iselima: (London)






Our Beloved Headmistress






Happy Birthday, Minerva!





Alas no grand Minerva Fest this year (understandable, though), yet, to let this day pass without doing anything?

So here she is, formidable as always, celebrated by way of a simple picture. :-)

iselima: (London)
Four more recs, though I could have picked more works which I loved, but I guess it wouldn't be reccing anymore and rather a list of entries. :-)

A very funny Minerva/Albus story, suitable for non-shippers too, in my idea. They're wonderful in character and Albus learns a lot about modern Muggle life: "I Bow to your Judgement"
http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/77872.html

Four Old Ladies on a break and Poppy 'remembering' Jane Austen's Emma. A lovely warm and fun story: "Sense and Persuasion"
http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/78758.html

Beautiful story--and beautifully written-- about Minerva, Eplhinstone and hidden relationships: "Parting Gift". No Pottermore here! :-)
http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/82322.html

A stunning portrait of Minerva. Simply perfect: "The Headmistress's Portrait"
http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/82533.html
iselima: (London)
Minerva Fest, http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/, the wonderful Annual Celebration of the Headmistress' Birthday, had awesome fic and art once again, this year--the year of Minerva's 'Ninetieth Birthday'!

I'm still reading, but these two fics caught my attention, though the others I read so far were definitely worth reading, too!

A Relationship Built on Books
http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/76142.html
Beautiful coming-of-age story about Minerva and Irma as students. Great characterization and insight in young adults, trying to come to terms with their careers, their surroundings and themselves.

Discovery
http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/81124.html
A beautifully 'painted' and atmospheric story about student-Minerva, caught in a storm in her cat-form. The old ground-keeper Ogg has a major role here and turns out to be a lovely Yorkshire character. Very well written unusual fic with an extremely rare HP-character at its heart.
iselima: (London)
This year's Minerva Fest stands out by the surprising amount of wonderful art!

I really love how much effort all the artists and, of course, our dearest Mod are putting into the Fest and I'm sure Min herself will, more than any of us, feel baffled, grateful and happy. :-)

An abundance of wonderful, fabulously characterized art makes it very hard to select just a few of the works for a Rec Post, but here we go:

Minerva's Day Out: http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/73928.html
Min has a perfect day on her own, and a rather pleasant evening. :-)

Moonlight Meeting: http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/74634.html
Surprise meeting in the year of The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Sunday Afternoon in the Staff Room: http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/75633.html
The Staff Room as we've never seen it. Beautifully detailed and exceptional work.


And then there is Minerva's Birthday Gallery, with, so far, thirteen fabulous portraits. They're beautifully made and are great in characterization. I especially loved Poppy, Moody and Septima , but they're all worth a visit. Don't forget to read how they introduce themselves! :-)

You can find them here: http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/76453.html and here: http://minerva-fest.livejournal.com/79339.html
iselima: (London)
There were no less than eight art-entries (including a fic or poem with art and a comic) in this year's Minerva Fest.

I loved them all and I'm tempted to Rec them all, but that would hardly count as Reccing...

So here is the one which is probably my favourite, with the gorgeous play of light and the lovely 'truly-Minerva' room:
"A Moment of Peace"

Here are the links to the other seven entries:

Enchanted Evening
Thank you for being there for me
Enough
Kitty Kitty No (Comic)
Just Wait Until Next Time
Unbuttoned (fic/art)
Unbraided (poem/art)
iselima: (London)
Have a wonderful day, my dear, and a most happy and inspired year to follow!

Here's a bit of a Traveling Divorcée for your birthday and hopefully she is to your liking, even when not exactly a Spinster: Anne Blunt, daughter of Ada Lovelace.

I do believe she's not entirely unknown to you (could a Traveling Lady possibly be?! *gg*)

(In my case, when I was about 15, I became inescapably aware of 'Lady Anne Blunt' through my love for Arabian horses, she being an icon - if not THE icon - of Arabian breeding and knowledge about the breed in its native surroundings. More than 90% of todays population of Arabian horses is descending from the horses she bought and bred, which is a staggering figure, I think. I don't know much else about her, apart from deducting she wouldn't have been the easiest of women, so I hope you do not somehow 'dislike' her for holding nasty political views, or anything like that...)


