Tuesday, October 28, 2008

And the winner is .... SALIERI?


Yes ... amazing, isn't it? But in the competition between Mozart's "The Impresario" and Salieri's "Prima la Musica" it seems quite clear that Salieri, just like in 1781, proved to be the winner. Well, it is certainly obvious that Mozart simply dashed it off, whereas Salieri's opera is a quite splendid spoof of the opera seria conventions of the time, and makes fun of a number of works which no one today has ever heard of, including an immensely popular Roman costume epic by Giuseppe Sarti. "Giulio Sabina". Who the hell was that? Well, apparently he was the fifth Roman Emperor in the year that had four emperors ... the one that didn't actually even make it to the throne before being done away with. Nancy Yuen did a creditable job in her first ever director's gig for an entire opera. Clips on youtube by now, I expect....

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Crying on TV

video

I never thought it would happen, but Thai TV caught me crying in this latest interview in which I talk about my new requiem for HRH Princess Galyani Vadhana.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Intermezzo



In this time of wild stress, I had a curiously idyllic dream. I'm driving a tuk-tuk from my old house to my new house, and in the back are my two Thai children, Trisdee and Jay. My new home is Sukhumvit 33 (also my old home) but where I am coming from looks like the Queen Sirikit Convention Center. On Rachadapisek rode I am driving as I normally would, in the middle of the lane. It's when everyone is stalled at the big right turn to Sukhumvit that I realize I'm only a tuk-tuk, and I can swerve within the lanes to get where I am going to, and overtake all the normal cars.

A man who's just walking in the street reaches out to steady the tuk-tuk and helps to guide me to the turn lane. I turn with the traffic.

I go down the odd side of Sukhumvit ... and I accidentally make a wrong turn into a blue house that looks, remarkably, like the house I slept in at Eton. But the detour is over soon and I am on my way home.

***

It's odd that I would remember such a dream because most dreams I remember have some disturbing apsect, whereas this seemed almost restful. No corpses, no scary houses, no shrinking princesses. I think it's telling me this: that my chosen vehicle may be eccentric and slow, but it also means I don't have to take the highway lanes everyone else takes. It means that strangers will guide me in unexpected ways. And it means that to get home, I must take a detour through my childhood.

***

A new season of the Bangkok Opera is about to get going, and now, I am hoping, the opera will REALLY get going ... with a fine new board in place ... and money promised ... though none, as usual, in hand.... once more, on the verge, peering into the keyhole, stepping on the bus ... now what?