I’m not quite sure how to evaluate the film version of The Magic Flute that Suzanne and I saw recently in the Comedia Cinema in Barcelona. It was a La Scala production directed by William Kentridge which set the action in some nineteenth century milieu with a welter of line drawings projected here there an everywhere.
My overriding impression from the experience was just how uncomfortable the seats were. Considering how plush they actually looked, deep and high backed they were extraordinarily inefficient in their sole function.
The singing was wonderful with The Aria positively otherworldly in its shining melodic clarity. All the singers major and minor were much more than acceptable with the sole exception of Sarastro who seemed to me to be woefully under sung. Somewhere or other I have a scrap of paper with information about the production but that seems to have gone the way of all flesh.
We had tapas afterwards in a dishearteningly touristic place but they turned out to be tasty and fairly good value for money – but as they were eaten some time after one in the morning I do not have any information about the name of the café. It was a late night and I still had to drive back to Castelldefels after paying an extraordinarily fabulous amount of money to get my car out of an underground car park near the cinema.
Throughout the days since I was told about Stewart’s death, little flashes of anecdotal pleasure have informed my memory of him. That’s immortality, living in the loving memory of those who care.
My swimming continues apace – to the astonishment of the swimming pool attendants who now seem to regard me as someone who needs to be protected – hence the shooing away of children in My Swimming Lane. I find it difficult to believe that I am one of a very few people who actually swim in straight lines rather than lounge around lazing about in the water. Though, come to think of it I have seen precious few actual swimmers in the pool.
In Cardiff there were well-established lane swimmers, and I was never alone (except in terms of speed up and down the pool) when I was swimming.
I want to get back into the habit of having an early morning swim and having another one “at the end of work” time – whatever time I decide that to be!
I enjoy my twenty minutes, though to do more bores me. I have great respect and not a little wonder at those professional swimmers who only get that good by doing thousands and thousands of lengths in a 50-metre pool at unsocial hours. How do they keep their sanity!
Meanwhile tomorrow sees the arrival of The Pauls.
Their first meal in Spain is traditionally an indulgently raucous affair but this time it will have to be without the presence of Toni who is having to stick to a rigorously uninteresting diet in advance of his intrusive medical examination on Monday. He can only drink orange juice and water. And even the water has to be without the excitement of gas!
The Olympics continue to fascinate with our even getting a gold to start the morning off, though it has to be said that the rest of the day has not been quite so golden – but we do have racing and diving this evening.
Twenty-six golds is surely more than we expected and, in spite of the fact that the Pauls were not able to find the FDC cover albums that I wanted (and special attention must be paid to the amazingly unhelpful 0845 number of the Post Office which is there, ostensibly, to help and which did anything but) but I will get them from the Internet.
Meantime there is some tidying and cleaning to be done!