Archive for the ‘music’ Category


OK, I tend to avoid reading the stats for this blog, but my curiousity gets the better of me every so often.  Mostly because I am curious as to what people read when they come here.  It’s usually not what I consider my better posts, but what the heck?

In this case, I had a funny surprise in that the BBC (which sends me a fair mount of traffic) did it with my post: You can save your money.  That post is about the Production of Anna Nicole Smith the Opera which was presented at the Royal Opera House.  You can save your money since the opera was broadcast by the BBC. Note the referrer,

That is the BBC’s site for the broadcast.  You need to blow up the picture to see the Buzz about this programme–Discussion on Blogs (on right) has a link to You can save your money.

The amusing bit is that the post only netted 4 views with the top three views being:
Home page 30
Was Anne of Cleves really a dog? 20
Michael Portillo, Bradshaw’s Guide, and Great British Railway Journeys 9

I never fail to be amazed by what people choose to read!

Rereading the You can save your money post, my guess is that my making a comment that the BBC gives you value for your licence fee was what did the trick.  After all, you can see a sold out Covent Garden Opera for less than one ticket would cost if you pay your licence fee!

Guitar lessons with Pierre Bensusan

at a mere 300 bucks a pop (I’m assuming US$)!

The rest of us poor souls will have to make do with his music book.

Posted 31/03/2011 by lacithedog in Art, arts, Guitar, music, Pierre Bensusan

Salsa Celtica!

I love Salsa Celtica, mainly because they have the only version of Auld Lang Syne that I can tolerate. Yeah, I realise that’s blasphemy to say for the most part that you can’t tolerate that Hogmanay standard, but…

I should add that one of the best Hogmanays I ever celebrated was in a Hispanic household! Dancing to salsa music in my kilt!

Anyway, it seems that the US may have a changing demographic where there will be more Hispanics than white folk.

Live with it! Especially since it produces interesting music.

You can save your money!

A while back, I had a previous post about Anna Nicole The Opera, which is an opera based on the life of the American Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith performed at the Royal Opera House. The same person who was involved with Jerry Springer the Opera had a part in creating this. While it does have all the motifs of the opera, tragedy, sex, money, and so on, it seems too modern for my taste. As I said to someone off line: 20th Century (and in this case, 21st Century) opera seems to be lots of discordant music.

Anyway, the BBC has broadcast this work on BBC 4 and it’s available on iPlayer for the time being (Available until 1:09AM Tue, 5 Apr 2011). Here’s the BBC’s write up:

The television premiere of the hit opera based on the life of the young American Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, who was thrust into the global media spotlight when she married an octogenarian billionaire, became a reality TV star and, after a drug overdose, died tragically early.

Composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and librettist Richard Thomas have created a darkly comic work for the Royal Opera which satirises celebrity and consumer culture. Eva-Maria Westbroek sings the challenging and complex title role, and the two central men in her life, her billionaire husband and her lawyer, are sung by Alan Oke and Gerald Finley. Musical director Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra and Chorus of the Royal Opera House.

I’m not sure I would want to pay Covent Garden prices to see this, but it will defintely be worth the TV Licence fees on the BBC!

Thank you, Auntie! yer darn tootin’ I added it to my iPlayer playlist!

Also, the BBC has something on Opera’s Fallen Women which ties into the above. Here’s the Beeb’s write up:

Bizet’s Carmen, Puccini’s Madame Butterfly, Verdi’s Violetta – some of the most famous and powerful roles in opera and they are all, in different ways, fallen women.

And now there’s a newcomer to their ranks – Anna Nicole. The Royal Opera’s new smash hit is an operatic version of the life of former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith. Antonio Pappano, music director of the Royal Opera House and conductor of Anna Nicole, delves into the world of opera’s fallen women and discovers how for centuries composers and librettists have used female characters in opera to explore and challenge society’s attitudes and prejudices.

As I said, Anna Nicole the Opera has all the elements of Opera. My trepidation is how sensational and weird would it be?

Anna Nicole the opera

I opened the paper to find this article about an opera about Anna Nicole Smith that described the work as “one of the strangest shows ever to reach the Royal Opera House”.

The libretto is by Richard Thomas, co-creator of Jerry Springer: The Opera

The Guardian’s review can be found here.

I’ll give it a pass.

The Man in the Dark Sedan

Thanks to Microdot at the Brain Police for bringing back this memory:

Hey, at least it’s not Stockhausen’s Hymnen.

But, while we’re at it: The Residents at Mount Rushmore:

Posted 16/11/2010 by lacithedog in music

Sandy Denny

While Sandy Denny is known as being one of the founders of the British Electro Traditional Music scene as a member of the Strawbs and Fairport Convention, most people are familiar of her from the duet with Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin’s Battle of Evermore, even if they don’t pay attention to her.

She died far too young. I remember a friend calling me to tell me that she died knowing I was a fan of hers.

What got me going on this is that her Biography, No More Sad Refrains: The Life of Sandy Denny, sells for around a hundred quid..if you can find a copy. every so often, one pops up on eBay, which it just did. Needless to say, I was outbid. A bookseller in Dorset also has a banged up ex-library copy for sale for £38.

I may be a fan, but not that much. Besides, her life was rather tragic.