improved, the scan of his lungs was clear. Everything is looking hopeful for him to come home in a day or two.

Had a lovely long chat with BrA -- after a couple of false starts we managed to get both our webcams working together. Now, of course, I need to get a microphone so I can talk to him.
After last night's Gloriana rehearsal I realised that this concert is going to be a really tiring sing -- not only the stratospheric (for the tenors) Josquin mass, but also finishing the night with the Biebl and Gorecki will have us all tuckered out (make that exhausted). Still, last night convinced me that we've got a good concert coming up. Just hope I can survive the preceding week with the Xmas Oratorio...

No news on B at the moment as I'm waiting until I see P tonight.

The garden is looking wonderful -- the roses have certainly gone mad with all the rain. I'm sure I'll get home today (sunny Cup Day) to find they've exploded with joy at the sunshine. Will have to start removing a few vigorous plants though to allow everything its own space; I've already pulled out a number of scabious from around the quince. Which is flowering -- and seems to be trying to set at least one fruit. I should probably remove all possible fruit to allow the tree to establish, but faced with the prospect of my own quinces I can't bring myself to do it.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Spoke to P briefly today: he saw B yesterday and said that he'd had a shower and was feeling (and looking) a bit better; had some more colour in his cheeks. Lung scan is to be carried out today - will probably not be able to post results until later tomorrow night.

I hope B's scan happens today as this city closes down tomorrow for a horse race - what a strange idea. I try to ignore the whole thing.

Dinner with DG last night - Elliot Golightly has scored a place in an Austrade fair in Birmingham in January (brrr). Five days on display should be great for European exposure for them; DG was originally planning some time in Istanbul afterwards but was told that the last few winters there have been frigid. He's decided on Morocco instead.

BN rang today for a quick catch-up. T(D)N has been out from Oxford. He was planning to see D, but C is trying to cut off access; says he's never been interested in D since he was born. Which is a load of...

Saturday, November 01, 2003

B will be in hospital for the weekend as they didn't get around to his lung scan yesterday -- not much more news at the moment, but as soon as I hear it will be posted.

Shopped this morning with P as usual, lunched at the old Post Office, then wandered home.