English Chamber Orchestra with Ana de la Vega and Ramon Ortega Quero at Cadogan Hall

English Chamber Orchestra with Ana de la Vega and Ramon Ortega Quero at Cadogan Hall

Reading Time: 4 minutes

 

The English Chamber Orchestra with Ana de la Vega and Ramon Ortega Quero at Cadogan Hall
The ECO is joined by Australian flautist Ana de la Vega and Spanish oboist Ramon Ortega Quero
to perform a sparkling programme designed to highlight the magical relationship between oboe and flute.

Friday 24th January 2020 at 7.30pm

Prices from £15, £25, £35 & £45 please book at Cadogan Hall Box Office   

Special press announcement by Ana de la Vega

My Album release concert is with the ECO in London on the 24th January which falls on the Australia Day weekend. Australia Day is a day where our nation celebrates our beautiful country and the courageous people in it. But sadly this year we are suffering a unimaginable catastrophe.

Ramon and I will be playing a prayer for Australia, and donating our fees to the POP UP fire fighters who don’t have hoses, tanks and water pumps but who could make a difference for the remaining months of danger.

Please come and celebrate Australia and Australia Day with us, and from London we can together send some prayers and love across the oceans!         

Concert Details

For the composers of the 18th century, every instrument had a human personality. You aren’t just hearing an oboe and a flute – you’re hearing songbirds in flight, two lovers in blissful embrace, or a couple of clowns from a comic opera, getting up to some irresistibly elegant fun. To celebrate the release in January 2020 of their new PENTATONE album, “Haydn & Stamitz”, flautist Ana de la Vega and oboist Ramon Ortega Quero join the ECO for an evening of rediscovered masterpieces by Haydn, Stamitz, Cimarosa and the young Mozart: music of star-crossed romance and sparkling wit. Elgar’s much-loved Serenade looks on with a knowing – and very English – smile.

Programme:

  • Cimarosa Overture “I traci amanti”
  • Elgar Serenade for Strings Op.20
  • Haydn Concerto for Two Lire Organizzate in C major
  • Carl Stamitz Concerto for Oboe and Flute in G major
  • Mozart Symphony No. 29
  • Ana de la Vega Flute
  • Ramon Ortega Quero Oboe
  • English Chamber Orchestra
  • David Juritz Director
  • Venue: Cadogan Hall, 5 Sloane Terrace, London SW1X 9DQ

The ECO aims to celebrate and build upon its tradition of maintaining the highest international musical standards, nurturing new talent and focussing on the ‘best of British’ music and musicianship, as well as being the chamber orchestra of choice for many of the world’s greatest soloists and, via its many and varied foreign tours, a significant invisible export for the United Kingdom.

https://cadoganhall.com/whats-on/english-chamber-orchestra-200124/

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THE COURAGE TO PICK UP THE BRUSH – IS PAINTING A CHALLENGE YOU WOULD PURSUE?

THE COURAGE TO PICK UP THE BRUSH – IS PAINTING A CHALLENGE YOU WOULD PURSUE?

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

It sometimes seems as if certain events as a child shape your future and this certainly had been in the case for many years as a result of one incident that occurred very early on at my school.

I was sent to a Convent at the age of 5 and stayed there until I had completed my education, so a total of 13 years.  I can’t say I hated it, and most of the Nuns were well intentioned, and there were individuals I vividly remember who would make fabulous characters in a books or movies.  One read Jackie Collins books, tucked out of sight under her habit, professing to be censoring them for the older girls.  Another was a frustrated tennis champion, who would have given Navratilova a run for her money, as she seemed to be on the tennis court every day at every opportunity and others who were mostly kind if not a little eccentric.

I say ‘mostly’ because there was one very ‘bad’ Nun, Sister St John who was quick tempered and judgemental, and it all started when I was late for meeting my grandfather in the hall after school, who had been waiting to pick me up.  By the time I had reached him, he had decided to leave me there for another half an hour as I was seeming to enjoy playing with my friends outside.  It actually suited him as he wanted to get something from the local shop, but it led to a tirade of abuse from our ‘bad’ Mother accusing me of being spoilt and a thoughtless brat.