LadyAnnePU
220px-Blunt,_Lady_Anne,_par_Maull_and_Fox,_BNF_Gallica
ladywentworth
c_lady-blunt-on-kassida
anne blunt and horse

An of course, on your birthday: have a piece of pie and a Tetley (I'll raise one to you too)

tea
tetley1
iselima: (London)




Congratulations,my dear!

You being the devoted advocate of everything Dutch you are, and with Winter approaching, I hope this is an appropriate way to share in your celebrations (and please don't mind the twist) :-):



Sklaaspaard


sinterklazien


elfstedentocht


dames schaatsen

iselima: (London)




yin_yan_cats


Have an Awesome and Inspired Year, My Dear!

Not the colours of your cats, I know, but a picture to fit the occasion?! :-)




iselima: (London)
5-0 in 29 minutes! SENSATIONAL.

A Holland-Germany final...would be one to look forward to!


But...I do feel sad for the Brazilian people. And players. A humiliation isn't exactly what I'd wished them. 1-0 or 2-1 for Germany would've been enough.
iselima: (London)
Voting is open till 11pm EST today for the drabbles of the Hufflepuff and Slytherin brackets at Hump Madness

Kelly has written a masterpiece of a drabble, which will not be hard to spot, I believe. *g*
iselima: (London)
The Guardian today published this article about a (BBC?) interview with Julian Fellowes after complaints about developments in the last episode.
Joanne Froggatt (Anna) also speaks.

Some comments pointed out there should have been a 'spoiler alert' with the article.

http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2013/oct/08/downton-abbey-rape-scene-defended-julian-fellowes


....so that we should self-reflect :-)
.
iselima: (Default)
This is just wonderful, what a moment of HUGE relief!

I'm looking at the celebrations on the TV and, ohhh,it's just great we didn't even have to wait very long to know!

Sorry for not having a nice picture or some bunting to celebrate, the words have to be enough. 



(Off to bed now)
iselima: (Maggie Smith)
Such a weird thing. 

I was watching "Maggie Smith A Portrait" on Youtube and I so strongly feel like weeping ever since (10 minutes now). It completely caught me and struck me.

It's no use to try and analyse it, as I can see many feelings and many reasons to wish to make me cry after watching it. 
But let me sort of summarize it, by that it is why I (we?) just HAVE to watch her and why I love and admire her so much. 
I feel like hugging her, but that would be completely out of place.






iselima: (Default)



Here is one Lady who, in my opinion, could proudly preside the OLB (and how lovely it would be, were she inclined to grace our OLSB as well! *gg*): Johanna Quaas, 86, from Germany who gave a couple of demonstrations in a Gymnastics World Cup...












Can only hope I'll be as bright and shining when I'm 86, but I fear I have to drastically upgrade my exercise schedule (which, I should admit, is about non-existent - oh shame!) 


iselima: (London)





 Over the past weeks the web proved quite entertaining:

Interview with Maggie Smith of 1986. It's rather substantial and her sons were still at home, so they had a bit of a say. 
http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20093481,00.html


Janet McTeer in Portrait of a Marriage, complete. About author and gardener Vita Sackville-West, her lover Violet Keppel and husband Harold Nicolson. Based on letters, diaries and the book by Vita en Harold's son about their marriage.
There is more of McTeer's TV-work available on the same channel. 
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCD47946371796637&feature=plcp


Waddlers.
http://www.ustream.tv/penguincam


Calming: staring at mares and the occasional foal-birth.
http://www.marestare.com/fcam.php?alias=glenhillthree
http://www.marestare.com/cams.php

A brand-new credit-card sized, full-fledged computer, with a nice name, HDMI, SD-slot, audio, USB and more for £31.86 inc VAT and shipping.
http://www.raspberrypi.org/


And last but not least: the new vegetarian cookbook in Kindle-format, by my dear friend Amelia, with delicious breads and everything else one could wish to eat in a day:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Favorites-from-Amelias-Kitchen-ebook/dp/B007JCM2L2/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1331946622&sr=1-1





iselima: (Default)
Wishing you a very good year!
iselima: (Default)
Nothing new for any of you seasoned HP-writers, probably, but for me it is all new and it baffles me: JKR's play on dates.

