Friday, 27 January 2017

Stir crazy

I've officially gone stir-crazy today. The cold-man-'flu rumbles on, and, as a result, it's too tiring to leave the house for long periods of time. I feel like one of those Victorian children wearing a sailor suit who got carried about on a cushion because they were deemed to "sickly" to travel by their own steam. We went to the local Sainsbury's today, and the simple act of carrying two bags of shopping home exhausted us both.

I'm finding it almost impossible to concentrate on anything for long. Every time my brain is faced with a stumbling block, it caves in. I was trying to write music earlier - and it would go okay until the situation required a bit of thought, at which point, I'd get flustered and start something else.

The biggest problem of all is that I feel claustrophobic and cooped-up like a silly little hen. I'm bored of my own thoughts. I'm getting ratty. The biggest treat of the day is to go down to the kitchen to make a cup of tea with the lovely new kettle Fiona gave us... The rest of the time, I just want to fall asleep, but when I try to sleep, I get woken up by the weird gurgling in my lungs which sounds a little bit like there's a tiny, angry man in my œsophagus trying to take delivery of something!

I saw a set of photographs today from a production of Madam Butterfly at the Scala. I'm sure the production sounded exquisite, but I have to say, in an era where so much is made about issues regarding authenticity and race, the time may have passed when it's appropriate to have non-Japanese women playing this enduring role. I don't know why it is that opera remains the final frontier when it comes to forcing audiences to suspend their disbeliefs. I get incredibly bored when people maintain that a 50-year old, rather dumpy opera singer, has "convinced" an audience "through clever acting" that they're a delicate ingenue. Opera singers are, in general, the poor cousins when it comes to acting in the visual arts, and frankly, what you lose vocally from hiring someone with the right look, or ethnicity to play a role, you gain ten times over in believability. Sorry to be hard line, but I can't think the art form will survive much longer if we don't start acknowledging some basic truths. Why would anyone believe that the following image is of a fragile 18 year-old Japanese woman with a fearless and vital American army general? It makes no sense to me.


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