It may seem strange that I remember the incident so well, being only five or six, but it stuck in my mind as Sister St John was the Art Teacher who remained throughout my school education, and seemed to victimise me onwards from that day.

It may also seem a little paranoid, but over the years it was as if I didn’t exist.  She never commented on my artwork and not once did she display any of my paintings on the Art Room wall.  I was really good at Drama and English Literature, and received the highest award in the sixth form for Drama and Poetry, but I left school believing I had absolutely no artistic flair for painting at all.

I was well into my forties before my then husband’s brother who was a painter, challenged me to pick up the brush, something I had resisted for many years.

He told me that if we spent a day together he would teach me to paint and I would have created a picture at the end of it.  He said it didn’t matter how good or bad it was, it was just for me and to overcome the stigma I had carried around with me for so many years.

I agreed, and it was one of the best decisions of my life.  We painted in oils, and I literally let my mind run free as I dabbed paints and mixed colours and applied them to the canvas, resulting in a wonderful amalgamation of free spirited expression.  I didn’t even think about it being good or bad, and decided to give it a go in my free time in the future.

That was 15 or so years ago, and since then I have attended several art classes and courses, and even had my landscape painting displayed on a wall at one of them.

I have also had my abstract work displayed at an art exhibition called ‘Friends and Family’ at The Vaults in London opposite the London Eye, and have recently raised £550 as one of my paintings was auctioned for charity at a local event.

When asked I still say I just paint for passion and I am not very good, but my judgment has to change soon, as when I was having one of my paintings framed in a shop in Islington, a famous singer asked me how much it would be to buy.  I was so shocked I said it was not for sale, but asked her how much she felt it would be worth, to which she replied ‘I don’t know, my husband is the art dealer’.  I still can’t believe I have any talent for painting, but the world seems to be proving me wrong.

So how about you – and it is not about how good or bad you are?  It is all about the courage to pick up the brush, and if you don’t you will never know whether or not painting is for you.

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WONDERFUL ‘LIFE SAVERS’ OVER CHRISTMAS – PAYING HOMAGE TO THE THIRTY PERCENT

WONDERFUL ‘LIFE SAVERS’ OVER CHRISTMAS – PAYING HOMAGE TO THE THIRTY PERCENT

Reading Time: 6 minutes

 

It has been recognised that those who engage and follow the Arts have a chance of prolonging their lives by 30 percent, according to reliable research.  So with this in mind, let’s have a look at how we can begin to re-ignite our own healthy relationship with the Arts if you have let it slide for one reason or another.

Most excuses are ‘it is too far and inconvenient to travel at night’ or ‘theatre is too expensive’ or a multitude of other excuses, all of which can be easily overcome with the accessibility of productions locally and through local cinemas – and discounts that are available online.

So, why don’t we start with the most revered and celebrated Christmas movie of all time A WONDERFUL LIFE which you can watch at home on DVD.  The sheer genius of this film is still relevant today, as it is a sharp lesson in learning to get our priorities right.  We see how a man is devastated by a financial loss, only to realise when being visited by an ‘Angel’ who needs to get his wings, that money can be replaced but the human condition is all that really matters.

 

 

Following a smash-hit run of the Snow White panto last year, the London Palladium Christmas pantomime continues for a fourth consecutive year, this time with a panto adaptation of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Goldilocks and the Three Bears, features an all-star cast. Starring in the titular role as the one and only Goldilocks is Sophie Isaacs, who is perhaps best known for starring as Annette Hargrove in Cruel Intentions: The 90s Musical at the 2019 Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Isaacs is joined by the Julian Clary and Paul O’Grady, who are set to portray the Good and Bad Ringmasters respectively. Also starring in the cast are Gary Wilmot as Dame Betty, Matt Baker as Joey the Clown, Nigel Havers as Daddy Bear, and Paul Zerdin as Silly Billy.

https://www.palladiumpantomime.com/

 

For the discerning palate, “Three Sisters”, Love and longing in 1960s Nigeria.

Owerri, 1967, on the brink of the Biafran Civil War. Lolo, Nne Chukwu and Udo are grieving the loss of their father. Months before, two ruthless military coups plunged the country into chaos. Fuelled by foreign intervention, the conflict encroaches on their provincial village, and the sisters long to return to their former home in Lagos.

