Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Ciao, Joe Green



My introduction to Verdi came during a Medway Towns Soroptimist 'Victorian' evening. I was required to accompany on the piano a gentleman with mustachios and a central parting, who towered over a very small lady with a squeaky voice. They sang a duet from the world's most disorganised opera, Il Trovatore. I was 14 and wished I was somewhere else.

The duet was Ai nostri monti ritornaremo, we will return to our mountains. Today's photo, of the first dusting of winter snow on the mountains we see from our front door, is dedicated to all those rugged mountain folk of eastern England and elsewhere, mustachio'd or very small, Verdi fans or otherwise.

15 comments:

Geoff said...

Chatham is the place to be for big moustaches and garage punk nowadays.

I think I prefer Verdi.

Rog said...

I once fell off a Grand Piano. It wasn't too high so I didn't have Verdi go.

Christopher said...

I'll take your word for it, Geoff. I haven't been there for 40 years. It was all matelots, John Collier, British Home Stores and Timothy Whites down Chatham High Street then. Not a moustache to be seen.

Haydn inside it, weren't you, Rog?

Vicus Scurra said...

Rog wasn't Haydn inside it, I just gave him a tiny push, or puccini as it is known.
Pls to take less care in sentence construction, what a field day we could all have had with mustachios and a central parting on a piano.

UberGrumpy said...

Nice photo, Christopher, but isn't it a bit cruel to dedicate it to all those flatlanders out East?

Sarah said...

I'll have you know I live on the highest (allegedly)point in Essex. Not mustachio'd nor do I admire Verdi, but am very small and probably otherwise.

Talking of having to sit through Opera when very small..... I had to sit through an open air production of De fladermause in Romania (don't ask). Whilst a howling gale hurled all the scenery at the actors. Certainly improved the evening as far as I was concerned.

Christopher said...

Vicus: Well, Arne'nt you just the Boito come up with Spontinious musical puns? Thank you. Now I'm off to Locatelli.

UG: Very glad to see you. Thanks for dropping by - the door's always open. Cruel? Surely not: I do try give all those East Anglians some relief.

Sarah: So glad to hear you have no moustache, but of course apart from that the VERY THING I've always (well, ever since I've been aware of your existence) wanted to ask you was whether you'd ever seen a performance of Die Fledermaus in a howling gale in Romania. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. Was this when you were even smaller?

Sarah said...

I don' think I was much smaller, a little fatter possibly aged 15! and being pursued by the entire Russian Navy...I seem to remember. Only because I had tried swimming out to one of the vessels moored on the Black sea. Also held up by machine gun at the Bulgarian border...but that's another story and has nothing to do with opera.

Christopher said...

Sounds like an opera anyway...were you Mata Hari the Beautiful Spy? I think it's time the truth came out.

I, Like The View said...

I'm neither rugged nor folk, not eastern England but possibly elsewhere, no mustachio (tweezers), haven't been very small since I was about four, never decided if I was a Verdi fan. . .

. . .but I'm certainly otherwise

thank you for the mountains - I like the view

(word ver: dear-boy)

Dave said...

Presumably you have been spared seeing the very annoying 'Go Compare' adverts - unless they have dubbed them into French - involving a tenor with long twirly moustache and central parting?

Christopher said...

I,LTV: Good morning. I hope these eliminations aren't going to turn out like onion skins?

Dave: Food morning. No, we're spared that, but we do have a tenor singing Queste quelle ('These girls, those girls') from Rigoletto on behalf of San Marco coffee.

Hope you slept well and weren't kept awake by Vicus' slanderous innuendo.

Christopher said...

Dave: Good morning. Sorry.

Sarah said...

I confess I am a bit of an absinthe bohemian

Christopher said...

Have you ever drunk absinthe, Sarah?
As far as I'm concerned it's about one step up the revoltingness ladder from Suze (neat) and Schinkenhäger. But I like the image of wayward genius...