Although 23 years have passed since I missed that telephone call, I never forgot the message left on the answering machine. The caller was one of the world’s most successful balladeers. Charlie Landsborough’s voice was unmistakable as he thanked me for the impact my poetry had on him.
Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler had much in common. The first was Italian yet he liberated and led the French nation. The latter was of Austrian birth but freed and championed the German people. Napoleon put an end to French revolutionary abuses. Adolf Hitler brought an end to the corruption and banking houses usurious deprivation following the victors’ vicious terms inflicted upon Germany after World War One.
In a letter dated October 1866, French composer Georges Bizet (1838 – 1875) went straight to the point of opera: ‘As a musician, I tell you that if you were to suppress adultery, fanaticism, crime, evil, the supernatural, there would no longer be the means for writing one note.’
Herbert von Karajan (5 April 1908 – 16 July 1989) was an Austrian conductor. He was the principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 34 years. During the German renaissance, the National Socialist era (1933-1945), he debuted at the Salzburg Festival, with the Vienna Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic.
How often do we relax to the quintessential melodies of Spain’s Isaac Albéniz (1860 – 1909). His Rapsodia Espanola, Sevilla and Granada, based on Catalan folk songs, are perhaps the better known of his compositions. These exquisite mind-bending melodies evoke the Spanish dream more than could any Goya painting; but what of the man behind the music?
One of the most surprising discoveries for me was to learn that Franz Lehár, whose operas and waltzes match those of the Strauss family, lived in my own lifetime. Much as I love the melodies and waltzes from The Merry Widow and Wiener Frauen (Viennese Women) I was ignorant of the fact that he was a contemporary of The Beatles and Elvis Presley.
If X-rated entertainment is music to your ears, then orchestral music may be just what you are looking for. Enthusiasts of television soaps would eat their hearts out if they knew what we classical fans have been enjoying for the last few hundred years. If I hint at the plot, you will understand why we’re still glued to our sets; the theatrical ones that are.
BOOK REVIEW: Penned by Amazon-banned award-winning novelist Michael Walsh THE PHANTOM OF OPHELIA holds the distinction of being a tale of fiction based on real life. In fact, the experiences and settings in which these supernatural incidents took place are still in evidence. Sunnyside Manor in Liverpool is still a residence. Widdecombe Manor situated in the bleak moors of Dartmoor in quixotic England is today a guest house.
The expression on the trainee upholsterer’s face darkened as he realised he had been beaten by a rival theatregoer to the last seat in the packed theatre. The son of an upholsterer and waitress, August Kubizek was in love with opera.
Let go of people who aren’t ready to love you. This is the hardest thing you will ever have to do in your life and it will also be the most important thing. Stop having difficult conversations with people who don’t want to change. Stop showing up for people who have no interest in your presence.