Saturday, May 10, 2008

I got myself a bit of a sunburn yesterday while gardening. All my seedlings need to go in, but my spring bulbs aren't even finished yet. So a few key beds are still unavailable and my seedlings are languishing in my greenhouse. While tidying up some beds earlier in the week, I discovered one of my shrubs had propagated itself by layer which means a branch resting on the ground grew roots. There were two of these new shrubs so I was happy to move them to an empty shady corner. I don't even know what kind of shrub it is, other than it is evergreen and has tiny pink flowers. I also found that a few delphiniums that I planted last year did not in fact drown as I had thought.

We saw A Midsummer Night's Dream, an opera by Benjamin Britten. Talk about cool. Who knew that an opera could be funny? And have appeal to children? Or that counter-tenors could have major roles? The music was really weird, the set design and costumes were really weird, the lighting was really weird. But weird as in weird and wonderful rather than weird and wrong. I've never had so much fun at an opera. We saw Don Giovanni a while back, also sung in English, but it was a bit ho-hum and the end was dreadfully anti-climactic. In Amadeus, the staged bit of Don Giovanni ends with the don being confronted with his sins and facing an eternity of torment--a suitably dark ending with him plunging into the pit. In actuality, it ends with the cast singing a sickeningly chirpy little number about sinners burning in hell. A Midsummer Night's Dream was so much better than Swan Lake, I thought, even though of course they are two different genres and even musical periods. I always considered that I preferred Romantic era music above all else, but I have decided Tchaikowsky, at least, is boring. Bring on the utter weirdness of the Twentieth Century.

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