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Friday, 15 November 2013

Tosca meets Richard II meets Vauban

What a week.

Saturday night was opera night - a live broadcast from New York Met Opera of Puccini's opera "Tosca", screened at Cityscreen cinema in York. A marvellous night, wonderful singing with Roberto Alagna as Cavaradossi, Patricia Racette singing the title role and George Gagnidze as Scarpia.

Tuesday night, back at Cityscreen, for a live broadcast of the Royal Shakespeare Company production of "Richard II". The King was played by David Tennant, Bollingbrook by Nigel Lindsay. Another marvellous night. Michael Pennington played Bollingbrook senior and delivered a great "This Sceptred Isle" speech. We were sat in row A, so we had a 3 metre tall long-haired, gold finger nailed, Doctor Who looming over us.

Yesterday morning, Thursday, I gave my 45 minute talk to our local U3A Military History Group on the development of artillery fortresses in 1700. It went well with a good Q & A at the end, then several members coming over to ask further questions on a one-to-one basis. I enjoyed this, which is good as I am doing the talk again to another group in May. I liked doing this, I have been reading about and visiting fortresses for some years, this talk forced me to think about this and focus on it.

French history reading is to continue. A few weeks ago I bought a biography of Saxe - "Marshal of France, the Life and Times of Maurice de Saxe" written by Jon Manchip White (a great name) and published in 1962. I shall start this tomorrow.

Nothing more cultural this coming week, except "Gravity" at Cityscreen on Sunday.

Ah - "The News Quiz" has just started on Radio 4, time for a laugh.

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