I needed one date in the Summer Holiday of 1995. In RL it's on a Thursday, according to GoF it would be on Saturday but according to the OotP calendar that same day is on a Tuesday. What nonsense!

I don't mind she is not following the RL calendar (yet, what would have been wrong in doing so, I wonder), but a bit of internal consistency in her series of books wouldn't be amiss, would it?
I read about the cause for it all: every school year starts on Monday September First...but why? 

Did JKR want to well and truly employ her artistic freedom? Make even the calendar magical? Or is it sheer carelessness? Now that is hard to believe: there would have been editors around to correct such mistakes.

Just a minor point of course, but it adds to the other irritations, like the changed background-facts and -stories.

On the other hand: now that I dived in to the books in order to write a fic, I am getting really hooked on them and feel an unexpected rush to write...if it will lead to any palpable result, remains to be seen though. *g* 



 
iselima: (Alice Coote)
...hear a more beautiful and more captivating 'Winterreise' than yesterday's, of Alice Coote and Julius Drake?

It was a near overwhelming experience. It was all I had hoped for and expected, but then so much more. And I can't help it, but she made me love her in many ways. So many thoughts and feelings, how can I find the words to do justice?

I should try to leave out many superlatives - already enough of them above, I think - and try to give a more sober account. I'm afraid it will become unreadable otherwise.


There was a wonderful and unexpected start to the evening, when I arrived more than an hour early at Wigmore Hall (thanks to the cooperation of London traffic) and Alice Coote was still rehearsing behind the door of the hall. So I sat next to the door and enjoyed a taste of what was to come of singing and piano. There was a moment of funny disturbance when an employee asked me to get up so that he could light the lamp. Yes, it was a gas lamp. Made me think of Albus in PS.

I feel I had one of the best seats, it was only six or seven meter away from her, saw her en profile (seat was on the side of the podium, with no other seats in front) and could see her every emotion, every frown, every swallow, even single drops of perspiration. This added so much to the singing and it left me with a feeling of deep admiration for how utterly absorbed she was in what she sung. She WAS the poet, no doubt, with all his pain, loneliness, moments of madness. It was unavoidable to get a feeling for how much impact it was having on her. She often shook with emotion.

Giving herself like she did - and that was very much what I was hoping for, when I went to see her - it's clear to me, that only a very special and courageous person can do that. That's probably the aspect what gripped me most: that she is willing to give herself fully for a small hall with people and, perhaps more important, for a meaningful "piece of music".

"Giving all" by an extremely talented and motivated woman as she obviously is, sitting so close, I could see how very much "all" is in her case. I don't know exactly how to say it, but when she gives all, it is WAY more than almost anybody else would be able to give. She must be a rare talent and rarely devoted and it was humbling as well as an honour to sit so close and be able to see her do it.

So, there was her wonderful and highly expressive interpretation, but she also has a really very beautiful voice, with so much depth, richness, range, variation, power. How to avoid superlatives here? I think Alice Coote has one of the most beautiful voices I've heard and in such a small hall, where there is no place to hide, neither for her, nor for the public, you notice it all the more. And she can sing very, very soft and very, very loud and in so many different voices...yet it will always remain beautiful, caressing your ears.

There is more , of course. Where I had only seen her performing male roles in opera, as herself she is clearly feminine. Dark-blond hair, length just below her shoulder-blades, simple make-up, simple yet beautiful dress (black tunic with a white pattern and some glitter on the chest, a bit African in style; and a soft, tight, grey pant), beautiful laced, dark grey suede boots, very high heels, alike the red ones in Kelly's icon. I don't think she used any jewelry. If she's feminine, she seems yet a strong and unconventional woman and she appears far from being vain. It looked to me she is "in it" for the music, the singing, not for the fame. She seems genuinely nice also, though that was perhaps hard to judge.

