Isn’t it strange how, after many months of having no reason to visit Birmingham at all, we find ourselves there again, just over a week since our last visit? Though we used to be here frequently to enjoy symphony concerts with the CBSO, we found the programmes were getting samey and no longer offered the same thrill as we’d come to enjoy. We decided to give it a rest for a while but when a flyer arrived advertising tonight’s programme, my hero couldn’t resist and snagged two of the few remaining tickets for Friday night.
We love the Silent Heroes series, accompanied by live orchestra playing Carl Davis’ score and conducted by the man himself. Tonight, it was the turn of Buster Keaton with The Playhouse on first, followed by The General.
Though the Playhouse was undoubtedly clever with Buster Keaton playing all eight roles at once, it was The General which really made our evening. The stunts were amazing, the plot was so clever and this particular film deserves its reputation as an all time classic, not only keeping us on the edge of our seats throughout but inducing gasps from the audience at frequent intervals!
Clearly, we’re not alone in enjoying these performances, for the body of Symphony Hall was full by the time the programme began, with only the balcony seats with restricted view empty. We’ll look forward to the next one – another Charlie Chaplin classic next year.
We joined a different audience last night. Well, in fact, we joined several audiences around the world including the folks in the picture above, who were at the Met in New York to see Joyce DiDonato and Juan Diego Florez sing La Cerenentola.
We were in Cheltenham and once again, the “live from the Met” performance was a stunner. Though we knew bits of the opera, we’d never seen it live before and to watch Angelina (Joyce DiDonato) sing her final aria with as much energy as she sang her first was truly remarkable.
One of the aspects of these performances we particularly enjoy is the sneaky peeks behind the scenes. We didn’t see anything from this angle though, and although I’d noticed the black box in the centre front of stage, I didn’t give it a great deal of thought. But today, whilst looking for a link to the production, I came across this interesting article which sheds new light on that box.
After two late nights in a row, we’re at home today, resolving a few technical challenges. More about that to come