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The Elephant Angel

The Elephant Angel Scottish Opera

Children welcome Sheila the elephant

A true tale about an elephant in the Blitz in Belfast, movingly told by Scottish Opera with the children from Eastern Primary School in Broughty Ferry.

Review on Bachtrack

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Great pocket sized version of La Traviata from Scottish Opera.

Reviewed on Bachtrack

La Traviata Scottish Opera

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Scottish Opera’s Tosca is well worth catching.

Not sure about opera?  Tosca is a good place to start – great music and very dramatic.

Review on Bachtrack.

Anthony Besch's Tosca from Scottish Opera.  End Act I

Scottish Opera’s Tosca, end Act I: Robert Poulton as Scarpia © Mark Hamilton

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Last opera in the academic year at RSAMD in Glasgow was Hansel and Gretel.   What a magical evening!  Read my review on Bachtrack.

Hansel and Gretel RSAMD Glasgow

Gretel and Hansel - photo by RSAMD - copyright

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Okavango Macbeth Beth Mckay Andrew McTaggart credit Marc Marnie

Beth Mackay and Andrew McTaggart in The Okavango Macbeth - photo Marc Marnie

UK premiere of Alexander McCall Smith’s opera:  Macbeth as told by baboons. 

Read about it on Bachtrack.

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 Anthony Marwood was guest director for the final set of concerts in the 2010/11 series from the Scottish Ensemble. 

Review appears on Bachtrack.

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Still Here

It’s been a while.

Life has just been a bit too hectic of late to get down all the stuff I wanted to include here.

Probably this comes of having our ‘summer holiday’ in May when everyone else is still at work, and expecting you to get things done. Still trying to catch up. It ought to be a bit quieter once the schools break and the rest of the world goes away for a while.

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Peer Gynt – on Tour

Dundee Rep and National Theatre of Scotland are taking the 5 star award winning Peer Gynt to the Barbican, opening on the 30th April.    Then it is coming back to Scotland for a short tour.     We are planning to see it again – in Glasgow this time.

But the Barbican is a huge stage, and given that this performance started outrageously in the street outside Dundee Rep in the original run, I can’t help but wonder what they will do in London.

It is always interesting to see how a show given almost universal 5 star acclaim in Scotland will fare in the South.     Success in Scotland is not always mirrored.   But I do wish it well.

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Travelling back from a haary Arbroath to a sunny Perth this afternoon on the train.  

The tea trolley came round, and my companion ordered a tea.   She rather fancied one of the muffins as well, but was not allowed to buy one.    “They are for the First Class passengers only”.    What’s that all about then?

I suggested to the cheerful trolley man that they don’t display them for the likes of us, and he said that this had been brought up, but no-one listens.

As we got nearer Perth, the trolley came back along (the train only had three carriages, and a tiny First Class bit), with its pile of muffins still unsold.    I’d be pretty cross if they get to Glasgow and unsold muffins have to be binned because they are stale.

My companion had shortbread instead.

You could not make it up, really.

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I am amazed by the fuss over Prince Harry using the work Paki – three years ago in a playful self-shot video of army life.    Sky News last night, in the wonderful way it does,  had ‘Breaking News’ scrolling across the TV in a ridiculously massive red font, as if the world was about to end.

In the 1970s, it was common to call corner shops run by Pakistanis, Pakis.   As in “I am going down the Paki shop for some milk – are you wanting anything?”    There was no malice or racist intent.    If you can remember New Year in Edinburgh not so long ago, absolutely nothing moved on January 1st at all – except that the shops run by Pakistanis were open.

Of course I accept that we have moved on, and there is a whole new set of words that we are rightly hesitant about using, simply to avoid causing offence.    Times have changed.

But I think that Prince Harry intended to be friendly rather than racist.   And what would have happened if he had called a Scottish army officer colleague ‘Jock’?     Red scrolly Breaking News on TV?   The Army dealing with the incident?    Race relations people looking into it?     I think not.   It is not so different, is it?

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