Following his smash-hit Barber Shop Chronicles, Inua Ellams returns to the National Theatre with this heartbreaking retelling, directed by Nadia Fall (HomeDara).

https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/three-sisters

 

The Tate Modern has a number of inspiring exhibitions and will never disappoint when you take the kids or grandkids.  Olafur Eliasson’s captivating installations urge you to become aware of your senses, people around you and the world beyond.

Some artworks introduce natural phenomena such as rainbows to the gallery space. Others use reflections and shadows to play with the way we perceive and interact with the world. Many works result from the artist’s research into complex geometry, motion patterns, and his interest in colour theory. All but one of the works have never been seen in the UK before.

Within the exhibition is an area which explores Eliasson’s deep engagement with society and the environment. Discover what an artist’s perspective can bring to issues of climate change, energy, migration as well as architecture.

The kitchen team at Studio Olafur Eliasson have created a special menu and programme of related events for Tate Modern’s Terrace Bar, based on the organic, vegetarian and locally sourced food served in his Berlin studio.

Eliasson has a long relationship with Tate Modern. His glowing sun, The weather project, drew more than two million people to the Turbine Hall in 2003. More recently Ice Watch 2018 brought chunks of ice from Greenland to London. This exhibition provides another unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern

 

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THE SILVER SCREEN BALL IS GO

THE SILVER SCREEN BALL IS GO

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

The Silver Screen Ball was another huge success on Saturday night with stars from stage and screen in attendance along new emerging talent in film and television with successful businesses across the UK.

Celebrities like the lovely Hannah Waddingham from Game of Thrones, Bob Barrett from Holby City, television comedy royalty Barry Cryer, Mark Lester who stole our hearts in Oliver, the stunning soap star Debbie Arnold and glitterazzi adorned the room as we presented the Sylvia Anderson awards – with the fabulous Emma Lindars winning best vocalist and Jack Terroni for best Music Video. 

The evening was highlighted with a fund raising auction for GOSH and donations from sponsors and international artist Jenny Ann Morrison with a stunning painting of Lady Penelope, and ‘dead ringers’ star Lewis McLeod with his hilarious rendition of well know personalities and politicians.  We also have to thank Celebrity Cruises and Casio for their amazing contributions of two luxury cruises and a fabulous grand piano with a private concert from Dee Anderson.

Here is a selection of images from the spectacular evening

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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STRIKE A POSE – A TALE OF HUMAN SURVIVAL

STRIKE A POSE – A TALE OF HUMAN SURVIVAL

Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

POSE is an extraordinary television series, that is not only ground breaking but in a category of its own.  It has been described as a Dance Musical, a revelation about LGBT culture and the explosion of the gender fluid Ball Rooms in New York City in the 80s.  But I wouldn’t categorise, as to me it stands on its own as one of the most staggering and enlightening programmes to hit the screens in years.

I was around in the Eighties, living life to the full as a youngster and full of hope for the future.   So how did murmurs of this extraordinary underworld escape us.  Madonna burst onto the scene with Vogue which apparently emulated the moves and mood particular to this Ball Room culture, but how come it stayed under wraps for more than thirty years.   Was the World not ready to listen, perhaps we can empathise with this generation who suffered the humiliation of HIV and Aids, which carried a huge stigma and still does to this day.

But if you can look beyond the camp and the glitter, there are stories crying out to be told of regular folk whose status is their only stigma, through no fault of their own, whether it be a gender issue or being tested HIV positive.

As survival was key in those forbidden days, a number of ‘houses’ sprung up with one mentor at the helm who would take in LGBTQ youth who had been rejected by their families, for being ‘different’.

Mj Rodriguez is magnificent as Blanca Evangelista, the selfless house ‘mother’, and we see her realm flourish as she takes in young homeless men and women who have lost their way.  Blanca helps them to reveal their unique talents and sets them on the road to recovery with successful careers in dance, business and modelling.

I would recommend this as a wonderful watch over Christmas, perhaps not family viewing, but pure escapism if you would like to time travel back to the eighties and feel the intensity of the time and the wonders of human survival.

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