Wednesday, November 30, 2005


People who know me know that I'm rather keen on Wagner; not just Wagner also but his precursors and those who came after him. Lately I've been collecting CDs and scores of Lortzing and Marschner (gosh, who? I hear you say).

Imagine my surprise when, while browsing the racks in HMV today, when I picked up the latest copy of the Gramophone (their 1000th issue) to find a review of a DVD of Marschner's Hans Heiling, a CD of which I had just received this week from Amazon.

I think I might be revisiting Amazon very soon to get the DVD.

Now all I need is a DVD of Humperdinck's Königskinder and I'll be really happy.

Monday, November 28, 2005

A great weekend

The concerts went off really well - those of my readers who made it will understand what I mean. Those who didn't ... well, you missed out on an amazing musical experience. Not only were there lots of people at both concerts but we also sang really well, particularly in the Poulenc. After Sunday's concert I felt extraordinarily emotional, something I rarely experience when I sing, but something which it should be all about.

It was a case of a job well done: we had worked very hard on Figure humaine for a longer than usual rehearsal period; everyone gave their all. The results of the hard work showed on Friday and Sunday.

Sunday morning was a little diversion with Wachet! betet! betet! wachet! at St John's - it also was an amazing piece. The bass recit (sung by Jerzy K) was extraordinary with the trumpet playing a chorale tune over the top of the accompanied recit in a different key.

Back to work today as if nothing had happened.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

And remember ...

... you have two (count them, 2) chances to hear Gloriana's wonderful performance of Figure humaine by Poulenc and the Fauré Requiem (baritone solos by the melliflous Grantley). 8pm Friday, November 25 and 2.30pm Sunday, November 27 - at St Mark's, Fitzroy.

Frogger Frank

Gombert rehearsal last night. ST, who manages the website with contact and rehearsal details and had recently updated it with the latest information, actually managed to forget there was a rehearsal (silly billy) so I had the second tenor line to myself. Normally that's no biggy, but last night, after Monday's efforts for Gloriana, I was producing a rather small, very croaky sound. But I think enough for JOD to hear that I was croaking the correct notes most of the time.

So today I spent the morning not talking to people. This wasn't hard as I am working the evening shift and didn't really need to talk to anyone until I bought my sushi for lunch. My throat still feels a little scratchy, but I'm sure I'll be fine by Friday. And thankfully there is no Gombert on Saturday morning (so I'll be able to shop at the usual time).

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Back to work

Unfortunately it was only a week, but it was worth it. Dinner chez B&P on Friday was topped off by B's magnificent ginger and lemongrass icecream. Then shopping on Saturday at Mediterranean Wholesalers and Piedimontes.

In the afternoon Tat picked me up and we went to buy pea straw for mulch. On Sunday had lunch at Mum's then in the afternoon went into town to Dr D and the Lotus Master's apartment to feed their two cats. Dinner here with P&B - I made pizzas.

Then it was back to work; I managed to get up early enough to get into work before eight. As expected, there was a huge swag of email to get through, though most of it was spam.

Monday night was Gloriana dress rehearsal, our first contact with the orchestra. I do hope that all my Melbourne readers (excluding P&B, that makes probably 2) will make it to the Gloriana concert at St Mark's, Fitzroy, either on Friday evening at 8pm or Sunday afternoon at 2.30 - it promises to be terrific.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Cherries and other stuff

B&P came for dinner last night; for dessert I trotted out an old favourite I haven't made for ages: clafoutis. I used the last of the cherries I bought at the Farmer's market last weekend and it was quite tasty.

Off to visit BN today who is back from her travels. I took food for lunch and we sat and ate and talked and looked at photos. She had an amazing time by the look of it, both from the pics taken with her conventional film camera and from the images from her new digital camera -- they are terrific. It was lovely to see her again.

Unfortunately I left my depature from B's a bit late; the bus got caught in the the traffic in Spencer St. It meant I was a little late for German, but, as I was the only person there, I had an hour's conversation auf Deutsch with the teacher before I had to race off to rehearsal at St John's. This next cantata will be a bit hard as SW, BT, BJ and I won't be at next Friday's rehearsal because of the Gloriana concert.

It's been a beautiful day, but I haven't seen much of it. I still like holidays.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Today P & I went to the zoo. It's been years since I was last there and it turned out to be a fabulous day. We got there around 11 and started wandering around. We had taken a picnic lunch so the only expense was the entry, though at $21 I was a little surprised. Highlights were the meerkats, the butterfly enclosure and the aviary; and the landscaping is looking great. The weather was perfect. God, I love holidays.

The Japanese garden

Tulip tree

Major Mitchell cockatoos in the aviary


Checking out the scenery

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

A rally, a walk and a film

This morning P arrived around 8am and we set off for Fed Square for the big demonstration against the government's IR legislation. It was an amazing turn up -- the square was packed and Swanston St was filled all the way to Bourke St. There was a really well put together presentation: a mixture of short speeches from Bracks, Sharan Burrows and Greg Combet and some extremely well-made films featuring a wide range of workers, young and old talking about their experiences and apprehensions for the future.

The whole thing was well stage-managed; after the talking there was a short break and then everyone set off to march up Swanston St. At this stage P&I went in search of some sustenance. Unfortunately so did many other people so we had to wait over 15 minutes for our drinks.

I had to whizz into work to do a couple of things then met up again with P for lunch after which we went off to Melbourne Central to see Kiss kiss bang bang which we both enjoyed. Any film which has people correcting each other's grammar is a winner with me. Though why Val Kilmer's character is gay defeats me, as, apart from a small plot point turning on his kissing Robert Downey Jr in the street there's not much evidence of his orientation; mind you, he underplays it quite nicely. Downey's first person voice-over will probably irritate many people, but I enjoyed it and all the other references (to itself and other films).

Saturday, November 12, 2005


Yes, I'm on leave for a week. It's a welcome break as the last few weeks at work have been pretty frantic. The agenda is already filling up - on Tuesday P & I plan to attend the rally in the city against the new IR legislation and perhaps take in a film afterwards. Then on Wednesday we thought we might go to the zoo; it's been years since my last visit.

B is in Nowra to see his son perform in The Pirates of Penzance so P and I did the shopping on foot today; first to the farmers' market at the convent then, with our respective jeeps, we walked up to Smith St for a nostalgic visit. Not much has changed.

Tonight Tat came for dinner and to discuss a little project we have simmering - more at a later date.

Saturday, November 05, 2005


I've been playing with PhotoStitch. Here's a picture of my back garden with Albertine in full flower.

And here's a view of the Abbotsford convent seen on a walk with P this afternoon.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I cheated

I have to confess that the flower photos give a totally misleading view of my garden - it's actually fully of weeds - a mess. The roses make up for it though - the Albertine on the back fence is currently in full flower; I'll get a pic of it up soon.

Unfortunately the apple seems to have dropped any possible fruit, as has the quince. Well, it's still got one which is currently about the size of a grape. We'll see what happens with that but I won't be making any quince jelly this year.

Work continues to be fairly frantic. We only had one Gloriana rehearsal this week so I was able to have a lovely indoor picnic at P&B's last night with corned beef, potato salad, weekend chicken and B's great strawberry ice-cream to finish. Yet another bomb at Sun Hill - it must be the most dangerous nick in the UK.

Hot today (30 max and according to the Bureau site it's still around 29); it's days like this I actually enjoy being at work.