My dear cosmopolitan readers,

This is the first chapter of my one year sabbatical (as in 5 years…because it is a fine Tunisian Jewish number)…

When I planned my U.K. vac-actions (as I don’t remain idle for long..), I didn’t know I would be taking a long break…yet feel almost anxious at not wasting any minute of this precious step into outrageous freedom!

The main reason for my visit was of course Glyndebourne (* more posts below), a sweet addiction I owe a departed friend of mine and a tradition I shall keep as long as productions are as good as this year’s:

1) Hipermestra, a fabulous Cavalli Baroque opera which will remain particularly close to my  heart for several reasons:

  • I adore baroque arts… all of them!
  • My hat came to be a part of the performance and was shortly worn by William Christie… I will cherish it all the more!
  • The opera was directed by my beloved baroque conductor above mentioned (hats off!);
  • I loved the cartooned synopsis;
  • The countertenor Linceo (Raffaele Pe) and Hipermestra (Emőke Baráth) form  a fabulous and totally credible pair;
  • Stage was beautifully and cleverly set in a devastated Arab country and totally resonated with a heartbreaking exhibition at the Saatchi gallery 
    On this chair sat Sir William Christie…and he wore my hat!!!

2) amazing Hamlet by Brett Dean, totally deserving its standing ovation for a faithful and poignant rendition of Shakespeare’s masterpiece…served by maestro Jurowski, Neil Armfield’s production and the BREATHTAKING voices of Barbara Hannigan (Ophelia), Allan Clayton (Hamlet) and John Tomlinson (the Ghost and Gravedigger). But  all the cast including hilarious 

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, played by Rupert Enticknap and Christopher Lowrey as foppish twin countertenors with fixed smiles who channel Tweedledum and Tweedledee (Erika Jeal, The Guardian, 12 June) 

make every second of this “lyrically staged play” a memorable moment of sheer and undivided pleasure;

3) last but not least, I was able to discover Richard Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos. I’ve become a real aficionado of this composer (despite the …complexity…of this particular piece) and am thrilled to have discovered the uberperfect voice and dramatic theatricality of Soprano Lise Davidsen.

All this of course in the scenic Downs around picnics like no others… Credit: Marie-Clare Castree

Prior to this sheer delight, I was able to enjoy London…and Hackney with my friend Osagyefo Sekou’s concert on July 2nd, London visits with him to Savile Row and the British Museum… and succumbing to London’s West End Girls show at the Phoenix Theater, after a designer ice-cream in Phoenix park and the great Pink Floyd exhibition at the V&A

Pingpong’s balls get bigger during Wimbledon 😉
Fabulous West End theaters … bringing your drinks to your seats!!!!

The Saatchi Gallery proved a poignant visit as mentioned earlier regarding the Libyan Human Marketplace exhibition which haunts me…

As for my Brighton stay with my dear friends Marie-Clare and Bill, it was a charming moment of true incursion into everyday typical British life…getting to know the local shops and local (literary) people, splendid gardens in Iford, a charming village with a Saxon church …and enjoying the Constable exhibition at Brighton Museum.

This stay had been preceded by a Paris homecoming which meant 4 fabulous exhibitions:

  • Pissarro  at the Musée Marmottan (pendent to what I saw at the Musee du Luxembourg early May)
  • Picasso primitif at Musée des Arts Premiers Jacques Chirac
  • Rodin and Jardins at the Grand Palais
  • and three films, two of which were excellent (the Big Lebowsky…yeah, finally…and the perfect I’m not a negro by Raoul Peck on James Baldwin crisp and cristal clear language and vision of his three amazing friends Martin Luther, Malcolm X and Medgar Evers (click here for  more).

Add the thrill of finally taking the Eurostar and I’m now getting ready for a very full Canadian program involving Vikings, Indigenous populations, old friends, islands and hopefully some whales!!!

I thus leave you as I have two “compulsory” readings prior to Newfoundland and the WIPCE 2017 where I hope to meet my precious colleagues 

at our Session entitled Indigenous languages in the city: how to retain them, how to transmit them (ID #: 421). Ignite Session 78: Indigenous Languages – Wednesday, July 26th on Indigenous languages in the city: how to retain them, how to transmit them

Here’s the blurb:

Indigenous populations are increasingly present in cities, uprooted from their lands or absorbed by urbanization. Some are struggling to reconstruct lost languages and others find new ways to retain their identity. Every indigenous community has a unique history and its own way to transmit language and culture. Following a recent issue of the French Droit et Cultures Journal on this topic, we will use the examples of Anishinaabemowin (Canada) and Mohegan, Wampanoag, Narragansett tribes (Southern New England) or First Nations in Alaska to examine the strategies and lessons learnt on retaining, reviving and asserting such linguistic presence, inviting other panelists to join the conversation.

Aligns With Truth and Reconciliation: From January, 2010, to March, 2013, Brock was seconded as a researcher with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the area of Aboriginal education and cultural revitalization in the aftermath of the Indian Residential School System (IRSS)

Country and Area of Focus Calls for Action: Canada, IRSS

Third co-presenter is Rachel Sayet, Mohegan, who holds a B.S. from Cornell University and an MA in anthropology at Harvard University. Her master’s thesis focused on traditional stories of the Mohegan and Wampanoag tribes. 
Rachel currently works for the Mohegan Cultural Department, organizing events with Native authors, running a weekly storytime, and promoting indigenous food. She also gives lectures on the culture and history of the Native peoples in New England.

    Leaving you now on notes from A Perfect Day which we kept humming yesterday and hoping you’ll do likewise! There are several fabulous versions, but I love the cooperative tone of that particular one (merci Marie-Clare Castree and Bill, for this, the photos and hospitality!)

    *other Glyndebourne references:

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

    You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s