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La Traviata

So I finally watched on the DVD La Traviata with Renee Fleming playing Violetta. It was such a sad story and reminded me in some parts of Moulin Rouge with its story line. The Drinking song is especially beautiful

Alfredo on that DVD is played by Joseph Calleja.
I thought he played/sang the role quite well, though I'm not an expert.

I think I saw some clips from the movie versions on youtube e.g. Drinking Song and it seems beautiful...it's just this DVD is the one I found in my local classical music DVD store, so I bought it. When I find/can afford the movie version I will buy it too.

Notre Dame de Paris (Belle)

OK this was kinda haunting me, because English is a very beautiful language on it's own, so *sigh* I tried to edit the rhyming English translation of Belle to make it fit better with the original meaning. I mean this translation is certainly better than the DVD subtitles, but I thought some parts could be edited... I hope it's all grammatically correct. I think it's the best I can do and please remember that English is not my first language. The edited parts are written in italicized text.

Quasimodo:
Belle, is the only word I know that suits her well
When she dances oh, the stories she can tell
A free bird trying out her wings to fly and glide
I feel beneath my feet hell open, deep and wide

Within her dress I glimpsed such beauty, sleep won't come
And it's no use to say these prayers to Notre Dame
Tell, who'd be the first to raise his hand and throw a stone
I'd hang him high and laugh to see him die alone
Oh Lucifer, please let me near her, that star
To
run my fingers through her hair. Esmeralda

Frollo:
Belle, there's a demon within her, who came from hell
And he turned my eyes from god, and oh, I fell
He put this heat inside me I'm ashamed to tell
Without my god inside I'm just a burning shell
The sin of Eve she has in her I know so well
For want of her I know I'd give my soul to sell
Belle, this gypsy girl, is there a soul beneath her skin
And does she bear the cross of all our human sin
Please, Notre Dame, let me, since merciful you are,
Open the garden's door of this Esmeralda

Phoebus:
Belle, even though her eyes seem to lead us to hell
She may be more pure, more pure than words can tell
But when she dances feelings come no man can quell
Her rainbow coloured dress shows wonders, like a spell
My promised one please let me one time be untrue
Before in front of god and man I marry you
Who would be the man who'd turn from her to save his soul
To be with her I'd let the devil take me whole
Oh, Fleur-de-Lys, I'm human, not a saint by far
I'll go to open up the rose Esmeralda

Quasimodo, Frollo, Phoebus:
Within her dress I glimpsed such beauty, sleep won't come
And it's no use to say these prayers to Notre Dame
Tell, who'd be the first to raise his hand and throw a stone
I'd hang him high and laugh to see him die alone
Oh Lucifer, please let me near her, that bright star
To
run my fingers through her hair. Esmeralda. Esmeralda.

Awesome David Bowie song and vid

Called Blue Jean, where he plays a role of a magician. Chekc it out, guys and Happy New Year!


So my post will focus on some advice I can give. For those not interested, just skip my post.
I am not trying to be preachy, I am not perfect myself, just trying to be helpful.
For those who choose to continue:
a) I realized that I, like some people have a more limited
capacity for multi-tasking than many other people. Meaning: I can do some multi-tasking for some
time, but in long-term period of time this can lead to me feeling burned out and overstressed.
b) Then the only practical solution I see is prioritizing: making a plan of which tasks are most
important to accomplish in particular day/week/month etc and focus on doing them first, then do
those less urgent tasks, then if any time and energy left, do other tasks.
c) I found it helpful to write reminders on my calendar which I have on my door and to put
notes/reminders on my desk in my room to remind myself which things are absolutely essential to
accomplish on a particular day and I do my best to stick with them.
d) If I feel myself getting quite tired and frustrated, I take a break. For 30-60 min even. I go to my
favourite nature spot with my walkman and relax for a while. Then I go back to complete tasks I
must do. I give myself a promised reward if I accomplish all the tasks by the end of the day or a
week e.g. buying myself some fav food or going to watch a movie.
e) Yeah I know that involves trying to be organized, which is a pain, but after many years of denial
and stubborn resistance I finally realized that it is more pain to NOT be organized: it is more time
consuming and tiring. Just talking from honest experience there.
f) For the last few years I've been trying to teach myself to follow the above-mentioned strategies. It
is not easy sometimes, but at least my room is in relative order, I get at least the most important tasks done,
I don't get exhausted and I don't go into the guilt
spiral, like I used to. Yeah I'm still being told that I should do/accomplish more things with my time,
but at least I can honestly say I'm doing what I can. I think my skills can further improve with more practice.

Personal quote about art

 * I want to share my personal thoughts on art, since there had been so much controversy in some religions about some works of art/literature, like Harry Potter and Avatar to name just a few.

While art often uses symbols from religions, art is not limited by guidelines of religious dogmas. Art expresses human soul in all its complexity: light and darkness, hopes, joys, fears, grief, anger etc. Art uses mystic symbols not to 'lead people to the devil', but to ask philosophical questions, to inspire, to entertain.

So that's what I believe. You can disagree and have your own opinions, but this is what I believe and feel in my heart and in my soul on the subject. I love art. Also, just to clarify: I love spirituality too in my own way, as long as spirituality is peaceful and non-prejudiced.
It was an Australian production in The Sydney Opera House.

Things I liked:

1) Some costumes e.g. the costume of The Queen of The Night was a gorgeous, sparkling silver dress...it was amazing...also the costumes of people who played animal characters...they were cool...
2) Some special effects e.g. the juggling of fire torches, the waterfall, the rotating room.

Things I wish were different:

1) While the singing parts were in German, the spoken parts were in English for some reason.
2) The guy who played Sarastro had a voice which seemed forced on low notes (and I noticed that even though I don't have any vocal training)
3) Some of the costumes were changed to look too modern e.g. the 3 boys who were told by The Queen of The Night to guide Tamino were dressed in jeans and T-shirts and were riding scooters...Papagena's costumes was very modern too (short skirt and a modern looking sparkly top).

I think they made those changes to make The Opera appeal to the wider range of people, but to me it ruined the atmosphere a bit.
Overall though I thought it was entertaining. Papageno was a hilarious character. The music was beautiful :)