Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Chris's work on the Faith Badge for Cubs

My dad and I made a video for my Faith badge for 2nd Cottenham Cubs in Valencia around my house. Please Enjoy!

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Música en familia: El barbero de Sevilla - for all the family!

A quick post to congratulate the city of Valencia on its continued investment in the live performing arts at Palau de la Música. Yesterday afternoon for a one-and-a-half-hour performance of selected highlights of The Barber of Seville, we paid €3 each (€12 in total for all four members of the family) to see an orchestra of 26, a chorus of 12 and a cast of six principals perform some of the best known arias and musical excerpts from this Rossini opera. There were children ranging from babes-in-arms to older teenagers - plus their parents and grandparents - attending one of four sold out performances over two days in the city's premier classical music concert hall. With a potential gross income of, say, €3,000 per performance, including IVA (Spanish VAT equivalent), it is anyone's guess how much the city and region has chosen to subsidise performances of this quality and stature, but what a fantastic way to introduce children and young people to opera. Sure there was a fair amount of fidgeting and crying (that was just the parents!), but in a performance aimed at younger people, this approach to introducing the 'classical arts' must be preserved and promoted - preferably such lessons could be drawn from arts funders and organisations the UK, assuming Margaret Hodge MP doesn't think such work is too elitist or racially exclusive towards the white middle classes!

The only slight downer on the event was that it could have been slightly shorter - at ninety minutes without interval, some children appeared to find the length a little too challenging. That said, the entire cast - principals, chorus and orchestra - were of an extremely high standard - something which was appreciated by all.