The pianist, Julius Drake was great too, but I saw him on his back (which meant that Alice looked many times partially towards the side we sat, so I saw much more than just the side of her face). He played very beautiful, controlled, emotional, never intrusive but holding his own against her. It felt like they had a very good relation.

At the end, after the last note, in a flash you saw her drain completely and he got up at once, hurried towards her and embraced her. Not a formal 'well done' hug, but she needed catching, figuratively, and then she snapped out of it and was 'back'. It was a relief to see him do that and it was logical that for a moment she was 'kaput'. After he let her go, she still needed a minute to regain herself, before she opened up to the public and the applause could start. Special moments, confirming what I said about giving all.

Well, you can guess it was a rather emotional evening. It was special. It was wonderful. I wished I could see her again on Saturday.
That's impossible, so today I ordered her CD with songs of Mahler, among others. :)

I don't think what I wrote above does at all capture the beauty and the emotion of the evening. I'm sorry if it has become far too long, but there was also so much that I noticed and a lot isn't even told...

Whatever, but Alice Coote made clear that she must be one of the great Mezzo's of this moment and I am so very, very happy that i could see her live, at least this once!



The evening has been recorded for the Wigmore Hall Live label, so it should be available in due time. Will cost about fifteen pound.

BBC-radio program - can be listened until 30th Jan. or so - including three live songs from Winterreise by Alice Coote/Julius Drake
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b019m320

Review:
http://www.musicomh.com/classical/wigmore-coote_0112.htm

Concert!

Jan. 23rd, 2012 01:04 am
iselima: (Dutch Winter by HBrinkman)
I've been singularly lucky, I feel! 

A few days ago I searched Alice Coote on internet. It appeared she was going to perform Schubert's Winterreise in London, on 26th and 28th. I was not very hopeful, concert not far away and ticket-prices should be high for a star like her. But oh! There were a few tickets left and I could get one next to the stage for only £18! Am I lucky, or not?

I became a fan of Alice Coote because of watching three of her opera appearances, where she seemed to be wallowing in singing men-roles and she was simply marvellous at that.

Winterreise is entirely something else of course, very sad and just her and a pinanist (or so I believe). I've been to Winterreise when I was in my twenties and was deeply touched. From what I could see so far, Alice Coote is great in bringing emotions across...so I'm so hopeful this is going to be an experience never to forget.

Thursday at 5.30 I'll step into the bus in front of our house, have myself transported to Central London, and all the way shiver in anticipation. :)
iselima: (Default)
Ahh! Opera at eight o'clock in the morning on TV !

Danielle de Niese and Alice Coote being convincingly amorous on a bed. Though I must say Ms Coote's bared leg looks definitely more like a Nerina than a Nerone. but when the leg is clad, Coote is a true and indulgent emperor Nero.

It's Monteverdi's "L'Incoronazione di Poppea", done in 2008 at Glyndebourne. The music is not by a large orchestra, but with a smaller orchestra of 'old' instruments - The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, conducted by Emmanuelle Haim. Wonderful!

Yesterday afternoon I had seen a bit of it, from halfway the third act, and loved it VERY much. Acting and singing were delectable, as was the simple but very effective staging. The music is so beautiful, appeasing, and, to my unschooled ears, more accompanying the singers than leading them or than leading it's own life (also very beautiful of course, but sometimes very intense too, which isn't always easy while daily life unfolds, at home).

An opera to listen and watch many times, so I'm recording it.

Edit: opera-singers mustn't be prudes nowadays: It's second act now, there is a near naked man in a real bath. Emperor Nero, in full office-suit, joins him in the water - getting all wet and they exchange a heavy kiss. Not the only one for Alice Coote, she also has to kiss De Niese, highly sensually. Can't be whiny either about germs, it seems. *gg*

Husband is still in Holland, he was required to read his poetry in Den Haag. Tonight he'll be back. So I took my chances, woke through the night, with tea and coffee, and reading Ombra Mai Fu (which is definitely worth a sleepless night!) and selecting a new mobile online (with a Kindle. Yep!) and now there is opera...no need to sleep at all then, this time. I feel like a student again. :)

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