Sunday, January 21, 2007

What weekend?

Friday was another longish day, but Alison and I ended it by watching "That Hamilton Woman" and drinking a bottle of wine. Well, okay, I ended up drinking most of the wine, but it only made the movie better. Our favourite part was the bit where Nelson makes the decision to go back and rescue Emma from Revolutionary forces: "Collingwood. You rendezvous off Malta. Hardy, continue on and join up with the fleet. I'm going back to Naples." To which we merrily chimed in "Fetch me my rowboat! Er--just one oar! On second thought, get me a kayak with one of those double paddle thingys!" At which point we collapsed on the ground laughing. Okay, you had to be there, but, damn, this movie is so historically inaccurate and full of character assasinations that it's just a joy to watch. As a matter of fact, about the only thing they got right was "kiss me, Hardy!"

Not that it matters, but the wine we were drinking was from an Australian company called--you guessed it--Hardy's, and I highly recommend it.

So then last night we felt the need to redeem ourselves by going to see something cultural. Luckily the English National Opera was putting on "The Marriage of Figaro" so we got up at the crack of eight, went for tickets, then came home, napped, got dressed up and sat for three and a half hours in THE MOST uncomfortable seats EVER whilst watching two hundred year old opera. I never thought of theatre as an endurance sport, but, really, I think I would have been happier standing. The ENO was started as a way to bring opera to the masses, so they do all their shows in English. A great idea in theory, but do you have any idea how inane shows sound when you're repeating the same thing over and over in English? And they also had the "translation" over the stage. But, nitpicky things aside (if I wanted accuracy, the Royal Opera House is just down the street and translations be dammed!) I really enjoyed this performance. The setting had been updated to 1920s England, so the Count was a boorish country squire strutting around in his hunting jacket, and Figaro was his scheming manservant. Think "Gosford Park." The sets were really amazing, but what absolutely killed me were the props in this show--during the overture you saw servants going about their every day chores and it was full of props: geese that were being plucked, wellington boots to be shined, brooms, buckets, etc. All period and all never seen after the first five minutes. Ow. I think my favourite character was Cherubino who is a young lad (played by a woman) who is just in love with being in love with every woman possible. Typical 17 year old. Watching him running around getting in and out of situations was the funniest part of the show. Final verdict: I think I could get into this opera thing, but next time we're going to see something in the original language.

Today I had an English breakfast, and, as it's not yet noon, signs are good that I might actually get some things accomplished. On the list: cleaning the bathroom, cleaning my bedroom, updating my resume, sorting through my clothes and books trying to figure out what I need (should I keep my A to Z if I'm never coming back? Ahhh!) , looking for a job, doing research for my Paris trip (wait, Napoleon might not be buried in Napoleon's tomb? do tell!), get pizza because there's a show tonight called "The Trial of Tony Blair" that I want to watch and basically become a productive citizen so I can adopt a dog. I'll let you know how far through that list I get.


Laura said...

Kiss me hard, Hardy! Someone must let me know when they invent a Hephaistion themed liquor. I already have a bottle shaped like Alexander so I can rip off his head and suck the goodness out of him.

Chris said...

Oh sweet God. I now have the mental image of a one armed man rowing in circles in the Mediterrian. Giggle. As for opera in english I agree, it tends to sound really silly. I was unable to make it through the Crucible ( the opera) two summers ago cause " John Procter is the Devil's Man" (repeated 4xs) and "I spy a Poppet!" sung made me dissolve into uncontrollable giggles. Musicals in English yes. Opera lets make it so i have supertitles and don't end up inappropratitly laughing my ass off.

premiere girl said...

Well, my favourite part in That Hamilton woman was the 'Pantomime' between Nelson and Emma, with him acting and her trying to figure out his mood.-Nelson angry, Nelson pouty, Nelson in love...ahhhhhh cheeeeeeeesssyyyyyyy