This is a page of my "reviews".

These are not reviews in the sense of what you would find in newspapers. They are merely what I though about a few of the things I have seen. There is no critical knowledge imparted because I do not have any.

Alice Coote at the late prom on 3rd September 2015

It was a wonderful evening. The voice was so passionate. I sat on the right of the platform (looking towards it) with two rows of shortish people in front of me so I had perfect view of her. Singing to us so close gave an entrancing immediacy to her songs. When she sang to the other side of the auditorium, a different colour was given -- at a distance yet still clear and with a lovely echo1 from the large space.

I was captivated throughout. I confess that I did not quite relate to the concept she devised to portray but that did not matter. Her voice brought to life something beautiful. I read in some reviews that her tempi were not correct. I dare say, but that simply emphasised the notes she sang. Singing in that vast space they had a musicality which I do not always get from the opera stage.

The cello which accompanied her in one song was masterful.

I thought at first that she carried around her i-pad instead of a piece of paper in order to remind her which song came next. But thinking about it, and remembering the words "Myself I shall Adore" I presume it was to emphasis the self-absorbtion2 which people with tablets and laptops exhibit today.

This year at the proms the fuzzy lighting band at the back of the orchestra had been annoying me3. It began to do so this evening because it was constantly on the move with stars and the odd word here and there. Luckily Alice Coote's voice took my ming away from this.

I tried to jot down the songs she sung but did so ineffectually. I must thank this review of the evening to listing them so well (it would have been nice for the BBC to show this themselves somewhere).

But whatever small distractions may have arisen it was an evening to remember as a highlight of this year.

1 This was not the echo of the pre ceiling mushroom days but a delicate reverberation.
2 We are becoming too much i-people.
2 Why is it that lighting is becoming so annoying these days? I think it must be that people take courses in lighting design and feel that they have to be creative. What they should concentrate on is not bringing in effects but letting the audience see what is going on on stage and letting the actors/singers portray what it is they are portraying.

Kings Place December 2015

At King's Place near King's Cross I saw the final in the series of minimalist concerts. There were two things of note: one of revelation; the other of ecstasy.
I did not know how listen-able Arvo Paert could be.
I was quite bowled over by Terry Riley's "In C". So absorbing.
I am not sure how much enjoyment one may get from just listening to minimalist music. It is so interesting to see who is playing what and when - and how. The sound alone my not carry with it such subtlety -- an interesting work was the first (Steve Reich's Violin Phase 1967) where one violinist accompanied a recording of a violin - the live soloist had his violin loudspeakered so the sounds did not clash. Why not have two violins? One could then see the phases of playing more distinctly. I was rather confused at what was what - and perplexed by the times when the rhythm went tiddle-iddle-iddle.. unexpectedly.
But the highlight was "In C". I wonder if the recording I have just bought will sound anything like how the Aurora orchestra played it that evening of Sunday 20th December 2015.

Akhenatn at ENO March 2016

I saw this on the first night (C45) and then two or three days later (B25). Then tried to get another ticket but only stalls and grand circle seats were available. After a while of box office questioning ENO web page viewing I felt I must see it again and bought G1 in the grand circle so I could get a better view of the stage. I could. But the music did not strike me so profoundly and I left a little disappointed. After more persistence I found they were doing standing on the Balcony on the last night so I got one. Absolutely wonderful. Philip Glass appeared on stage at the end to even more rapturous applause.

I have some reservation about the jugglers. But they do fill in something. And their performance as jugglers is amazing. Initially at time I found their musically-coordinated rhythmical movements took away from the rhythm of the music. But toward my final viewing I became no so distracted.

I saw the ENO Akhnatn of 20 or so years ago. I remember the sand and the wrestlers. But I did not see the story so marvellously depicted. And although I remember my impression of the music and my admiration for it, it was nothing as to what I saw these last two weeks.

English National Opera have been doing sell-out houses recently: Norma, Flute, Akhnatn. So why are they so poorly funded. The arts council are doing just as good a job on this as when they stopped funding D'oyly Carte and caused their destruction - would Germany stop their funding for one of their world recognised traditions!?