Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Vaughan Williams casts a spell


Seen on the overgrown path to Stratford-upon-Avon for the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Arabian Nights. A quite magical evening of theatre enhanced by an evocative score by Gary Yershon which includes darbukas, lute and kamanja.

Which reminds me that the nice folk at Meredith Music Publication, Galesville, Wisconsin sent me Michael Colgrass' new autobiography Adventures of an American Composer which contains waspish anecdotes about many musical personalities including Leonard Bernstein and Igor Stravinsky. One of Michael Colgrass' stories, titled Opera Pickles, starts as follows:
My wife and I were at a party of London's musical dignitaries in 1967 when we struck up a conversation with Dame Ursula Vaughn Williams [sic], the sophisticated wife of Ralph Vaughn Williams [sic]. She asked about an opera I was writing and shared her thoughts on opera, trying to impress by dropping names and a German phrase or two.
I guess the moral of that little tale is, if you drop names at least know how to spell them.

A pilgrim's final progress is here.

Tickets for Arabian Nights were bought at the RSC box office. A review copy of Michael Colgrass' autobiography was provided at my request. Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

1 comment:

John said...

When was UVW damed? Ralph would have had none of this ennoblement nonsense.